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Renly competes in tourneys and acquits himself well, never remotely displays fear of battle or blood, etc. It's a stark contrast.

Re: the peach, I think we read that differently. He's always lighthearted, but that wasn't a sign of weakness, imo. It was complete confidence.

No, again, the pregnancy thing was said with complete confidence; he's contrasted with Stannis, not defensive. And the Rainbow thing? I think GRRM has specifically stated that he didn't remotely think of that as a gay sign...it was the seven colors, and reflected Renly's love of pageantry and willingness to create his own traditions.

And more, the disbelief everyone has of the 'official' status of Margary's pregnancy can only be down to a belief that Renly was at least bisexual.

Loras competes in tourneys too. And in RL there are gay soldiers. In fact the ancient Greeks considered gays to be the best soldiers and their elite units were all gay. Don't see how competing and even doing well in tourneys contradicts him being gay.

I agree he's very confident. In fact Cat comments that he's too confident as he leaves most of his army behind when he rides to Storm's End. But that doesn't translate to him being a great warrior. Might be the opposite in fact.

I'm sure he's confident of being able to father children. Gays can father children too. He might not enjoy it as much as a straight guy, but it's a small price to pay for the iron throne. The fact that Stannis comments on his ability to get Margaery pregnant suggests that him being gay is at least rumored.

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I don't find her uninteresting exactly, but I feel like they have something planned for her that we just don't know about yet. Her whole mysterious backstory, and now she's taking handmaid lessons from Sansa - they definitely seem to be setting her up to be someone who is used to being on the other side of that situation. I really do think she is supposed to be some highborn lady from somewhere - and her scene with Sansa definitely added to that.

I don't think so. I think that they are setting up the reason for Shae to hate Sansa and tell lies about her later on out of pure jealousy. Beautiful young highborn girl versus social climbing whore. The groundwork is set.

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In contrast, the actress playing Asha/Yara has very little range in here facial expressions. You never see a shift there to convey lines not delivered, internal thoughts. Not only do all of her lines come off as emotionally flat, there seem to be timing problems: it’s as though she’s just waiting for her cue to recite her lines instead of actually listening and reacting to the other actors in the scene. Sorry to say, but to me there just didn’t seem to be a lot of acting here. I wish there were.

With all the dark scenes, though, I do worry about people watching this on devices without enough contrast ratio, or in bright light. You really do have to watch these in a dark, dark room with a good screen. I’ve read posts by people complaining they can’t see what’s happening in the dark scenes, and this is why.

I hadn’t realized that Margaery was pronounced like Marjorie. It makes a lot more sense that way, although I never though of there being a soft g (ie, that a j) before an a. Apparently “Marjorie” has all these spelling variations: Marcharie, Marge, Margeree, Margery, Margerie, Margery, Margey, Margi, Margie, Margy, Marja, Marje, Marjerie, Marjery, Marji, Marjie, Marjorey, Marjory and Marjy — all with a j sound, never a hard g. Curiously, it’s related to Maisie, the name of the actress playing Arya.

Asha - I totally disagree -- I think her mannerisms, body language - eye-language [if there is a such a thing] is excellent. I think it's part of what is making Theon so flustered. I happen to think she is doing a fantastic job despite her not being the picture of beauty many seem to wish she was. They've done such a magnificent job of casting - hard to believe GRRM and D&D missed this one as badly as many have posted.

There isn't much "curious" about the actress name and a character with some name that is distantly related.

The book was written 15? 20 years ago? Long before the actress was involved methinks.

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Loras competes in tourneys too. And in RL there are gay soldiers. In fact the ancient Greeks considered gays to be the best soldiers and their elite units were all gay. Don't see how competing and even doing well in tourneys contradicts him being gay.

I think you are completely misunderstanding my point.

Which is not that being gay contradicts being martial. Military history is pretty much my primary field...I know the illusory modern stereotype.

My point is that the image of homsexuals being soft and the alteration in Renly's character in the show go step in step in the same direction, leading to the same stereotype of flamboyant, sensitive but ultimately weak/soft homosexual.

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Completely agree, book Renly is a confident, almost arrogant man that definitely shows attraction to women and some straight tendencies.

This is a case of shock value for the HBO series- just like the Ros scenes. Both are equally inaccurate and corny IMO.

When did Renly ever have straight tendencies in the book? He was arrogant and very flashy, but nowhere did you ever see him hitting on women in the books. It was always heavily implied that he was gay.

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I think you are completely misunderstanding my point.

Which is not that being gay contradicts being martial. Military history is pretty much my primary field...I know the illusory modern stereotype.

My point is that the image of homsexuals being soft and the alteration in Renly's character in the show go step in step in the same direction, leading to the same stereotype of flamboyant, sensitive but ultimately weak/soft homosexual.

and of course -- there are warriors we will see down the road that are the best of the best so they say...

Like I said earlier -- I think most are missing the point.

Being Gay in Westeros is not necessarily a bad thing at all -- it's the fact that he isn't making a Baby [read: Son] that is the problem.

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In the book, I agree.

ah - I see. perhaps there is that difference in the book vs the show. i guess i may have overlooked that. it would be subtle i assume.

and the show does have loras say "they are sniggering.... the queen is still a virgin"

which could be the sentiment that renly is gay... or just a scaredy cat himself

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You can still father children despite being gay

Gosh that’s like saying a guy can still have sex with other guys sometimes, despite being straight.

Which, of course, is also perfectly true.

Remember that “gay” and even “straight” are modern conventions. They didn’t exist in ancient or medieval times. They aren’t either of them even particularly useful, except perhaps if you’re trying to get laid and think you need to advertise. All that exists are people and actions, which vary extraordinarily across time and circumstance even within the same individual.

I do in fact know “gay” men who sometimes have sex with women, and “straight” men who sometimes have sex with other men. Artificial labels don’t define people. People will be people, that’s all. I never thought of Renly as a swishy stereotypical queen, and he is neither that in the books nor in the TV show. He’s just a regular guy, young and personable, who happens to have a relationship right now with another young man — and whose sister he ends up marrying. Sure, that sounds a bit awkward, but everyone involved is smart enough that it could work.

And yes, I do know of several real-world situations a lot like that. In one case, one guy dated his ex-girlfriend’s brother, and everyone was cool with it; in fact, he later became the godfather of the girl’s child once she had married and progenated. In another, a guy later became um “very good friends” with his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, dating her himself for a time later on.

Those are real situations. They do happen. People are people. Times change. Tastes change. I don’t think it’s fair to stick labels on people and tell them what they can and cannot do based on those labels. It’s even worse to try to characterize them with stereotypes. All that matters is the person.

Just ask the Red Viper.

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There isn't much "curious" about the actress name and a character with some name that is distantly related.

The book was written 15? 20 years ago? Long before the actress was involved methinks.

Sorry, perhaps I chose the wrong words. I just find it an interesting connection to the topic, one purely coincidental of course, that Margery and Maisie have the same starting point. Both ultimately hearken back to margarita, which means not daisy but pearl.

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Well, loosing to the Hand is still honorable, considering the four final opponents: the Clegane Brothers, Jaime and Loras... I guess book-Renly was still one hell of a warrior.

Then, there is something this episode foreshadows I'm so eager to see, or, hear:

Weese, Dunsen, Chiswyck, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling. The Tickler and the Hound. Ser Gregor, Ser Armory, Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, King Joffrey, Queen Cersei...

Even if I guess, Dunsen, Chiswyck, Raff, the Tickler and Ser Meryn will be left out of it for the show... dunno about Weese, still...

But that leaves quite a short list...

The preview for next week, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC_tKUCPCR8, clearly contains a scene involving Arya and Gendry and some kind of torture. So those names, or at least some of them, will certainly make the list.

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I think you are completely misunderstanding my point.

Which is not that being gay contradicts being martial. Military history is pretty much my primary field...I know the illusory modern stereotype.

My point is that the image of homsexuals being soft and the alteration in Renly's character in the show go step in step in the same direction, leading to the same stereotype of flamboyant, sensitive but ultimately weak/soft homosexual.

I see. Well I do somewhat agree with that. Book Renly is also described as being big and strong, as big as Robert was. And I'm not sure Book Renly would be as influenced by Loras, who practically pushes Renly to declare himself king. That said while Book Renly might be an effective warrior as he's good in everything he does, he's not described as particularly martial or some macho hard man. Not someone who loves a fight. In fact the book plays up this contrast between him and Stannis the hard nosed fighter, and even Robert who loves a good fight, a good drink and a good wench for dessert.

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When did Renly ever have straight tendencies in the book? He was arrogant and very flashy, but nowhere did you ever see him hitting on women in the books. It was always heavily implied that he was gay.

He talks about impregnating women- specifically Margery Tyrell. Sounds pretty straight to me. Also, he spoke about her being hot.

Wearing flashy clothes is overrated as a "sign" of gayness.

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I see. Well I do somewhat agree with that. Book Renly is also described as being big and strong, as big as Robert was. And I'm not sure Book Renly would be as influenced by Loras, who practically pushes Renly to declare himself king. That said while Book Renly might be an effective warrior as he's good in everything he does, he's not described as particularly martial or some macho hard man. Not someone who loves a fight. In fact the book plays up this contrast between him and Stannis the hard nosed fighter, and even Robert who loves a good fight, a good drink and a good wench for dessert.

It's been a while -- but I remember Loras having a strong influence on Renly -- and I don;t remember him supposed to be as Large as Robert. Am I just hazy on those memories?

And they certainly set up Renly last season with the being squeamish and hating to hunt - so this is clearly the direction they intended. Not just something that happened in this episode.

Aslo - maybe it's hard to notice -- but I do think Renly acted in the show as though he realizes how stunning Marg is -- just doesn;t really want to go there. I mean - a moment ago Loras says he's gonna go get his sister, she turns up half naked - and he seems to be impressed with her -- yet maybe is just scared to upset the apple cart with his lover?

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I don't disagree. But Sansa has been traumatized. As others have observed, did you notice how much she looked like Cersei this episode? She is doing her best to identify herself with her captors, to make herself less vulnerable. She is saying all the "right" words.

Hence the importance of Sansa's scene with Shae. She is desperately looking for an ally. Tonight's episode brilliantly and subtly expressed the plight of poor Sansa.

She started wearing in the Southron way on tv last season. I believe Ned notices in the AGoT and thinks that Cat would not like it or she changes it before they leave Winterfell and Cat doesn't like it. I don't have the book near to research it.

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Although the Sansa/Shae was forced, book Sansa herself did think to herself how sullen and sulky Shae was. She caught "looks" out of the corner of her eye, or somesuch.

From a non-reader perspective, the Myrcella selling scene was confusing. My gf said "but wait, did he just promise her to 3 different people? Why?" So I had to explain it. I think we've lost a great deal of the reasoning behind Tyrion's actions, even if the scene was well done. Missed him ticking off his fingers, though.

It was quite obvious, actually. Trying to root out the spy.

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Craster can't kill Jon. It is one thing to beat him around a bit and kick them out. Killing a brother would likely mean the end of Craster. His house, his rules, but he has one small axe, and there are 200? armed brothers there. Their allowance of him is because he helps them. (and he profits greatly from this) He knows he would be dead in a second if he really makes a heavy move. (look at what happens later)

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