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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.

Wenching, food and drink, yeah, but even Renly's wiki description mentions that he enjoys fighting (tourneys) and hunting.

That's what I mean. Much more a man's man in the classical sense than in the sense they chose to emphasize.

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Over 300 notifications. Thanks guys :P I am glad to see that, as was the case with me, this episode revived the excitement for the show that most of us didn't feel after the first two episodes.

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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.

A gay man cant get a woman pregnant or find one "hot"? News to me. Also he is saying those things to someone, why wouldnt he say those things about his attractive wife? Renly isnt stupid, im sure he knows people know about him and Loras. But, especially in that society, has to lead on that he is straight and making babies with his wife.

Littlefinger also says he took Cats maidenhead in the book, is that true as well? No.

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To pick up on a pronunciation thing...I was disconcerted by how Margaery pronounced her family's last name - something like "Tirrel". I've always pronounced it "Tie-Rell" or to that effect.

That's it for now, maybe I'll check back in later if there's more actual discussion of the episode and less trolling back and forth.

It makes sense because Tyrion is not pronounced Tie-rion.

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A gay man cant get a woman pregnant or find one "hot"? News to me.

Also he is saying those things to someone, why wouldnt he say those things about his attractive wife? Renly isnt stupid, im sure he knows people know about him and Loras. But, especially in that society, has to lead on that he is straight and making babies with his wife.

Littlefinger also says he took Cats maidenhead in the book, is that true as well? No.

Again, I don't think 'this society' is homophobic, or even really makes exclusionary sexual definitions.

Most societies didn't in history. Really only beginning with Judeo-Christian and then onto Muslim cultures.

We tend to misunderstand this...as in, other cultures were 'ok' with being gay, or more 'tolerant' or whatever, when the point is tolerance or being ok with it never really came up. It wasn't an issue, and being gay wasn't an either/or thing.

It would be discussed only in terms of how different manifestations of heterosexuality are discussed now; promiscuity vs. chastity, dominant vs. submissive, etc. Not 'are you gay or are you straight' and the acceptance or rejection of the former.

And in that Westeros wasn't ever influenced by Judeo-Christianity, my sense is they don't really draw hard lines there either. Not in the books.

For example, Oberynn's fairly open bisexuality doesn't seem to cause any confusion for failure to conform to one group or another. It's mentioned like any other taste.

Edited by James Arryn

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Regarding Sansa/Shae...

I know others would have preferred more screentime for Sansa/Hound or even establish Sansa's relationship to Dontos before people even forget who this guy was from the pilot...

But let's not forget that Sansa doesn't exactly escape King's Landing until late in Book 3, after Joffrey's wedding. And we may not even see that in season 3.

So there's still a lot of time to develop Sansa and tell her character arc over the next two seasons before she ultimately escapes. And also having Shae as her handmaiden will make the juxtaposition even more interesting when Sansa becomes betrothed to Tyrion.

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For example, Oberynn's fairly open bisexuality doesn't seem to cause any confusion for failure to conform to one group or another. It's mentioned like any other taste.

You have an odd definition of open. For a guy who carts his bastards and mistresses around and revels in his reputation as a poison wielding scoundrel, he actually is very discreet about his male affairs. The only reason we know about them is because other people tell stories about them, as if they were something salacious on par with his use of poison.

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A great episode overall: Tyrion owned every second of his camera time, Theon and Greyjoys were fantastic, Sam & Gilly scene ... they need more of those! Brienne was.. just... proper adjective to describe my many feelings not yet invented

the only problem - Shae

Can someone please explain to me why Tyrion still hasn't slapped her bitch-ass off the highest tower? I wasn't exactly a fan of her in the books, but at least book-Shae was sweet in all her airhead~ness and could sound lovey-dovey to her Lion of Lannister when needed.... tv-Shae is nothing but rude!

She couldn't even be passably polite in her new handmaid job to Sansa

Edited by Chise

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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?

He was definitely described as big as Robert. In fact Renly looked a lot like a young Robert, before he got fat. And I don't remember Loras as having any influence on Renly at all. In fact while Loras absolutely adored Renly I don't remember Renly taking any special notice of Loras at all in the book.

I don't remember Renly saying anything specific about hunting in the book, but if I had to guess what Book Renly would think about it, I think he wouldn't enjoy it much or want to waste his time on it, though if he did it he'd probably be very good at it.

Wenching, food and drink, yeah, but even Renly's wiki description mentions that he enjoys fighting (tourneys) and hunting.

That's what I mean. Much more a man's man in the classical sense than in the sense they chose to emphasize.

I don't remember that from the book and the wiki has no source. The book does have Renly saying about

“My royal brother loves tournaments and feasts,”

about Robert like it's not something he loves.

Then there is “Lord Renly spends more on clothing than half the ladies of the court.” or“They are quite a pair, Stannis and Renly. The iron gauntlet and the silk glove.” or "Even as a boy, Renly had loved bright colors and rich fabrics" All of which looks pretty stereotypical.

Edited by ace

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I was reading earlier, but the pages built up faster than I can follow haha. Anyways- my thoughts on a few issues raised in this thread

re: Why didn't Craster kill Jon? It might be that, whatever else Craster does with his get, he still abides by the Guest Rights, which seem to be particularly important to the old gods of the north. He might not be able to kill Jon, without violating guest rights. Even though Jon followed him, he's still eaten there, and is protected until he leaves.

re: Lommy/Gendry/Lorch/Etc. I think it works, as a method of cutting through some ultimately extraneous moving about on the part of Arya&co. I do think its a bit clunky though, and doesn't hold up too well to scrutiny. In the book, Lorch never identifies himself, or which king he's for before burning the holdfast. When Arya&co are later caught be the Mountain, he's not looking for Gendry anyways. Gendry thus is able to stay pretty well under the radar. Expecting Lommy 'I Yield' Greenhands to pass as a much older boy, and a smith's apprentice to boot, stretches the suspension of disbelief. I would have thought Lorch would be cut, honestly. Lorch,Hoat&Clegane (L.L.C) are all doing the same basic thing in the Riverlands. The Mountain is too important to cut, and it seems Hoat has several things to do that require him to be present, Bloody Mummers and all. Seems like we could have worked around Lorch more than anyone else- all he has to do is burn out the holdfast, then get eaten by a bear.

re: Yara&theGreyjoys. I'm reserving judgment on Yara until we see a bit more of her as a character, and less as a set piece. Most of her scenes have her just standing around, not doing much so far. I agree with a previous poster who mentioned its a problem in the eyes- they aren't hungry enough. Families have certain personality types that repeat themselves in this world. More than one Baratheon is shown to be an id driven glory hound- from the Laughing Storm to King Robert, First of His Name. The Greyjoys exhibit a few types, also. Aeron (pre-damphair), Euron, Theon (pre-Reek), and Asha were all fond of teasing, bragging, bravado, etc. Asha is more like the Crow's Eye than she cares to admit, and less like either Balon or Victarion, or the new Damphair. I would expect her to be more fiery. Quicker of wit, and sharper of tongue. She's got time to come into the role, though.

re: Ms. Tyrell. I like her. I always thought she was more involved than Sansa realized, or Cersei could suss out. With the age-up factor considered, its only natural that she's a player of the game. She is where Sansa will be, once Littlefinger gets his little fingers on her. Her willingness to include Loras in producing a royal heir is a nice parallel to Jamie&Cersei, I think. Ambition will make monsters of us all, it seems.

re: Renly&Loras deep in prayer. Much ado about nothing. Risque, perhaps by the social mores of a by-gone era. To be honest, I like that HBO, and B&W, took the risk. Even if its not to my taste, aesthetically speaking.

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What is that thing that Sam gave Gilly? I tried to look at it but I have no idea. How do you use that thing when you stitch?

Edited by DirePenguin

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I winced during the Shae/Sansa scene, I think because even book Shae wouldn't mouth off to Sansa so blatantly. I think Sansa's reaction to Shae's forwardness and cluelessness was exactly right - someone like Sansa, who's had maids and servants her whole life, probably wouldn't even be able to imagine that a maid wouldn't know what she was doing. Sansa probably thinks poor girls are just born knowing how to serve. I thought Shae was way too forward, though, even for a pretty forward and scheming character.

Asha and Theon - After two episodes, I'm a huge Gemma fan! She doesn't look like I picture Asha, but I LOVE her voice and her inflection. It's completely different than I imagined, but it works really well for me. The show is doing a great job bringing the Ironborn to life, and Theon's horrible future is making my skin crawl as I watch him pass his decision points. It wasn't quite so dramatic in the book for me with Theon's mental state. Until later, obviously.

And Yoren..sigh. Love him in the book, loved him in the show. GRRM killed him off way too soon!

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but two prostitutes rehearsing never gets old and two men kissing is just kinda "why bother?"

Your privilege is showing.

Speaking for myself, rehearsing prostitutes got old real fast.

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What is that thing that Sam gave Gilly? I tried to look at it but I have no idea. How do you use that thing when you stitch?

A thimble! ;)

Edited by Arkash

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Did anyone else think that as well as a nice metaphor about Tyrion and a lovely Allegory on Power, Varys' much previewed speech at the end was a clue (to the audience and to Tyrion) that Littlefinger was a player in Ned's execution? (Small man casting a large shadow, who was to blame for Ned's death, just after Tyrion has made LF look foolish then sent him on a vital mission...)

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He was definitely described as big as Robert. In fact Renly looked a lot like a young Robert, before he got fat. And I don't remember Loras as having any influence on Renly at all. In fact while Loras absolutely adored Renly I don't remember Renly taking any special notice of Loras at all in the book.

I don't remember Renly saying anything specific about hunting in the book, but if I had to guess what Book Renly would think about it, I think he wouldn't enjoy it much or want to waste his time on it, though if he did it he'd probably be very good at it.

I don't remember that from the book and the wiki has no source.

Can't speak to source, just the consistency with the other aspects.

The book does have Renly saying about

“My royal brother loves tournaments and feasts,”

about Robert like it's not something he loves.

Yeah, but was wasn't that meant more in the passive context, as in how tourney are like feasts? Can you give me the context?

Then there is “Lord Renly spends more on clothing than half the ladies of the court.” or“They are quite a pair, Stannis and Renly. The iron gauntlet and the silk glove.” or "Even as a boy, Renly had loved bright colors and rich fabrics" All of which looks pretty stereotypical.

I don't agree. Look at the list of great warriors. Jaime's golden armor, Tywin dresses magnificently. Pretty much every great Targ/Blackfyre warrior dressed to excess.

You're applying modern standards...where dressing to impress (in certain cultures/areas) can connote homosexual or effeminate leanings...with medieval ones, wherein it was pretty much the standard way for nobility to outwardly distinguish themselves, and the monarchs/nobles who were considered great at public relations were almost always considered to place a high priority on how they dressed.

Edited by James Arryn

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Speaking for myself, rehearsing prostitutes got old real fast.

Agreed.

It's funny how some guys can't place themselves inside anyone's head but their own. Especially since even the most elementary observation would show him that straight women and gay men exist.

It's like someone who hates cake wondering why a bakery opened up nearby since "No-one likes that stuff anyway."

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Good acting overall and several good scenes, just like in the previous episodes. I have mixed feelings about Natalie Dormer, though. In terms of performance, she seems to be at least a decent choice (based on the few scenes she appeared in), but her scenes didn't work too well, IMO. In fact, I'd have preferred a bit less nudity, because the focus is shifted away from the performance and the core of the scene. I think a less direct approach would've worked better. This episode was slightly better written than the first two episodes, although it wasn't as exciting as the second one.

Good:

  • Brienne! Her size, mannerisms and her looks is spot on. The character seems a bit stiff and dry, but I think that's deliberate, because that's the impression I got from the character in the book as well. It remains to be seen if the actor can manage to bring out some of the edginess and sadness of the character, though.
  • The scene with Bran Stark and Luwin. Well written and good acting from these guys, as usual. Nice subjective shooting.
  • The sequence in which Tyrion outwits Pycelle. Interesting editing work there.
  • The scene with Theon and Balon Greyjoy. Malahide is without doubt (at least IMO), one of the best additions to the cast in season 2.
  • The last sequence. A short, but well-acted scene by Maisie and the leader of the group (don't remember his name). Cool fighting scenes and a nice cliffhanger.

Bad:

  • Not too enthusiastic about the love scene with Renly and Loras. The scene with Renly and Margaery wasn't too 'erotic' or sexy either, as mentioned earlier. But to be fair, I find 'love' scenes in general to be rather boring and too direct.
  • Shae's scenes. It's hard to come up with a rational explanation here, but I simply don't like the attitude of the character. Although the acting isn't terrible, it's not particularly good either, IMO. In many ways, I feel Sibel is miscast in her role.

I'd rate this episode 7 out of 10. I still think the second episode has been the best so far. But the show was never boring (my interest dropped just a bit in some of the weaker scenes).

So far the beginning of season one has been a bit stronger than season two, but I hope this season will improve as the 'expository/introductory' stuff starts to give way to more conflicts and intrigue. Last year, I seem to remember that after a strong beginning, it dropped a little bit, but by mid-season it got better and better again, and they managed to keep up the quality all the way to the last episode.

Edited by Arya The Assassin

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Can't speak to source, just the consistency with the other aspects.

Yeah, but was wasn't that meant more in the passive context, as in how tourney are like feasts? Can you give me the context?

It was in an Eddard chapter where the small council discusses the Hand's tourney. Here's a fuller quote:

"Littlefinger gave a shrug. “The master of coin finds the money. The king and the Hand spend it.”

“I will not believe that Jon Arryn allowed Robert to beggar the realm,” Ned said hotly.

Grand Maester Pycelle shook his great bald head, his chains clinking softly. “Lord Arryn was a prudent man, but I fear that His Grace does not always listen to wise counsel.”

“My royal brother loves tournaments and feasts,” Renly Baratheon said, “and he loathes what he calls ‘counting coppers.’ “

“I will speak with His Grace,” Ned said. “This tourney is an extravagance the realm cannot afford.”

“Speak to him as you will,” Lord Renly said, “we had still best make our plans.”

“Another day,” Ned said. Perhaps too sharply, from the looks they gave him. He would have to remember that he was no longer in Winterfell, where only the king stood higher; here, he was but first among equals. “Forgive me, my lords,” he said in a softer tone. “I am tired. Let us call a halt for today and resume when we are fresher.” He did not ask for their consent, but stood abruptly, nodded at them all, and made for the door."

My impression is that Renly is quite condescending about Robert's desires and it's not something he personally loves.

I don't agree. Look at the list of great warriors. Jaime's golden armor, Tywin dresses magnificently. Pretty much every great Targ/Blackfyre warrior dressed to excess.

You're applying modern standards...where dressing to impress can connote homosexual or effeminate leanings...with medieval ones, wherein it was pretty much the standard way for nobility to outwardly distinguish themselves, and the monarchs/nobles who were considered great at public relations were almost always considered to place a high priority on how they dressed.

Jaime and Tywin are Lannisters. They "shit gold". Same for the Targs, it was important for their image, There are many warriors who are described differently, the Cleganes, Stannis, Robert, Lord Beric, Bronn, the Kingsguard etc. All are described as simply dressed. And we're not talking about Renly's armor here though there also Renly is described as caring more about aesthetics than function. He simply buys a lot of colorful soft silk outfits.

We also have Stannis saying "What has Renly ever done to earn a throne? He sits in council and jests with Littlefinger, and at tourneys he dons his splendid suit of armor and allows himself to be knocked off his horse by a better man. That is the sum of my brother Renly, who thinks he ought to be a king. I ask you, why did the gods inflict me with brothers?”

Now even considering that Stannis is a bitter old man ranting about Renly that still suggests Renly is hardly a great warrior.

Edited to add: And yes I'm applying modern standards, or should I say stereotypes and that's the point, because they are in the book. And various different people repeatedly describe Renly with these modern gay stereotypes.

Edited by ace

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