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[Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

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Really good episode overall:

- in the credits, I was a bit disappointed that Harrenhal didn't move...but then again, it's a dead place

- I really liked how they did the battle of Oxcross, showing us the cost of the war to ordinary men (they really like fart jokes, don't they)

- Roose Bolton was effectively creepy: "a naked man holds few secrets, a flayed man holds none."

- That must have been the weirdest meet-cute ever, but I liked the back and forth between Robb and Tanissa from Volantis/Jeyne.

- Sansa's torture kicked off what was a really grim episode in terms of torture; we've had violence, we've had sex, we've had sexual violence, but now torture as well. I'm sure the SanSan fans will be happy with the Hand's screentime, but I was really impressed by how well Tyrion and Sansa played off eachother.

- I found the sexual torture scene with Ros really hard to take, worse in some ways than Harrenhal.

- I liked LF's scenes with Renly and Margaery, he's being clever again, and I liked that they teased us with his role in Margaery's marriages.

- Harrenhal was really grim, almost a concentration camp, but I liked seeing Arya's prayer grow. The new Mountain was big enough not to disappoint me, but I think the Tickler took the cake for gruesomest figure of the night.

- the scene with Catelyn and LF was good, and I thought the inclusion of Ned's bones gave Tyrion's ploy more heft.

- the meeting between Stannis and Renly was amazing. So close to the books.

- I thought the Qartheen were lippy, interrupting bastards. I really wanted Daenerys to slap that smug bastard across his big chops

- Not knowing what the hell sumai is (I think this is new), Xaro Xoan Daxos' scene lost a little something. I thought the actor was quite good overall, but that little bit didn't quite work. I noticed Pyat Pree in the background, but couldn't see Quaithe.

- I liked Tywin's arrival, and how his pragmatism plays off the Mountain's sadism, and I thought the change to have Arya as Tywin's cupbearer was really good.

- I loved how quickly Tyrion broke Lancel. Barely five seconds.

- the scene between Stannis and Davos was excellent, giving us the backstory they've teased before, the scene between Davos and Melisandre was evertyhing I thought it would be.

- the shadowbaby birth was quite otherworldly...but I was expecting to see the outcome, and felt a bit teased when it cut to black.

Edited by Vikingkingq

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

No, she didn't add him.

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Also I was a bit disappointed in The Tickler. Just the fact that he wasn't as creepy as I imagined. Still the Harrenhal scenes were the highlight IMO.

Many people have said this, and others have nicely refuted it, but I think it bears repeating:

The Tickler is not supposed to look creepy. He's supposed to look plain and ordinary. For fuck's sake, people, villains are not always ugly and evil-looking, twirling their mustaches, that's the whole point of the Tickler.

Ahem, rant over.

3. Ros is a character on the show. Get the fuck over it. Her role is not a waste of space, she is providing a great narrative, and she is smoking hot. She is also nailing her role. the look of fear on her face as Joffrey forces her to beat her fellow worker was some of the best acting on tonight's episode, and as I already mentioned, this is remarkable because of how well acted this series is.

Ros serves no purpose but hamfisted redundancy and, no, I will not get over it.

What Balefont said. I like the show and I don't mind most of the changes... but no, I will not get "the fuck" over it. She is a waste of screen time. That scene was useless, we already know Joffrey's a sadistic prick. Ros is the Creator's Pet and a Scrappy, period.

Note, I have nothing against the actress herself. Her acting is fine, she looks good etc. I'm blaming entirely D&D for their stupid insertion of their pet fanfiction into the story.

1. Tyrion thought about getting Joffrey a whore, but never acted upon it. The scene with Joffrey and the whores was unnecessary. We know he's awful, and right now, he's more awful than Cersei And Theon combined.

2. I liked the setting up of the Tyrion/Sansa/Sandor thing, though when Sandor gave her his cloak, I just screamed, "Not now, damn it, not now!".

3. Arya as Tywin's cupbearer. What in the hell are the writers/directors/producers doing?

4. Harrenhal looked exactly as I imagined it. husband said the same thing.

5. Really liked Tyrion's exchange with Lancel. Peter Dinklage is great as always, and Eugene Simon did an outstanding job as Lancel.

6. The torture scenes at Harrenhal--good, but I wanted to hear the words of the interrogation, all of them? Did they really need to edit the whole "is there gold in the village?" questioning.

7. Davos is rowing Melisandre over to give birth to a shadow baby to kill Renly? Why, why, why? He despised doing it to kill Ser Cortnay Penrose, and it made us love him for hating Melisandre and for hating doing this duty for Stannis. Davos involved in Renly's death? Writers, etc. Why?

8. Hated Renly saying he loved his brother, Stannisq, once. Renly never loved Stannis and would never say this. And Stannis' offer to make him heir? So out of character given his feelings for Renly that it is laughable.

9. Margaery and Baelish have a conversation about at Renly's camp about the status of her marriage. Natalie Dormer did well, but again writers/producers, why?

10. Baelish brings Cat Ned's bones. Now the episode is bordering on being ludicrous.

11. I assume we met Jeyne Westerling tonight. If so, I like the tv version much better than the book version. Except for the fact that this Jeyne Westerling reminds me nothing of the Jeyne Westerling of the books, but hey, I'm sure the writers/directors/producers will figure out some bizarre way to deal with Sybell Spicer giving her daughter moon tea next season.

12. Qarth--was another wtf?

13. Caprice van Houten did a great job in the birthing of the shadow baby scene. First time I liked her.

14. Best things about this episode--Harrenhall and the shadow baby.

I like show... but I am also very critical of it. That said, I find most (not all) of your complains to be unreasonable, sorry.

1. I agree that was completely unnecessary. No argument there. Mostly, it was too long. I don't mind if they showed something that Tyrion thought of doing but never did, per se, but the scene dragged on for way too long for very little gain. Kind of like Sansa and Shae last episode. What is it with prostitutes always being in the most annoying scenes? :|

2. Seriously? You wanna bitch about that? Come on.

3. Compressing. Duh. Arya spends a LOT of time at Harrenhal in ACoK and they can't show everything of it. I am a bit apprehensive about this myself, but I'll be glad so long as we get to see the Weasel soup later.

6. See #2.

7. Again, compressing. There is no way they're going to cast Cortnay Penrose if they haven't cast the Reeds or the Blackfish... so they merged the two assassinations into one. A smart change considering the time and budget constraint. Let's be reasonable, folks.

8. Already refuted.

9. Agreed, seemed like a bit of a waste. My guess is that it serves to foreshadow Littlefinger's plotting with the Tyrells later on, but it was still kinda awkward. Most Littlefinger scenes seem to be. :\

10. Eh. See #2. Why is that such a big deal? Not sure what will happen to those bones once Catelyn escapes Renly's camp though...

11. I like that Jeyne is strong-willed and smart-mouthed, rather than the meek, insipid girl we knew from the book. But I don't like the whole "pretending to be a foreign commoner" part at all. If Robb sleeps with her, then learns she's highborn and is forced to marry her after "deflowering" her, it removes responsibility from Robb's mistakes. I hope that's not what will happen...

12. Did you expect to see Vaes Tolorro? I'm sure it got cut for budget reasons. Instead we had this confrontation, which worked out fine. I just thought it was dumb that Dany couldn't show the dragons at all... budget, okay, but come on, it's just silly.

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@ Caro99

I know you are in my crowd (sansan shippers). Was the cloak really enough to satisfy shippers like us? Was it a good Sansan episode? I would PM you, but it’s not working right now…

Why didn’t Sandor say enough??

I don’t see any reasons why they would not do it (HBO)…

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Oh yeah, forgot to give the obligatory props to Dinklage for once again stealing the show. He nails it as always, and his lines are always the best. The scene with Meryn was beautiful, and of course Lancel's grovelling was perfect.

- I loved how quickly Tyrion broke Loras. Barely five seconds.

That was Lancel, not Loras. ;)

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I liked the modus operandi they picked for the Tickler-if I understand it correctly, the rat claws it's way through human flesh to get away from the fire?

Dinkage and Dance-making me like the Lannisters.

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Wait wait wait wait wait-- What's the purpose of Davos smuggling Melisandre's devil shadow baby shit in through the gates if her previous birthed shadow thing has not yet killed Renly?

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Many people have said this, and others have nicely refuted it, but I think it bears repeating:

The Tickler is not supposed to look creepy. He's supposed to look plain and ordinary. For fuck's sake, people, villains are not always ugly and evil-looking, twirling their mustaches, that's the whole point of the Tickler.

Ahem, rant over.

It's called the banality of evil, folks.

Keep in mind, Sansa thinks that pretty=good and ugly=bad. We don't want to think like Sansa, do we folks?

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I wish the Qartheen characters had foreign accents, but they didn't, so that was a bit jarring.

I also liked that Xaro is now from the summer isles, to keep with the lore.

Edited by Frumpus

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I really liked Tywin riding up like he owns the place, great intro for him in season 2.

Tywin thanks you for your thoughts

Really great episode, I thought the Joffrey scene was unnecessary. I get the argument/point it's a message for Tyrion, I'd just rather have used the time for something else, like setting up Stannis ("King Stannis he's calling himself", to paraphrase, is a line I love).

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gave it a 7. Some really great scenes that were like watching the book come to life and some really poorly written scenes that made me cringe.

I liked:

Tyrion. They have kept his scenes very close to the book material and his character and scenes have flourished because of it. Lancel did a great job with his part as well.

Tickler: Looked as I imagined, nice mention of the brotherhood, though it brings to question why they didn’t have Ser Amory looking for the brotherhood instead of Gendry last episode. As I suspected, we are asked to believe that Ser Amory personally went searching for Gendry by name with his patrol but didn’t even get the basic physical description that he was dark haired, and so they believed Arya’s lie. Harrenhal looked pretty cool, but one of my non-reader friends was confused on where all these other people came from and what village they were asking about during the torture since we never saw a village on the show or any captives being taken from them.

Shadow baby: Awesome scene. I didn’t like some of the dialogue leading up to it, such as Mel suggesting that Davos wanted her, but the birthing looked about perfect. Apparently there is some confusion among non readers because it was more black smoke baby than shadow, but it worked for me.

Stannis and Davos, though I wish Stannis would have recounted the entire story behind the Onion Knight, so that the rotten onion comment by Mel would have had more meaning for non-readers.

Dislikes:

Joffrey and the whores. Not because it was poorly acted, it wasn’t, and not because Joffrey wouldn’t possibly do this, he might. It just was a REALLY long scene when you include Tyrion’s dialogue with the Hound setting it up, and it didn’t add anything of importance to the story. This is the type of original scene that I really dislike, not because it wasn’t in the book, but because so many great scenes from the book have to be cut due to time restrictions, but they find so much time for this rather pointless scene. If there was 20 episodes for this season it would be a minor foot note, but with only 10 time is precious and there are better things they could spend that time on.

Qarth: This scene was really awkwardly written. Dany threatening that she is going to come back and burn the city down later, when she admits that if they don’t let her in, she and her group will die? In the context of TV game of thrones, why don’t the Thirteen just force her to give up her dragons? Her Kalisar in the books is weak, but still several hundred people even if many are women, elderly and Xaro comes to her in the dead city that Dany is camped at and recovering and invites her to come so that the 13 can pay homage and see her dragons. But in the show for her to threaten them when they are basicly her only hope for survival rather than just show them at least one of the dragons seemed silly.

The fart joke leading up to the Stark attack. Two fart jokes in the first four episodes isn’t exactly what I would go with if your trying to get fantasy to be taken seriously and not as sophomoric entertainment. Disappointing that all the battles have to be cut due to budget. Nice to see the flash of Grey Wind though. I also think they are way over playing Renly and Loras’ relationship, it’s something that many readers miss on until it is pointed out, and never struck me as something that common men-at-arms would have any knowledge of.

Other thoughts:

Cat and Littlefinger was well acted, but I’m not sure I like where it is going if it results in Jamie being released before Rickon and Bran’s “death”.

Missed not seeing Renly’s peach and seeing Lightbringer glowing for the first time.

Reserving judgement on Talisa from Volantis and what appears to be a romantic story line for Robb.

Reserving judgement on Arya being Tywin’s cup bearer. It seems like Arya not “thinking” about naming Tywin as one of her 3 is much more far fetched if she is interacting with him daily.

Also one has to question in the context of the TV show how Tyrion was able to stop Sansa's beating. In the books he threatens to tell Cersei and that cows him, but in the show Joffrey has already threatened to kill Cersei... So why didn't he just over ride Tyrion at the least, or threaten to kill him?

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Wait wait wait wait wait-- What's the purpose of Davos smuggling Melisandre's devil shadow baby shit in through the gates if her previous birthed shadow thing has not yet killed Renly?

They condensed it into just one shadow baby. so there's going to be no courtnay penrose.

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Oh yeah, forgot to give the obligatory props to Dinklage for once again stealing the show. He nails it as always, and his lines are always the best. The scene with Meryn was beautiful, and of course Lancel's grovelling was perfect.

That was Lancel, not Loras. ;)

Yeah, they're both so pretty I mixed up the name for a second. I love how everyone knows about Loras and Renly.

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As I suspected, we are asked to believe that Ser Amory personally went searching for Gendry by name with his patrol but didn’t even get the basic physical description that he was dark haired, and so they believed Arya’s lie. Harrenhal looked pretty cool, but one of my non-reader friends was confused on where all these other people came from and what village they were asking about during the torture since we never saw a village on the show or any captives being taken from them.

Amory said that his patrol ran across the goldcloaks, which would make sense why the telephone game dropped the description.

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It's called the banality of evil, folks.

Keep in mind, Sansa thinks that pretty=good and ugly=bad. We don't want to think like Sansa, do we folks?

Indeed! Thank you.

If there was 20 episodes for this season it would be a minor foot note, but with only 10 time is precious and there are better things they could spend that time on.

Quoted for truth. We've all said it repeatedly, but it's worth repeating. Maybe, just maybe, if enough people bring it up, the notion will reach D&D's ears somehow and they'll cut the crap in S3. (A girl can dream.)

Qarth: This scene was really awkwardly written. Dany threatening that she is going to come back and burn the city down later, when she admits that if they don’t let her in, she and her group will die?

LOL, I hadn't even thought of that, but you're right. I liked the scene well enough despite the no-dragon-showing flaw, but I might have to revise that opinion... it's a totally empty threat. Well, to be fair the 13 did seem to consider it as such, and Xaro didn't seem to come out because he was cowed by her threats, but still, it's pretty dumb overall... hmm.

The fart joke leading up to the Stark attack. Two fart jokes in the first four episodes isn’t exactly what I would go with if your trying to get fantasy to be taken seriously and not as sophomoric entertainment.

Agreed completely. I was also annoyed at Dolorous Edd making fart jokes when he has so many good lines from the novels.

Edited by Morrigan

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@ Caro99

I know you are in my crowd (sansan shippers). Was the cloak really enough to satisfy shippers like us? Was it a good Sansan episode? I would PM you, but it’s not working right now…

Why didn’t Sandor say enough??

I don’t see any reasons why they would not do it (HBO)…

hey Maroucia, you must see the episode, it's really good! the reason why he didn't say enough i think was cause the scene in itself was just too quick. if he had, then there would've had to be a reaction of joff and the whole court as to why the Hound said that... but that's just my opinion. i do think it was a good san/san episode. of course, we would love to have more on-screen time with these two, but the show did manage to do (again, in my opinion) something better than in the book. when tyrion orders someone to give sansa something to cover herself with, instead of the Hound just throwing the white cloak at sansa as in the book, we see Sandor walk towards sansa and "casually" wrap the cloak around her. it's just seems more intimate and nice to me :) hope that satisfies your curiosity for now. there is another scene with joff and the hound alone, really quick, as well.

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.

Or she could just show them the dragons.

Or she could just show them the dragons.

Or she could just show them the dragons.

Or she could just show them the dragons.

Or she could just show them the dragons.

Wow, I so totally disagree with this analysis. You're literally on your last legs, starving, dying of thirst, utterly defenseless, nowhere to go, the end of the road. You find yourself outside the gates of a rich, lush city, facing 13 cunning powerful well-fed rulers of the city, and they demand that you produce proof--proof that you have in your possession the most valuable possessions the modern world has ever known. What do you do? Show them the dragons? Great. So their guards march over to you, slit your throat, kick your starving bony ass into the bone yard and coo-coo-welcome your dragons into their possession. Buh-bye, Mother of Dragons. Your 'children' are ours, now. You're crow meat.

No. You negotiate your way into the city with hints and threats, knowing that while you hold the most valuable hand in the world (i.e., that you may have actual dragons), you're untouchable. You won't be attacked or killed, at least until these city folk get a full understanding of how to deal with you, how exactly to steal your dragons. Meanwhile, you and your troup can feed, rest, restore yourselves, get ready to protect your priceless possessions. Dany did exactly what a trained negotiator would do in this situation. She negotiated--she bought time for herself and her group to heal and gain strength. They'll deal with whatever comes next when it comes, but meanwhile, she saved herself, her troup and her dragons.

Show them the dragons? She would have died on the spot.

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