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[Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

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I want to mention that I wasn't impressed with Tywin's entrance at Harrenhal. Since when does Tywin walk around prisoners and start questioning them about about their professions? Like all other snobby high lords in the book, Tywin barely even notices the existence of low-borns. Doing something like that is beneath him in his eyes. Arya only saw him from far away, almost like a mythical figure. This only worked with Roose because he knew she was somehow involved with Weasel Soup. I don't mind her being Tywin's cupbearer since I already saw that coming, but the way they went about it seemed quite contrived.

Edited by vanille

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Did anything at all happen between Sandor and Sansa in this week’s episode?? I didn't see anything in the recap, I'm downloading the episode RIGHT NOW, but this is driving me mad!!! I need to know!!! :bawl:

If any of you want to do a good action, please tell me…

No, I'm sorry :(

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This is my favorite episode so far, mostly because I'm really into the idea of sticking to the book. I thought that it was okay that they compressed "Nan"'s cupbearing for Roose into cupbearing for Tywin, altho it'll be interesting to see how she handles her anger...butterfly effect, majorly. I also thought it was cute when Tywin called her clever for dressing and cutting her hair like a boy.

I fully expect her to bear cups for both. She gets Jaqen's promise next episode it looks like so she will eventually brew up some Weasel stew and help the Northerners take Harrenhall.

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Here’s my point: Cut some things, I get it. But if the fastest way from A to B is a straight line and (and- don’t forget this next part when you argue with me) the story is not dramatically improved by the pointless detour… SKIP IT!

Ah, but the pacing for episode 5 may be dramatically improved by the pointless detour...perhaps.

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To everyone who commented about the rather long, spiky thing (was it a scepter, a weapon?) Joffrey handed Ros to use on the other girl, I so expected her to do something else with it too. Rather shocked when this did not happen.

Also, Charles Dance is so wonderful as Tywin Lannister. I'm happy whenever he is on the screen.

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Would anyone else just love an extra episode titled - "Arya's adventures - uncut!?" I would love that. And a 3 hour special. One can always dream.

I sometimes think if the books were ONLY Arya, I would like them almost as much as I do now.

Far and away my favorite character and probably the one closest to the books in the entire show.Having said that, following Arya's storyline too closely could almost fill the entire season itself. There is a ton of plot for Arya, and I expected them to condense it like thy have. Even having read the books three times I lose track of all the changes in command at Harrenhal. I think they are choosing wisely here.

I think this episode is pretty pivotal to the success of the show going forward because despite there being dragons, the shadow baby is really hardcore magic and it could have a jumping the shark effect on some people. I hope not.

Edited by johnnysd

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So, there are many episodes in the Series “Game of Thrones.” And this … was one of them. Good, but not great. Let’s start off with some things nice to say:

This is what I liked:

Stannis Baratheon, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the Roynar and the First Men : I said last episode that the thing I liked about Maergery Tyrell was that she was ”In it to Win it”; she wasn’t about loving Renly or bringing peace to the realm or any in a long line of bullshit reasons people say they do things. No, she wanted to be Queen. And this episode we are watching Stannis Baratheon find his stride: he’s King of Westeroes and everyone else is something else- either they are rebels doing rebel things (Robb) or up-jumped Lords (Renly) who don’t know their place or shitty lords out on an island (Greyjoy) or monstrous abominations (Joff), but Stannis is a King going after what is his. And they are turning Stannis into this relentless force; this cool-headed man of few words and harsh actions who knows what’s his, knows how to get it and knows what it will take to get it.

In other words, for the first time since we met him, Stannis Baratheon of the series is acting like Stannis Baratheon of the books. And its working.

(Honorable Mention: Fewer- laughed out loud at that).

The Shadow Hand: Another episode, another Peter Dinklidge virtuoso performance. This time it was that darker side; that cold hearted and piercing stare he gave Lancel. He’s said it a few times now- he won’t end up like Ned Stark. And this episode? He didn’t say it. But for the first time we saw that Tyrion Lannister is definitely not the same man Ned Stark was. In some ways he’s just as decent- saving Sansa like that. But in other ways he’s brutal and cold such as in leaving Lancel to dangle. And when all was said and done he made it clear- see this face? Others won’t see it again.

And other times? Charisma, humor, deft moves. Everything in this show comes together in Tyrion. Its a great character,well written and expertly acted. Tyrion is the best part of this show (but that was predictable).

The Lord of the West, Harrenhal Westeros: I’ll take 5 minutes of Tywin Lannister. Okay 3. Fine. But in just a few minutes we got more from Tywin than we did in the (what seemed like) 25 minutes we were standing outside of Qarth. We discovered something: Tywin rules. Tywin doesn’t order; he doesn’t torture; he doesn’t humiliate. He doesn’t grovel. He rules. Tywin Lannister: sees with his eyes; hears with his ears; a man sees.

And a man knows.

Joffery the Mad: I kinda feel like they put this scene here just to fuck with certain people. “Oh, you thought watching Renly and Loras kiss last week was rough? Oh, you want to see rough sex scenes? Well, mother-fucker, we’ll show you rough sex scenes!” And then horror ensues. People I was watching the show with were openly gasping. It was a well done and brutal scene. In order for us to get to a place where Joff’s horribleness is beyond question we need to see him be a monster. And this was monstrous! Power corrupts and being fucking nuts corrupts absolutely.

Robb Stark: Before the Battle: The shot of Robb on his horse as the Lannister soldiers are talking was phenomenal. You get the sense that Robb knows what he is doing and is not awed by himself or the task before him.

What I am on the Fence About:

Catlyn Stark: No More Useful Than in the Books: I liked that Catlyn’s character got a lot said TO her this episode; she was chided by Stannis; she got to hear LF’s deal offered; she got back Ned’s bones. But I felt the whole time that she was REACTING to what was going on and never ACTING. Now, I thought her time on the screen was valuable: she took in and tied together a lot of plot. But I thought the story would have moved better had it been relieved of Cat’s presence. In the book, Cat HAS TO be there- she has to witness the deed. But in the show? She’s hardly essential. And then you add in Petyr and it just feels so forced. I will say that I liked that Petyr made it clear that Tyrion was making this offer TO HER not to Robb, and her reaction was …. Pretty good. But overall I think Cat in the series is showing us just how slow Cat from the books was.

(Honorable Mention: Oh, and how is she going to escape camp while carrying Ned’s bones?).

Robb Stark: After the Battle: So, a lame philosophical discussion with a cute woman after the battle discussing why you attached these men? Really? Did the writer fall asleep while watching an episode of MASH? The dialog was outdated even then. Seriously, it wasn’t a bad scene, just lazy and uninspired. You’re better than that.

What I Disliked:

Or She Could Just Show Them the Dragons:

This may seem like it’s a minor issue, but it’s a little bigger than many would think. So, Dany goes to Qarth and is greeted by like 19 people- 13 of which run the city. I would have thought that if 13 people run the city they could afford more than 1.5 guards each. But whatever. Okay, so they get there and this guy who is not Illyrio, but who seems like Illyrio, greats her and her starving troupe. And she starts complaining.

Or she could just show them the dragons.

The 13 then ask- openly –to see the dragons. And Dany makes this ham-handed attempt to bypass this.

Or she could just show them the dragons.

They ask again, this time pretty forcefully. Dany begins complaining- nay threatening Qarth … in what sound slike dialog that we will hear again soon with Cersei. Burn, cow, bow, kneel; cinders blah blah blah.

Or she could just show them the dragons.

There is more talking; the fat guy who is not Illyrio waddles back and forth and says how she cannot come in. Jorah warns Dany about how she shall handle this. Things grow quiet. She is desperate now. They may not get into the city after all. Will they be forced to starve out here?

Or she could just show them the dragons.

The Summer Idles guy comes out and he starts talking about stuff WE DON’T CARE ABOUT AT ALL! And he pulls out a knife and slashes his hand and makes this bold decoration. Yes, he will let them in, but it could cost him his own head!

Or she could just show them the dragons.

Seriously, what was that? 18 minutes? Okay, it wasn’t but it sure as hell felt like it. What did we accomplish? We got to see CGIs of a city. It may have been better to have seen CGI’d dragons, but whatever. All that time standing there and watching that pointless discussion, all I could think of was:

I wonder what they will cut for this pointless scene?

And that was basically what happened to Stannis v. Renly: an absolutely compelling scene because its really the last time two men who call themselves King will meet. Its hugely important. And yet…. What’s Stannis doing there? Remember in the books when Stannis lands- Cersei almost shits herself and Renly has to FLY back to SE to intercept him. In the show? WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT STANNIS IS DOING THERE! They never even announce him; he just shows up. And where are Davos and Mel going? The show never details this to us. How come Robb attacked this place? We are never told. Where is Jaime/Bran/Jon?

But hey, at least we got to see Dany scowl and yell pointless dialog at people we have never met and would never care about.

Here’s my point: Cut some things, I get it. But if the fastest way from A to B is a straight line and (and- don’t forget this next part when you argue with me) the story is not dramatically improved by the pointless detour… SKIP IT!

Overall this was a good episode. But it could have been excellent. And that’s what has me with this sour taste in my mouth. But I will get over it. I always do.

Very well written analysis. I disagree with a key point, and I also gotta agree on a key point. I actually loved the scene were Dany was met by the Qartheen. Sure it wasn't from the books and like you said "or she could just show them the dragons" but I think it was acted out nicely and I really liked how the Qartheen were portrayed... an isolated merchant city with an eccentric culture and an eccentric people.

However your comments on the Stannis and Renly meeting really hit home for me. I liked the dialogue of the scene (for the most part) but I kept thinking "something doesn't feel right" and I feel like you hit the nail on the head. What was Stannis doing? I feel like episode 3 could have ended with a cliffhanger (and you know HBO loves their cliffhangers)...

random soldier: "king Renly, your audience is requested"

Renly (in his standard charming tone): "I would be happy to honor that request, who seeks my audience?"

random soldier: ".... it's Stannis"

BAM, cliffhanger right there. Instead we're thrown into a scene with Renly and Stannis, and since I read the books I didn't really notice how random that scene was right away, but I can only imagine how confusing that must have been for someone who hasn't read the books.

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No, I'm sorry :(

I don't understand!!! It's the fourth episode already!!! What are they doing?? :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: :bawl:

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One of the best stroke so far in the entire series is Tywin. God, he's spot-on perfect. He's not cruel, but he's not kind. He's pragmatic. Does he care that prisoners are being tortured? Nope. Does he care they prisoners are being wasted when they could be useful? Of course.

And moreover, I see more of Tyrion in him than ever. The way he walks into a scene and gives orders with complete confidence while mocking those around him. It's almost as if they wrote the scene for Tyrion and then removed the compassion. Plus, with Tyrion turning his bitchslapping Hand-ness on Lancel, the family resemblance is stronger than ever.

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I don't understand!!! It's the fourth episode already!!! What are they doing?? :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: :bawl:

I'm sorry :( And what exactly are you hoping for?

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First of all, another great episode. I gotta say, I despise Tywin Lannister in the books, but I'll be damned because Charles Dance entrance as Tywin this season was just fucking majestic! I didn't know he was going to show, so was pleasantly surprised. Even better was his timing right before poor Gendry almost got tickled.

Speaking of, the Tickler was spot on. He's supposed to be a very plain man and even Arya when she first sees him thinks he's one of the villagers This guy looks like your common dude, but then he is actually a master torturer.

Arya's prayer was something else I got excited for. Loved how after Polliver hits that woman, she immediately adds him to her prayers.

The shadow baby was fucking creepy and I loved the shot of Davos' reaction.

There's more, but I need some sleep now. I'll be much more coherent tomorrow morning anyway. :drunk:

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Did anything at all happen between Sandor and Sansa in this week’s episode?? I didn't see anything in the recap, I'm downloading the episode RIGHT NOW, but this is driving me mad!!! I need to know!!! :bawl:

If any of you want to do a good action, please tell me…

Not really, but he did rip off his white cloak and handed it to her so she can cover herself up after Joff hand Meryn Trant rip her dress. It was a quick scene and happened while Tyrion was laying the smack down on Joff.

Oh, and there was a quick shot of him casting his eyes down after Meryn ripped her dress. He did look disapproving of the situation. That's about it. Don't worry, we still have the riot, her running into him after meeting Dontos, and that scene from Blackwater coming up still. ;-)

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Some parts of the adaptation in this episode made sense to me. I didn't like the idea of Littlefinger going to Renly's camp to talk to Cat and Margaery but both scenes were effective at setting up things that are important later (Cat freeing Jaime and the Lannister/Tyrell alliance) and Michelle Fairley was quite good in her scene.

Others did not. I don't think anything new was learned about Littlefinger in his scene with Renly or about Joffrey in his scene with Ros and the prostitute with the second-worst luck in King's Landing behind Barra's mom and I was disappointed that the episode left off at the appearance of the shadow baby. Doesn't it take a lot of the shock out of what happens to Renly for it to happen next week? They already undercut it a little by removing Cortnay Penrose and showing the birth before you see it do anything. I'd have preferred it if instead of standing to pose it went about its way and they cut straight to Renly putting his armor on. That seemed like the natural end point for this episode. The cliffhanger is Renly dying and the first scene next week would be the immediate reaction of Brienne, Cat and Loras.

The way it is now it will probably happen in the first quarter of the episode next week. It's one of the pivotal moments in the series. Doesn't it deserve to cap an episode? Didn't the parley deserve more time and a little more build-up? Stannis showed up out of nowhere. We get it. Littlefinger plays all sides. Joffrey's a sociopath. And Ros has had more screen time so far this season than Bran. I assume she's taking Alalaya's place later. If so it'll be funny that she's shown to have a worse time of it from the Lannisters (and more often) than Sansa. My only question is how they're going to find a way to shoehorn her into Season 3. That'll be the real challenge. Suggestions?

Those complaints aside, good episode. Tyrion's storyline is being done justice. Introducing Jeyne this way makes sense (setting her up as a nurse and putting more into the romance between her and Robb than "She was a pretty girl who happened to be close to my bed chamber at the time," although her moral equivalence argument makes her look more like a child than it does Robb. Does she know about the horrors Tywin Lannister's armies are putting the Riverlands through? It doesn't equate to one soldier's amputated foot. But now I'm complaining again.) I guess they're showing Tywin being generous with Arya as an explanation for why he isn't first on her list for Jaqen? That makes sense too.

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sooo many things in this episode!! aww, well harrenhal and warth surpassed my expectations. those 1st looks were beautiful- right out of LotR and an arabic oasis(can't wait what they'll do with dorne). roose and talisa & the thirtheen were much better than what i thought they would be. stannis and renly did great and LF- poor guy: 4 episodes in & he's already been let down by Ross, whom he seemed to have favoured over the others, by the promise of having Harrenhal, Joff treating his "girls" in a horrid manner, almost killed by Cersei, and rejected yet again by Cat. i would be inclined to feel sorry for him if he hadn't helped killed Ned, but these are the consequences! B)

the shadow baby and the torture of that cute man with the rat by the tickler were so sick and yet i couldn't look away. loved tyrion with lancel and tywin with arya. i like the dynamic of having her be his future cupbearer. i wonder for a moment though how will they handle arya not asking jaqen to kill tywin when he is the main lannister. i mean, she served roose bolton but that was before he betrayed Robb. joff and the prostitues was really horrid. but i guess that's what would've happened in the books once he got himself in that position. but i really felt for ross and the other girl. :frown5:

but my favorite part was sansa and the hound :wub: YES, yes yes!! he may not have said "enough" but he did wrapped his cloak around her :D :bowdown: :love: considering cloak symbolism in westeros- they are bound to be together one day..! anyways... sophie and jack acted superbly here. i was so excited about this scene and then tyrion came in and then sandor went to cover poor sansa with the cloak. i supposed it is necessary, but i didn't like the impression i got of tyrion admiring sansa as she leaves the room. she certainly looked as a queen as she tried to muster her dignity, but tyrion in the books never seems to admire her (sorry, not a tyrion/sansa shipper) Rory also did a very good job in this episode. i got the impression the hound was pretending to be urging joff into the room with ross cause he must have been hoping that now joff would be directing his anger/malice to someone who wasn't his little bird :)

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I'm sorry :( And what exactly are you hoping for?

For what happened in the book.

Thank you for your empathy though!!! :)

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Speaking of, the Tickler was spot on. He's supposed to be a very plain man and even Arya when she first sees him thinks he's one of the villagers This guy looks like your common dude, but then he is actually a master torturer.

Yeah, they got his casual demeanor down perfectly. Did Arya add him to her prayers yet, or just Gregor and Polliver?

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