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[Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion


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Saw a few posts where people think Jon is dead. Serisously? We've all seen promo shots, footage and have read the books and we know that he lives.

They just need him unconcisous for a while (like Bran) so he can start skinchanging. I do hope that he will be appearing in all episodes, not like last season.

What I want to see now is how they will make peace with Craster now that he has attacked Jon.

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Hi all I'm new (but have lurked for a while),

My two coppers worth:

  • Balon Greyjoy - superb. Really great and made a much greater impact on me than I remember from the books. He is a mad old sod though...
  • Yara (Asha) - honestly, I think it's too soon to judge. Quite a lot of smirking going on, and I would have enjoyed a bit more verbal sparring. She seemed a bit smug in the scene with Baron, which isn't quite how I think of her. I shall withhold judgement until I see how she handles an axe (also, looks are neither here nor there; though I think she's striking, which is much much better than model beautiful. That would be daft).
  • 'Unfortunate' captain's daughter - what a brave actress. I thought that was a really painful scene to watch, for the right reasons. I also think its the most justifiable sex scene thus far (it shows both Theon's character (and will pay off in his future...trials), and the general gender imbalance in Westeros - certainly much more convincingly than any brothel scenes).
  • Ghost - I love the Dire Wolves. They're huge, and they look amazing. Top CGI work.
  • Gilly - perfect!
  • Samwell - That guy can really act. So much with just a look/shrug. Fantastic stuff
  • Stannis - hmmm. Getting a little worried now. Last week he was perfect, I thought. But giving in to lust/promise of a son just doesn't sit right. I know its implied that something like this happened in the books, but I will need a good dose of stern, iron Stannis next week to make up for this.
  • Mel - not sure the nudity was needed, but she retains a mystique all the same.
  • Arya/Hotpie/Gendry - Every moment a joy. Best scenes this season for me...
  • Tyrion - ...though Tyrion is, as ever, masterfully played.
  • Bronn - Hurrah! Looks like we'll be getting extra Bronn, which is excellent news
  • Cersei - continues to impress. Scene with Tyrion crackled with tension
  • Littlefinger - He is a bit of a perve in the books, so that's fine I guess. I think the being scary to Ros scenes (or something like them) are needed for none readers. Otherwise later *ahem* revelations are just going to seem...surprising to say the least. But what the heck is going on with his accent?
  • Davos - perfect. I knew he would be
  • Saan - it's odd. I never had a fixed mental image of him from the books. That happens to me sometimes. So, since the actor did such a great job, I shall simply picture him. It works fine (place of origin can be shifted/made mysterious; I don't think it matters all that much for the series)
  • Varys - still paddling away. Masterful
  • Yoren - yeah, I wouldn't mess with him either. It's going to be painful. Hope he goes out well...
  • Pyke - looks perfect
  • Craster/Jon - I see the need to explicitly reintroduce the big bad not seen since the first episode. However, three problems: a) Since Craster has now attacked Jon, surely the Craster's keep scenes are going to have to play out differently now aren't they? That's a bit risky (and unneccesary?). b ) Where's Ghost? Why doesn't he rip Craster's arm off before he touches Jon? c) Sam's encounter later on loses some impact now, unless Jon doesn't say anything to anyone (which would be stupid)?
  • Head in a bag - I understand the actor became unavailable. That's a shame, because he was really great. One slight worry: why isn't the horse followed back?
  • Old guy on the peer - finally, I must applaud this actor. Just pitch-perfect representation of Theon's distance from his own people.

Edited by grayarea
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I have read the books. I love the books. But I am not in the camp that gets upset with every little change that HBO makes. One thing you have to keep in mind is how GRRM wrote the books. Everything we see in the books is through a character POV. Sometimes those POVs slant how you see a character. Shae is a great example. We really only see Shae through Tyrion's eyes. Tyrion always saw her as loyal to him. But in the end, we find out that she was not how Tyrion saw her, she was loyal to herself, and when she got a chance to better her lot, she took it. I like that HBO is bringing out the true characters in people for the show.

I also don't mind the changes with Joh so far. We all know Jon is a do gooder. So on screen, HBO has Jon see Craster give a child to the Others, instead of having Gilly tell it to us. Shows are meant to be visual. Too much dialogue losers the viewers. In the end, we get to the same point (which is knowing what Craster is doing). And I am sure Mormont will tell him to shut his whole about it....that everyone in the NW already knew it....that sometimes its not right vs. wrong, good vs. evil....that sometimes you have to choose your battles. All of these things are part of Jon's growth in the books, and HBO is keeping with the spirit of Jon's character, even if they are deviating from how GRRM did it.

Same goes for Stannis. So he desires a son. Is a bastard son better than a crippled daughter? In the mind of a warrior, I bet it is. We don't have the luxury of hundreds of pages to develop Stannis' iron will. And, back to my original point, Stannis' iron will is developed throught Davos' POV. When we see Stannis through other POVs, like Jon's later in the series, his will is not so iron, is it? He will make Jon a legit Stark, but only if Jon agrees to his deal. Doesn't sound like such an iron will.

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Absolutly loved this episode!

Thrilled to see J'qan Hagar. Loved his third person speech and the way he brought the lines. He is one of my favorite charachters in ACoK and really looking forward to see more of him this season.

I can totally understand most of the changes to the story. In 10 episodes you cannot fully comprehend the vastness of this story, so the producers must be straight to the point on some occasions.

Again Tyrion was great, also loved the way Varys his voice was lowered when receiving the threat from Tyrion. So badass.

Seeing Ghost was great, Pyke was fenomenal. Really felt sorry for Theon. Seeing the White Walker again was creepy. Props to the sound department for the scary clicks they make. My non-reading girlfriend was thought it was pretty damn scary, so good job!

Can't wait for next week.

Edited by The Last Dragon
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One complaint I don't get is that Stannis doesn't look like a warrior. I don't think Stannis is ever described as looking like a warrior. He is tall and thin in the books, I thought, where Robert is built like a warrior and in turn Renley, who is supposed to look just like Robert. The casting of Renley bothers me more than the casting of Stannis, although I do not think the actor is owning the role at the moment.

I don't think Bronn will see Bywaters fate. If they are killing off people still alive in the books, I hope that it's because they know from GRRM that those characters do not exist past WoW.

I was really wanting Yara/Asha to be closer in appearance to what she is described as in the books. I am not a fan as of now.

Really did like Jaqen.

I hate Craster clobbering Jon. Now that has to be dealt with, creating a storyline that doesn't exist in the series and takes away from actual events in the series. That irks me.

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More disappointed in this episode than the first one. Mel and Stannis? Come on - she'll give him a son? Does she mean shadow babies? IMO just inserted sensationalism for TV.

Loved Jaquen! Cringed at the other two, i.e., HBO did a great job on them.

What was with the last scene with Jon? I just don't like it when too many liberties are taken deviating from the books. It was nice to see a white walker, although of course I wanted to see more!

I hated changing the script so that Bronn was the new Commander of the City Watch -- unrealistic!

Lastly, but most importantly -- WHAT HAS HBO DONE WITH RAKHARO? I did hear the interview with Martin yesterday when he alluded to HBO's having more or less a box of heads and that they were really expensive to make. So will we see more of these bodyless heads just so HBO can get full use out of their props?

OK - I really didn't realize I was so unhappy with the episode until I started writing. But I was also disappointed that they rushed over so many things.

Gee -- I'm not usually so critical! But, there it is. :angry:

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Is Allister Thorne cut from the series? or will we see him appearing at Kings Landing? Love Thorne in season 1

I think he arrives in KL a little later if I remember the books correctly.

Then he is made to wait and the hand rots.

So maybe midway through the season.

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I should have seen Raquro's death coming, classic mauve shirting in the previous episode.#

This episode showed me two things:

1. I can't remember any instance in the books where it is definitely confirmed that Cersei ordered the killings.

2. Replacing Slynt with Bronn instead of Swann is a brilliant way of highlighting Tyrion's hypocrisy.

How is choosing a man he trusts hypocrisy?

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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!

Dead on IMHO. In the books, I seem to remember thinking that Stannis had sex with Mel the night before (or right before) Mel goes with Davos into Stormsend. I think there was some alluding to it, but don't really recall (ordered everyone out of his tent except Mel, and yada yada). So HBO moved it up an episode....it is still based on Mel needing his "seed" to birth the shadow baby, to get Stannis the men he needs in battle. This was not about lust for Stannis, this was about duty.

As far as Shireen and the "still born" comments, IDK know for sure if HBO really sees the value in casting (paying for) an actress to play Stannis' daughter. Does she ever move the plot of the series forward? Maybe the greyscale stuff, but that could easily be his wife with greyscale. If you recall episode 1 on the beach, after Stannis gets his fiery sword, he starts to charge off the beach. He stops, and turns back to retrieve his wife. ONLY his wife. There was no child with them. I do think Shireen has been scrapped, and I for one will not shed a tear for that "omission".

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-Yara Greyjoy. I absolutely DO NOT mean the actress, she's great. I hate the name change to Yara. Asha Greyjoy and Osha are different names and hardly confusing, and does it even matter since Osha is leaving at the end of this season?... she is leaving I hope. And that they are not going to change it to keep her around.

You’re probably thinking of them like the words ash and ocean in an American accent, but they wouldn’t sound like that in most UK accents, where Asha might well have the a of UK father, and Osha could sound really close to that, especially in speakers with the cot–caught merger. They would thus end up being very close, and in some accent even indistinguishable.

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Forum wouldn't work for me last night, after that first post (booo), so first impressions:

Much stronger that 2.01. They stuck with a few stories this time, I'm fine with no Jaime (who i think is the best part of the show), noticed him not in credits. the theme seemed 'The cost of love/sex"

I thought the Tyrion/Cersei parts were ok, a bit disappointing as they figured to be the highpoint.

Tyrion/Varys was great (though short)

Balon and Jaqen are both as great as I had hoped. They are my Troy McClure's of the books (minor characters who I love). Both delivered a ton of awesome in a few lines.

Yara letting Theon go a bit further was icky. This and wiping spooge off a whore's mouth were our HBO! moments. These annoy me. I am fine with sex in the story (several examples of it in this ep.), just throwing taboos on the screen is cheap.

Seeing Melisandre seduce Stannis and Davos seduce Sallador was about 1000x times better than happening off screen. (OMG Sallador is black! He must be from District 11!)

I approve of Jon's scene, though I wish he has actually tried to be sneaky. CRUNCH! CRUNCH! No reason to hid behind trees (until the end). I'm happy Crastor noticed, otherwise that was a bit silly. They need to keep the Walkers in the show, It's acceptable in books to just have your BBEG talked about and never do anything (as books are just that, things being told to the reader). On film, it's lacking.

Dany scene was a waste in this episode, should have happened next week when that story goes further (I assume). At least have someone mention The Night Lands to make the connection.

Arya! Gendry! Yoren! That scene rocked.

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I thought this episode was one of the shows weakest, if not the weakest -- yet I still enjoyed it very much. I am going to randomly list my observations and pros and cons.

Things I liked:

1) Character performances -- Lena and Peter continue to steal the shows best scenes, but I also thought basically the entire cast had a great episode. The Greyjoy's were all great, as well as the Night's Watch, the King's Road crew, Varys and many more.

2) Stannis & Dragonstone crew -- I am far less worried about Shireen and Selyse than others here, nor am I finding Stannis to be any less bad-ass and stern. The sex scene was handled fine. He gave in to a beautiful naked sorceress, as any warm-blooded male would. I don't know how Stannis' morals are being judged when we know he is days away from having his brother murdered, which is one of the greatest sins on the Westeros morality scale. Plus, he scarcely seemed to even be enjoying the seduction. Just watch how he kisses her and those noises he makes. It was all incredibly awkward, as it should have been. Side note: Davos' scene was just perfect.

3) Giving Joffrey and Robb a break -- Thank you! It's time to slow things down whenever possible.

4) Ghost -- Enough said.

5) Varys -- I so loved his exchange with Tyrion. I like that the show is making threats more blatant, even if it makes the characters seem a bit more dim. The way Varys held the door shut with a finger after Tyrion used his whole hand was awesome. Plus they kept in the great ocean/fish/paddling analogy. He recognizes that Tyrion is a bigger threat than anyone else in King's Landing, so he is making it known that he is the top dog.

6) Arya's scene was pure gold. Gendry looks different to me than he did in the forge, and it keeps distracting me. Maybe it is the lack of sweat and smithy outfit, or maybe the actor has grown up a bit. I still loved everything about this scene, including Jaqen.

Things I didn't like:

1) How the writers handled the Yara/Theon exchange -- In the books she is clearly messing with him, moving his hands away and finally after revealing herself making him very embarassed. On the show, a lot of non-book readers are going to think she is really creepy and incestous. While Alfie's facial expression conveyed his disgust perfectly afterwards, I do think maybe a line or two could have been added to make Yara seem just a bit less gross. I love the way she looks though -- gritty and tomboyish, with a sex appeal underneath it all. The idea of a perfect 10/10 beauty queen swinging two axes around and winning the loyalty of barbarians always seemed fake to me. This woman is one who looks like she has killed.

2) Cutting from a ship sex scene to a brothel sex scene -- Really bizarre choice of editing here. Didn't work at all for me. I also found the Littlefinger spying to be a bit confusing and unnecessary. I hate thinking, "Are the non-readers going to be thinking this random nobleman is important?" Otherwise, I did like Littlefinger's creepiness and scariness. The scene was a bit long but I liked showing what a sociopath he is.

3) The Red Waste of Time -- Poor Daenerys and Jorah really have nothing to do for a while. Not the writers faults, but if we don't need to see Robb sitting in the woods, we don't need to see Daenerys sitting in the sand. More swearing vengeance, promising blood, blah blah.

4) Jon getting bonked by Crastor -- I'm not sure why this isn't sitting well with me, as I don't mind the other changes involved in this story line. Or maybe I just hate cliffhangers. I like Jon giving in to his emotions and charging into the woods with his sword drawn. I need to see what happens, obviously, but I do think Ghost should be around...


Also, I continue to be unbothered by character development changes and things like Bronn over Bywater. This is a separate entitiy from the novelization.

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