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[Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

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For people who are watching it with non-book readers, what are they saying about this episode? My boyfriend thought it was boring and that nothing really happened.

Edited by dannister

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I 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.

If you think about it, though, Bywater was very much Tyrion's man too. This way it's just more condenced; removing the need for a whole new actor whose salary would eat up budget dollars and a whole new character for TV fans to try to keep track of. Also, gives the dude playing Bronn a bigger role.

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I guess that's actually quite likely. I don't really like show-Shae, her hands of gold moment is shaping up to be nowhere near as tragic as it should be...

I don't like Shae at all. The actress portrays her exactly like I imagined her, a social climbing, conniving bitch. I'm looking forward the characters demise, although, I think the actress is doing an excellent job.

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I think they left the option of Shireen open on purpose. They can introduce her down the line if they decide she is too important to leave out.

ETA: There was a nice touch in the scene where the Gold Cloaks come to fetch Gendry. When Yoren has his knife to the dude's thigh, you can see all the Nights Watch recruits slightly out of focus in the background, slowly picking up their weapons and moving towards the Gold Cloaks. I thought that was well done.

Edited by TheEvilKing

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I think they left the option of Shireen open on purpose. They can introduce her down the line if they decide she is too important to leave out.

True dat

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I think they left the option of Shireen open on purpose. They can introduce her down the line if they decide she is too important to leave out.

I think that is the best route....but after she said Selyse could give him no sons, didn't she also say something like "only stillborn children?" or just "only stillborns?"

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I think they left the option of Shireen open on purpose. They can introduce her down the line if they decide she is too important to leave out.

I sure hope so; it's bad enough they left out Theon getting excited over the thought of "Esgred" lactating.

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I know some people have complained about the Stannis and Melisandre scene, but I think if you pay close attention to what happens in that scene, it plays out exactly as it must have happened:

  • Stannis says that he can't beat 110,000 men with 5,000 men and that he needs Renly's army to win (true)
  • Melisandre replies "I have seen the path to victory in the flames" (true), "but first you must give yourself to the Lord of Light."
  • Stannis thinks she's talking just about his rather...unenthusiastic conversion.
  • Melisandre says "you must give all of yourself." (meaning his shadow)
  • And then she only brings up the son (which is true, she's going to give him a shadowbaby) to get him over the hump of betraying his wife.

To me, this perfectly fits the books - Melisandre is just vague enough that Stannis doesn't have to think that he's killing his brother with sorcery, and she couches the conception first and foremost as a requirement of victory based in religion.

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I think they left the option of Shireen open on purpose. They can introduce her down the line if they decide she is too important to leave out.

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 that is the best route....but after she said Selyse could give him no sons, didn't she also say something like "only stillborn children?" or just "only stillborns?"

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.

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I sure hope so; it's bad enough they left out Theon getting excited over the thought of "Esgred" lactating.

Even though I know how strapped they are time wise, I really wanted to see that fake interaction go on a little bit longer :( I thought that was one of the funniest things in the books.

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I know some people have complained about the Stannis and Melisandre scene, but I think if you pay close attention to what happens in that scene, it plays out exactly as it must have happened:

  • Stannis says that he can't beat 110,000 men with 5,000 men and that he needs Renly's army to win (true)
  • Melisandre replies "I have seen the path to victory in the flames" (true), "but first you must give yourself to the Lord of Light."
  • Stannis thinks she's talking just about his rather...unenthusiastic conversion.
  • Melisandre says "you must give all of yourself." (meaning his shadow)
  • And then she only brings up the son (which is true, she's going to give him a shadowbaby) to get him over the hump of betraying his wife.

To me, this perfectly fits the books - Melisandre is just vague enough that Stannis doesn't have to think that he's killing his brother with sorcery, and she couches the conception first and foremost as a requirement of victory based in religion.

This is pretty neat - I never really thought of it like that. Very good points. My only thing is that - wouldn't it be sort of confusing to viewers? Will they be able to see that deeply into her shadowbaby births based on that, or just think it's totally unrelated? Because as far as I can tell, nothing in that scene hinted at anything but Stannis wanting a son and Meli wanting to give him one. But I guess later on they could clarify that later, huh. Anyway, good post.

Edited by dannister

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1. Asha was irritating as a character in the books when she was first introduced, IMO, but I grew to like her as the series progressed. The actress cast as Asha did not display her fire or spirit.

2. Too bad it was sunny when the Pyke scenes were filmed. I always pictured Pyke as being perpetually overcast and, well, grey.

3. Ok, we know that Stannis and Mel eventually have sex of some sort in the books because of the shadow babies. The scene tonight was just weird, though, and not a good weird. The actor portraying Stannis and the writers/directors do nothing to set up the idea that Stannis is shown, initially, to be so brittle that he will break before he bends. We do not get a sense at all of his unyielding moral compass, which helps show us later his total hypocrisy in the situation with Melisandre.

4. First the silver and now Rakharo?! Wtf, writers/directors? I understand the rakharo actor was offered another role, but then the show could have done something different than make him a bizarre plot point.

5. Why is Sam suddenly a horn dog constantly thinking about and looking at women? Writers/directors, wtf?

6. Littlefinger has now been written to be creepy as shit without book littlefinger's intelligence. So instead of a great game player who is creepy, we get a dip shit who is creepy.

7. Loved Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry. Close to the book scenes and great interaction between the two. Their scene was the highlight of the episode. Jaqen was excellent for the small time we saw him. Actor playing Yoren was excellent last season and this season as well.

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Even though I know how strapped they are time wise, I really wanted to see that fake interaction go on a little bit longer :( I thought that was one of the funniest things in the books.

Yeah, they didn't capture the humor between Theon and Asha's, um, reunion in the books, which is MAYBE why some found the TV version of the scenes icky.

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Yeah, they didn't capture the humor between Theon and Asha's, um, reunion in the books, which is MAYBE why some found the TV version of the scenes icky.

I know! A friend of mine told me he thought ASHA went too far and that she must be like Cersei. *facepalm*

Edited by dannister

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Some more thoughts:

1. Jon seeing the Other I think is necessary to remind the audience that the things we saw very briefly in the pilot are still around. I think the show is going to pump up the Other stuff going on by advancing the attack on the Fist of the First Men to the finale of Season 2, and probably adding in some Othery sightings in Season 3 and then show us the Others in action at Hardhome in Season 4.

2. Despite my initial fears about Asha/Yara's look, I thought she looked appropriately creepy in the scene with Balon, but I hope we still get to see her bit with the axe and dagger.

3. I thought Arya and Gendry were perfect, and Jaqen H'gar was very very good, although I had never thought his name was pronounced that way.

4. I don't think it's explicit that Shireen doesn't exist; all Melisandre said was that Selyse had given him only stillborn sons.

5. The scene with Littlefinger and Ros creeped me the hell out, especially given the references in last season to his client with a taste for beautiful corpses. /shudder

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5. Why is Sam suddenly a horn dog constantly thinking about and looking at women? Writers/directors, wtf?

6. Littlefinger has now been written to be creepy as shit without book littlefinger's intelligence. So instead of a great game player who is creepy, we get a dip shit who is creepy.

Yeah, I recognized the Sam thing too. That is not very "sam-like" - girls freak him out. They did this in the first season too I think. Wasn't he fixated on boobs or something?

And yes on LF - he needs a new plot device to replace Ros.

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This is pretty neat - I never really thought of it like that. Very good points. My only thing is that - wouldn't it be sort of confusing to viewers? Will they be able to see that deeply into her shadowbaby births based on that, or just think it's totally unrelated? Because as far as I can tell, nothing in that scene hinted at anything but Stannis wanting a son and Meli wanting to give him one. But I guess later on they could clarify that later, huh. Anyway, good post.

I think it's the reverse - the audience needs to see the shadowbaby conception so that the shadowbaby birth makes sense when it happens later on this season.

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For people who are watching it with non-book readers, what are they saying about this episode? My boyfriend thought it was boring and that nothing really happened.

that was what my boyfriend said too. Boring, yawn, snore.

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1. Asha was irritating as a character in the books when she was first introduced, IMO, but I grew to like her as the series progressed. The actress cast as Asha did not display her fire or spirit.

2. Too bad it was sunny when the Pyke scenes were filmed. I always pictured Pyke as being perpetually overcast and, well, grey.

3. Ok, we know that Stannis and Mel eventually have sex of some sort in the books because of the shadow babies. The scene tonight was just weird, though, and not a good weird. The actor portraying Stannis and the writers/directors do nothing to set up the idea that Stannis is shown, initially, to be so brittle that he will break before he bends. We do not get a sense at all of his unyielding moral compass, which helps show us later his total hypocrisy in the situation with Melisandre.

4. First the silver and now Rakharo?! Wtf, writers/directors? I understand the rakharo actor was offered another role, but then the show could have done something different than make him a bizarre plot point.

5. Why is Sam suddenly a horn dog constantly thinking about and looking at women? Writers/directors, wtf?

6. Littlefinger has now been written to be creepy as shit without book littlefinger's intelligence. So instead of a great game player who is creepy, we get a dip shit who is creepy.

7. Loved Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry. Close to the book scenes and great interaction between the two. Their scene was the highlight of the episode. Jaqen was excellent for the small time we saw him. Actor playing Yoren was excellent last season and this season as well.

1. Sort of agree, but we haven't really seen much yet

2. Yeah, with a perpetual light drizzle or mist.

3. Disagree. The scene with him writing the letter was a very good introduction to his unyielding moral compass. "A harmless courtesy your Grace." "A lie. Take it out."

4. If they stuck to the books Dany would be having a pretty boring season. I'm not really a fan of Dany, she hardly ever does anything after GoT

5. I believe they changed his character a bit because the actor they got to play him is so good.

6. He needs more verbal battles with Varys to show his intelligence

7. Agree, I love Arya and Maisie is easily the best actress on the show, which is amazing for such a young girl.

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