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[Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

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This is an episode where I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not read in the books. Lots of strong moments, but I can't help but think they didn't set up a lot of them well enough and some of the time used could have been spent better.

Stuff I liked:

--Arya's storyline continues to be strong. Glad they kept The Tickler, and I don't really mind the change of her being Tywin's cupbearer, though I'm curious as to who she'll kill in the show.

--Roose Bolton was cast well

--Tyrion and Lancel scene was pretty good, though it kind of came out of nowhere.

--Shadow Baby was also done well

--Catelyn Littlefinger scene was done well and well acted

Stuff that was meh

--Joffrey's scene with the prostitutes. Not bad, but very little gained from that, other than knowing Joffrey is a horrible sadist (who knew?)

--Renly and Stannis meeting. Seemed very rushed, adn the show has done a poor job of explaining the size disparity. I think there should have been a scene with Stannis before he met Renly, like in the books how he meets Catelyn there before Renly arrives. It just felt like it was thrown in there.

--Finally, I really did not like the Dany scene arriving at the gates of Qarth. Just felt really weird, like it was out of some 80s fantasy scholck or something. Qarth looks great, but that whole sequence just seemed silly.

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I've said this before... and I'll say it again - Tywin Lannister is a dick and degenerate bastard :bawl: BUTTT he's such a bad ass in the showww... I kinda hate myself for liking as much as I do.. It's Charles Dance, he just owns it! Him riding on horse to Harrenhal .. was just - made me weak in the knees - BEST part of the entire episode!

I loved Stannis and Davos' interactions on the boat! And I especially loved the Renly and Stannis negotiation scene (Melisandre :wub: -- and the later when she births her shadow babies, that scene was pure EPICNESS )

I have only one complaint and it's regarding Sansa, I feel like the writers have forgotten she's a POV, hence main, character. Not some random side line character for Cersei and Joffery's to emotionally and physically torture. She had one great scene last episode when she's reflecting on herself in the mirror and her interactions with Shae. Hope that changes soon.

7/10 :D

Edited by trins

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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.

Thank you Caro, you reassure me.

I was really getting nervous and loosing my will to live (Ok, I exaggerate, but still…) :crying:

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The Joffrey scene was too much, Torturing whores like that is a bit far for him, even. I can't even begin to imagine how Tyrion would react if that scene had actually occurred in the book.

Really? As if shooting quarrels at starving people is a normal thing to do? I think they are doing a great job of showing him becoming increasingly violent and sadistic.

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The thing that threw me off in the cat/LF scene was his voice had gone horse. Maybe it was more noticable cause he was speaking loudly, but I didn't notice it in the Maragaery scene and then he shows up in cats tent sounding like he'd just been to a Metallica concert.

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--Finally, I really did not like the Dany scene arriving at the gates of Qarth. Just felt really weird, like it was out of some 80s fantasy scholck or something. Qarth looks great, but that whole sequence just seemed silly.

Same, Dany's story has been weak this season.

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Ya, I had that thought as well.

I think that scenes is HBO showing us that Joffrey, while cruel, isnt entirely stupid. Hes playing the Game of Thrones and not just being a pawn of his mother.

He "thinks" that he's playing at it, exactly like his mother "thinks" that she is the master/mistress of the game.

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In regards to the comments about people complaining about how the show does not match up with the book, and how they should essentially STFU, let me say this.

I usually tell my friends that it is better to see the movie on which a book is based before reading the book. The book is always better than the movie; Imagination has no budget. The movie doesn't ruin the book, it's rather the other way around.

I have no problem with them combining various scenes and characters where needed in order to make the show work. I also don't particularly mind them adding scenes in order to give more background to characters. I sometimes wonder if Martin is particularly complicit in them, thinking that perhaps the reaction to some of his characters was not as he had expected, and therefore wants them to add scenes to give a different take on a character (i.e. Cersei, season 1).

However, what concerns me are butterfly effects. Let us take, for example, the shadowbaby birthing scene. I don't mind necessarily that they are combining the deaths of renley and the steward (? can't remember the name) of Storms' End - except, was it made clear that they were AT Storms' End? Because if so, I missed that. And that's important, because Melisandre had to be smuggled into the gates of Storms' End due to "old protective enchantments" on Storms' End, similar to those at the Wall, both perhaps built by Bran the Builder. And I think this may become important later on down the line in the series. In the episode, Melisandre didn't even explain about the enchantments, and that concerns me.

In the previous episode, they cut out Shireen entirely, and I think she will also become more important later in the series, due to her greyscale. The fact that they appear to be making Arya the cupbearer for Tywin would be okay, except that I'm wondering how they are going to handle the three deaths she is granted? If she doesn't serve under Weese, if there's no weasel soup... again, I'm just thinking about the butterfly effects. I am particularly concerned about next week's episode due to the preview. In the preview, Jaken H'quar states that he is a servant of Rhilor. Either they are changing the story line, or they are actually telling us something that hasn't been disclosed in the book series yet (or he's just outright lying).

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Christ, I had forgotten about the concept of "shippers".

Question for everyone who thinks not showing the dragons was a wise choice (sorry, IHeartSev, not picking on you, but your post was the one I read recently)... if we think they'd clip her and take the dragons if they're revealed, then why woulnd't they just kill her anyway and then see whether or not she has dragons? Are we counting on her to have convinced the Thirteen that she has dragons, but they're not with her?

Loved Harrenhal absolutely. Thought they made it look pretty much exactly as I envisioned it. Quality set execution.

Didn't really like the Joff scene; I thought it went on forever and I did feel like we'd established what a ratfuck he is anyway. BUT it did certainly do its job. Ugh.

I would have liked a little setup for Stannis showing up, and a little more screentime for the brothers' summit, I enjoyed what I did get of that.

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Concerning Ros...

Everyone indeed is entitled to their own opinion. If someone wants to have a sense of outrage that characters have been changed and added to this show, that is perfectly legitimate. I personally take a great bit of delight in noting the changes from the books, although I leave anger out of the equation now. I came to a quick realization that all I would be doing by maintaining my frustration is denying myself enjoyment in this show.

What I am suggesting, is that those who fume every time they see a change from the series and the books "get the fuck over it". Anyone here is free to take my advice, or reject it. I personally believe that watching these scenes for what they are on your television screens have merit, good story telling, are superbly acted, and are consistent to the overall theme of the story. I didn't believe that when I viewed them with lenses that were clouded by anger at the changes.

edited to say that I have no desire for anyone in these forums to STFU... I love the differing of opinions that we have here, and I relish the opportunity to discuss this show from different viewpoints.

Edited by Howdyphillip

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Agreed. At least we were spared seeing a 3 year old boy's face smashed in with a mace for the unforgiveably crime of crying for his undoubtedly dead father. And his distraught, multiple-raped mother beheaded right afterwards. The books were far more graphic, both in violent and sexual content.

Thank you! I think some people have a problem visualizing another persons interpretation of sex and violence, because everyone visualizes things differently. Sort of like how I love reading horror novels, but despise most horror movies.

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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?

You mean like she did in the books? See, that's the thing- in the books we never quibble over this point. The dragons are out in the open for all the world to see and what's protecting them is the fact that men want to use her and the dragons. We don't need some contrieved scene where an actor pulls out a knife and cuts his hand and says stuff we don't care about.

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.

What kept them from doing that anyway? Either they can march over her and she was lying or they can march over her and she has the dragons. Either way its meaningless. Why does SHOWINg them the dragons put her in more danger? They could kill them either way? /shrugs.

No. You negotiate your way into the city with hints and threats,

What hints? The hints where she threatens to- some day - burn the city down. Oh yeah, real deep thinking there. That's not "negotiating" your way into the city.

knowing that while you hold the most valuable hand in the world (i.e., that you may have actual dragons), you're untouchable.

... or she could just show them the dragons ... and be untouchable.... We get to the same place, just my way is faster.

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.

... or she could just show them the dragons... and the people can think and plot and scheme all they like. No, really, what does keeping them in the box do? Make them REALLY want to see the dragons?

Dany did exactly what a trained negotiator would do in this situation. She negotiated--

By threatening to burn the city down (one day)? I don't know many "trained negotiators" who start exclaiming how they will burn your city down. She sounded nuts, actually (which may have been the closest thing to interesting, namely that the writers want to show Dany to be a little crazy). That's not skilled negotiating; that's empty threats. And it didn't work, even in a light most favorable to your argument: the fat guy was not cowed by her and the Summer Islander guy did not let her in because of her threats. So, yeah, not sure why she did not just say, "Here are my dragons?" And I am not sure why by NOT showing them it bought her ore time....

And even if it did a scene that was not even mentioned in the books (and therefore took up no time at all), took up much needed time elsewhere in the show. That's my whole point- they could have done just as well by having us watch her march in. You know? Like the book?

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

You mean like she didn't in the books?

Edited by Rockroi

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The end sucked.. No offense loved how they showed the shadow baby... But they should of ended it with it merking off renly in the tent...

The ending definitly turned off a lot of viewers just bc of the okay... Wtf am i watching moment.. Too weird for most non book readers... If they had it do it's deed it would of made sense

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The changes to Littlefinger are starting to get to me. He wasn't so open in the novel. I thought they wrote him very well in the first season, he was exactly like I thought he'd be. Sly and always 15 steps ahead of everybody. And this season he's telling Cat he loves her and almost getting Cersei to kill him. That is not Littlefinger, he's much more cautious and calculated.

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I don't understand how people can still rate the series by comparing it constantly to the books. It's an ADAPTATION. You cannot translate every single little thing that you enjoyed from a 1000 page book onto a 10 episode season. It's impossible! You have to merge some characters, cut some points of the story and you have to re-interpret certain things to make it more palpable to the tv viewer.

The reason why Jack Gleeson got that extra scene is because 1) He's one of the best actors on the show. 2) The fans love to hate him. As far as cutting the peach out of the Baratheon parley, it's a fan favorite, sure, but not necessarily vital in that moment.

As someone said upthread, Ros is a character in the tv show. GET OVER IT. She doesn't take time away from anyone else because she's just as much a character of the TV SERIES as anyone else. Her storyline adds more depth to the main characters.

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darksister- Joff/whores scene was not in the books. Tywin chatting it up with Arya and the others was not in the books, nor was the Gendry torture scene. Robb talking to some chick on the battlefield was not either. Roose Bolton also would not have spoken to Robb in ACOK IIRC, since their forces were separated the entire time.

There might be something else I'm missing, but I can't remember the entire ep.

Yes, and I said that I was pretty sure I was missing some other added scenes. The Joffrey/whores scene -- and this is a big departure for me -- I actually thought was a good addition. Because this was not a gratuitous sex scene. There was torture going on, a la American Psycho (ever seen it?) I think they took an idea from the book where Tyrion wanted to take Joff to Chataya's (this was after he had Boros rip off Sansa's bodice and realized that part of why he ordered that to be done was b/c he wanted to see "a pair of teats"). So they took this idea that never got to happen in the book, and they implemented it into the episode, since they couldn't rip off Sophie Turner's dress (she's under 18) and also she wasn't hit with the flat of the blade nearly as much as in the books. It was only one hit, and then Tyrion entered. So I thought it was interesting how they showed that Joff's lust for sexual violence (or just violence) was not sated, and so he recreated the scene by having one whore hit the other with a MACE. For once, the addition of that scene seemed well done and relevant to canon.

But what I meant - if I didn't express it clearly enough before - is that COMPARATIVELY, this episode had the least number of additions, more stuff that was almost verbatim from the books, and if there were additions, they were usually pretty similar to what actually happened IIRC. The Qaarth scene was the only major departure.

And this is to everyone: is it just me, or are the episodes getting shorter? Or are they generally shorter than last season's episodes? Maybe it's just flying by, but my mother commented on it too.

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In regards to the comments about people complaining about how the show does not match up with the book, and how they should essentially STFU, let me say this.

I usually tell my friends that it is better to see the movie on which a book is based before reading the book. The book is always better than the movie; Imagination has no budget. The movie doesn't ruin the book, it's rather the other way around.

I have no problem with them combining various scenes and characters where needed in order to make the show work. I also don't particularly mind them adding scenes in order to give more background to characters. I sometimes wonder if Martin is particularly complicit in them, thinking that perhaps the reaction to some of his characters was not as he had expected, and therefore wants them to add scenes to give a different take on a character (i.e. Cersei, season 1).

However, what concerns me are butterfly effects..

People need to remember that they are watching an ADAPTATION of the books, not an exact filming of the story, and that means there will be changes. If you don't get this by now, perhaps go and review various cast interviews. Seeing that so many people like Charles Dance, perhaps they could start with his interviews, including the importance of the scripts standing alone, and the reasons why he hasn't read the books. And for those who seem to nitpick about even the tiniest little thing, or dislike far more than they like about the show, all I can say is - your TV does have an OFF switch, you know. If you don't want to be peeved, annoyed or disappointed each week, then don't watch the show at all. Simple, and much better for your blood pressure :D

One other thing - many viewers won't have read the books at all, so they won't be aware of all the details that some book fans complain have been omitted or condensed. The key thing for HBO is that the series works for general TV viewers who are new to GRRM's world, and for that reasond they will add scenes and characters, omit or alter others, and possibly alter the order of some events. It has to tell A Good Story, and because the books are so complex, there are going to be changes.

I agree about the possible butterfly effects, but D & D are working to a long term plan for the series, so I have to have faith that they will have taken these things into account. Even though they may not have written details scripts for upcoming seasons, you assume they have at least worked out the basic storylines so that these matters have been addressed.

Edited by Currawong

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You're right, he deserves some props. Few people can come off so strongly evil, it's some really powerful acting.

Exactly. This scene also ties into Robert telling Ned about Joffrey torturing his pet cat and Cersei demanding that he not be punished for it. Now we see him years later and he's graduated to torturing prostitutes. Not only was I condemning Joffrey while watching that scene but I was also hating on Cersei for creating this vile monster. No checks were ever put on him. He's a sociopath, just as portrayed in the books.

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