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Ran

[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.

I've read (and am a big fan) of all the books and I thought it was boring! But I've thought the majority of the episodes so far have been fairly boring.

For non-book readers I'm curious to know how many of them even know what is really going on with all the different storylines, especially with the way the show constantly jumps from scene to scene with quick bits of information being thrown out here and there.

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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.

Like I said, I totally get why they made this decision for the show. It makes sense and Bywater is ultimately a throw-away character. I'd even say it was the right decision for the series. It was a purely emotional reaction, but I'm not one to get up in arms about the differences between the two. I will just remember that that's not really what happened and treasure the book version all the more.

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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 agree with that.

i think it would have been to much to introduce a poor girl with gray scale and explain it while everyone else on Dragonstone shall be introduced.

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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.

Can't really remember ot from the books, but it seems awfully out of character for Stannis to cheat on his wife. Hmmm...

One more thing. Ever since series got green light I hoped for just one thing, that little exchange between Tyrion and Bronn. In my opinion these are the best lines in series, and I'm so happy I've heard them on TV. Though Flynn could have delivered it better, certainly with a fingers rubbing gesture.

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6. Atheist Davos and Saan. Davos isn't a religious man, but he still keeps the Seven, and Saan keeps the Lord of Light. Making them irreligious is fine, but atheism doesn't really fit the setting at all.

I can't think of a reason why it would not fit, personally. I think you are overestimating the differences in cultural mindset between the middle ages and these days. If anything, people back then would be more aware of how optional belief in deities actually is.

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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 listened closely to that bit, and it seems like that statement was deliberately left ambiguous. It did not confirm nor deny that Stannis has a female child.

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It's clear Stannis has slept with Melisandre in the novels -- the shadow she gives birth to is his shadow! -- but it's quite subtle.

I agree that Stannis sleeps with Melisandre in the novels, but did you find that scene acceptable and in general Stannis portrayal acceptable? I think they should have showed Stannis differently in the show than they did and also provided more character development for him.

Stannis in the books is Iron willed, very determined, has a very strong sense of believing in his moral code, has strong feelings of bitterness. And also he does not seem as lust obsessed (or obsessed about Melisandre giving his a son) as show Stannis. I don't think the tv show was very successful with its portrayal of Stannis.

Edited by Qhorin Halfhand and Yoren

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I haven't read all the comments, so someone may have already said that:

At first I was pissed at the cliffhanger in the end but now a week has passed since I saw the preview and I have my ideas.

*Ghost was not arround when it happened but he may just appear seconds after Jon gets hit.

*They need to have Jon hurt and passed out so that he can start experiencing his warging abilities. They need to explain how it happens because the audience won't buy it if Jon gets to sleep one night and then becomes a skinchanger.

I really can't wait to see next weeks episode.

The Arya scenes were just amazing, love her whole adventure.

I still think that the brothel scenes are just a waste of time but it seems like they are there to stay.

I am curious to see who will be Dany's main bloodrider now.

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It's clear Stannis has slept with Melisandre in the novels -- the shadow she gives birth to is his shadow! -- but it's quite subtle.

But when you are dealing with Magic its always ambiguous. Magic does not have a mathmatical outcome; merely because Mel's shadow-baby wore Stannis' face does not necessarily equal that Stannis had intercourse with her. It may be that Mel performed a ritual on Stannis that made his desires manifest. Maybe his shadow was something Mel did because Mel desires Stannis. Again, Magic does not have mathmatical rules, therefore you cannot say that the books are "clear" that they had sex.

At the same time, its implied. Not just the shadow baby but Stannis' distopia when he's not around Mel; Mel's followers being ID'd as "Queens Men."

But even there we have problems. When Asha encounters Stannis in DwD she states emphatically that Stannis is the type of man who think of women as a nother species; in the books Stannis' sexual desires dont just seem muted, they seem all but removed from him- from his homely wife the stories of him having sex once a year.

I'm not saying that they did not have sex (it seems generally more likley than not that they did, if only because ... well... because men like attractive women). But "clear?" Not really.

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I agree that Stannis sleeps with Melisandre in the novels, but did you find that scene acceptable and in general Stannis portrayal acceptable? I think they should have showed Stannis differently in the show than they did and also provided more character development for him.

Stannis in the books is Iron willed, very determined, has a very strong sense of believing in his moral code, has strong feelings of bitterness. And also he does not seem as lust obsessed (or obsessed about Melisandre giving his a son) as show Stannis. I don't think the tv show was very successful with its portrayal of Stannis.

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!

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But when you are dealing with Magic its always ambiguous. Magic does not have a mathmatical outcome; merely because Mel's shadow-baby wore Stannis' face does not necessarily equal that Stannis had intercourse with her. It may be that Mel performed a ritual on Stannis that made his desires manifest. Maybe his shadow was something Mel did because Mel desires Stannis. Again, Magic does not have mathmatical rules, therefore you cannot say that the books are "clear" that they had sex.

Ambiguous? Melisandre is quite explicit about it in Dance With Dragons. She had sex with Stannis in order to give birth to a shadowbaby, and likely it happened because she said this is how R'hllor will give you victory, and Stannis went to it "like a man marching off to battle," which is perfectly in keeping with his character.

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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.

Melisandre has been explicit in ASoS that she births her shadows by sleeping with Stannis -- she tries to get Davos to sleep with her because Stannis's energies are depleted, so to speak. And yes, ADwD makes it even clearer.

Edited by Ran

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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.

my mom was worried that the greyjoys were just going to have their own separate plot but i hinted that they tie into one of the stark children and straight up told her about vic/dany. that's years away, if the show even lasts that long.

yeah, it was boring. i love the series but i don't think they need a 3rd "exposition" episode. i don't see why they can't start moving everything along next sunday. (or if we're lucky episode 3 show up early on xbox too! :P)

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Oh, and something I've wondered between screener and final episode: did they keep the order of Theon with the captain's daughter, and then the brothel scene? I thought that was a very poor editing decision.

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Oh, and something I've wondered between screener and final episode: did they keep the order of Theon with the captain's daughter, and then the brothel scene?

Yes, they kept it.

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"I'm the most strict and honorable man in Westeros. Wait, I can have a son?? Lets get it ON!!" Thumbs down.

I'm fine with speeding up story lines,but wasn't too happy about them announcing "Hey, we're here for that guy"

Loved Saan & Davos - the changes to Davos not being a follower of the 7, meh.

Varys did not come across nearly as sly & slippery with Shae as he should have.

Ros/LF...we need to see what he is watching why? making sure his investments are safe...ok...but beyond that, meh. Fine, he doesn't like bad investments & gives Ros the threat...but why was any of the scene necessary?

The whole ending scene with Jon/birth/Craster. Yeah, not a fan.

Rakharo being beheaded? not a fan.

I'm trying to watch this like I watched the LOTR movies - I know there are changes, there have to be changes. This will not be the book - and that is fine...good even in some regards. As just a TV show, I'm enjoying it - even though there are some gaps that need better explanation. As an adaption of the book series, the first two episodes of this season have not engaged me like any of last seasons did.

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