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[Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

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Lady Stark was given to Sana as a compliment, not a promotion or mistake. Maybe Tyrion is also thinking that Catelyn will NOT survive, and then the importance of Sansa politically increases. (but likely just an offhand compliment)

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For all the fretting about butterfly affects and 'how are they going to go from Point A to Point B now that they've changed Point A?'

I think everyone needs to remember that the producers and writers know just as well as we do where the story "needs" to go. Better in fact, because GRRM has shared his long term story outline with D&D.

Regarding Arya being Tywin's cupbearer- it's a tribute to Maisie Williams' awesomeness that they decided to put her in scenes with Charles Dance. I'm looking forward to watching the two of them interact. Also, it'll also simplify things for the non-reader viewers so they don't have to get to know a whole bunch of new characters (ie, those people Arya is working for when Harrenhall is run by the Lannisters).

And, this episode provided a better explanation for why Arya doesn't have Jag'hen kill Tywin- because Tywin came in a save Gendry from being tortured to death. I also think that being Tywin's cupbearer, Arya will see him more as a person, not just as her family's enemy. (I've never gotten the impression that tv-Tywin or book-Tywin is needlessles cruel and sadistic. He's very ambitious and pragmatic, and will take very extreme steps to further his goals, but he doesn't strike me as someone who's randomly cruel to the servants.) I never really bought it that Arya just "forgot" to have Jag'hen kill Tywin. I think this way, she'll know that she's "supposed" to have Tywin killed, but he saved her friend and if he's kind to her, she'll find it hard to kill him. So we'll probably get some interesting scenes where Arya is torn about what to do, vis a vis Tywin.

Also, after Joff's prostitute-abusing scene, I'm glad we'll get to see Robb's love story. It'll be nice to see some characters have a loving sexual relationship.

I don't think there will be much Tywin/Arya interaction if the TV series stays more or less true to the books. Tywin is not the type of man who would be familiar with his servants; especially table staff (he would probably have more respect for a groom or steward); he would be polite but distant, as long as they did their job properly. If the servants didn't do their jobs properly, they'd either be fired and replaced, possibly punished, depending on what kind of mistakes they made.

As for book-Arya not asking Jaq'en to kill Tywin, I thought it made a lot of sense. First, Arya hardly knew Tywin; if she even knew him at all; and would not have necessarily blamed him for the fall and execution of her father, since Tywin was nowhere near King's Landing at the time; and as far as Arya knew, it was the fault of Joffrey and his mother and the executioner. Second, Arya's still a child, and does net yet have the ability to think of all the ramifications and intricacies of a situation, such as who is responsible for the deaths of Mycah, Ned Stark, the Stark retainers, and Arya's friends and the other people she witnesses being murdered. Actually, Tywin was not responsible for the deaths of Mycah or Ned Stark or the Stark retainers as far as I remember, but could be held responsible for the deaths of Lommy Greenhands and the other civilians because he sent Gregor Clegane and other thugs out to commit murder and plunder. But Arya would not necessarily think of the ties of feudal allegiance between Gregor and Tywin, since she did not see Tywin directly order any torture or deaths.

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I don't think there will be much Tywin/Arya interaction if the TV series stays more or less true to the books. Tywin is not the type of man who would be familiar with his servants; especially table staff (he would probably have more respect for a groom or steward); he would be polite but distant, as long as they did their job properly. If the servants didn't do their jobs properly, they'd either be fired and replaced, possibly punished, depending on what kind of mistakes they made.

As for book-Arya not asking Jaq'en to kill Tywin, I thought it made a lot of sense. First, Arya hardly knew Tywin; if she even knew him at all; and would not have necessarily blamed him for the fall and execution of her father, since Tywin was nowhere near King's Landing at the time; and as far as Arya knew, it was the fault of Joffrey and his mother and the executioner. Second, Arya's still a child, and does net yet have the ability to think of all the ramifications and intricacies of a situation, such as who is responsible for the deaths of Mycah, Ned Stark, the Stark retainers, and Arya's friends and the other people she witnesses being murdered. Actually, Tywin was not responsible for the deaths of Mycah or Ned Stark or the Stark retainers as far as I remember, but could be held responsible for the deaths of Lommy Greenhands and the other civilians because he sent Gregor Clegane and other thugs out to commit murder and plunder. But Arya would not necessarily think of the ties of feudal allegiance between Gregor and Tywin, since she did not see Tywin directly order any torture or deaths.

From what I remember of the bookk Tywin leaves shortly after the first death and since the next episode is 'the ghost of Harrenhal' I think he'll be gone by the end of ep. 5 or 6 and as you say very little interaction.

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The Quarth scene was silly, but then again, it was a bit unrealistic in the novel too. The fact that no one in the city would even try to steal her dragons is a bit unbelievable.

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The Quarth scene was silly, but then again, it was a bit unrealistic in the novel too. The fact that no one in the city would even try to steal her dragons is a bit unbelievable.

While on the way to Xaro Xhoan Daxos palace she under the protection of her blood riders, while at Xaro's place she was under his protection, Even when she was out and about the bloodriders were always with her , many times with Jorah too.

I guess they are not going to replace Rakharo, even tho , I think in the books, she had at least a few other Dothraki warriors left.

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The Quarth scene was silly, but then again, it was a bit unrealistic in the novel too. The fact that no one in the city would even try to steal her dragons is a bit unbelievable.

They thrive on trade with foreigners, it would be a disaster for commerce if word got out that they steal whatever they like.

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I guess they are not going to replace Rakharo, even tho , I think in the books, she had at least a few other Dothraki warriors left.

I thought Kavarro, the Dothraki who found the city was going to be Rakharo's replacement.

Edited by BronnFan

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It was pretty clear that Melisandre was being taken to a place where she could use her sorcery to kill Renly -- Davos certainly understood that, and I think the audience should get it as well. Fair enough that we don't know "why" she has to be closer, or how that cavern relates to where Renly is, but it just takes a bit of supposition to guess that Melisandre has a maximum range, so to speak, and is vulnerable and somewhat noticeable when birthing a shadow... so getting closer, and doing so under cover of a cavern that exits near Renly's camp, seems pretty reasonable.

But maybe that's me.

BTW, the gate? A real one installed in that cavern in NI for some reason, I've been told -- maybe to keep people from spelunking because it's sensitive and/or dangerous.

That scene was the confluence of two 'shadow baby' episodes Renly's death and Ser Cortnay's death. For Renly we don't see the shadow baby born, but for Ser Cortnay we do, and in this episode it's almost exactly as Davos experiences it in the novel.

I have a feeling the whole deal with Ser Cortnay and Storms End will eliminated.

Just as well cause it would be a Been There Done That scenario.

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That scene was the confluence of two 'shadow baby' episodes Renly's death and Ser Cortnay's death. For Renly we don't see the shadow baby born, but for Ser Cortnay we do, and in this episode it's almost exactly as Davos experiences it in the novel.

I have a feeling the whole deal with Ser Cortnay and Storms End will eliminated.

Just as well cause it would be a Been There Done That scenario.

This is my expectation as well.

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disliked the Quarth scene because i feel it made Dany seem (more than usual) an idget. she blustered and threatened and blew smoke (pun intended) and came off looking terrible. i don't remember having quite so bad an opinion of her after reading CoK, as viewing this season.

There seems to be some general "naivety" amongst readers regarding Danys role/personality/behaviour. I think the producers will want less ambiguity in the show and. like with Joffrey, they may go a bit out of the way to show Dany's real colours. Hence the early degradation, notice the posturing followed by hissy fit and empty threat that does not fool anyone. And most importantly the "True Targaryen" coment that follows. I loved the scene. And based on the next weeks preview things are about to get sadder/funnier depending on your view on this kind of thing.

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I noticed something when re-watching this episode. It may or may not be true, or intentional.

Did anyone else notice the old woman with long white hair and blue eyes at the first torture scene, after Arya&co arrive at Harrenhal? She says, after she hears her son die by torture "He's dead. He was my son. My sister was three days ago. My husband the day before that." Gendry says "They take someone every day?" She doesn't answer, then Arya asks "Does anyone live?"

The dead look in her eyes, the length of cloth wrapped around her head, and her hair, all reminded me of UnCat. Her husband died first, then Robb [along with the others], then Lysa. The order isn't exactly right, but it seemed like a foreshadowing, esp. when Arya asked if anyone lived, b/c as we know, she becomes intimately acquainted with the workings of life and death in the house of B&W.

Just a little something I picked up on, and I'm not sure if it really is a foreshadowing, but interesting for discussion maybe.

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On the issue of Qarth and the way Dany handled the situation, I interpreted her reluctance in showing the dragons as a product of:

1) Pride. Dany is very prideful and keeping the dragons under wraps allows her to maintain some type of power base or level of control.

2) Protection. For one, the dragons were both young and weak. Maybe she felt showing the dragons would somehow undermine her position. More than anything, the meeting between the 13 and Dany was an exercise in power -- both sides pushing and pulling -- and Dany probably didn't want to show her cards and feel submissive...even if she was at their mercy. Also, there's the danger of the 13 trying to steal the dragons, and she wanted to keep them as barricaded as possible. Seeing the dragons allows the Qartheen delegation to gauge the feasibility of taking the dragons by force. The dragons unseen allows Dany to use their mystique as a deterrent.

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Say... Who will Arya name in her list? If she's already promoted to cupbearer, she won't have time to receive abuse from hateful people like Chiswyck or Weese. Also I hope we'll somehow still get the weasel soup scene (even if she was made cupbearer -after- that event)...

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On the issue of Qarth and the way Dany handled the situation, I interpreted her reluctance in showing the dragons as a product of:

1) Pride. Dany is very prideful and keeping the dragons under wraps allows her to maintain some type of power base or level of control.

2) Protection. For one, the dragons were both young and weak. Maybe she felt showing the dragons would somehow undermine her position. More than anything, the meeting between the 13 and Dany was an exercise in power -- both sides pushing and pulling -- and Dany probably didn't want to show her cards and feel submissive...even if she was at their mercy. Also, there's the danger of the 13 trying to steal the dragons, and she wanted to keep them as barricaded as possible. Seeing the dragons allows the Qartheen delegation to gauge the feasibility of taking the dragons by force. The dragons unseen allows Dany to use their mystique as a deterrent.

Spot on! Exactly! :bowdown:

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I also agree with the post above. To me, Dany not showing her dragons makes a lot of sense. All her life she has been pushed around by everyone. She was driven away from her home by the rebellion. Viserys treathed her like a common slave. They had to beg for money to survive. She was sold to Drogo where she had a hard time getting accepted even if she was khaleesi.

And now that she has some power of her own (a small khalassar and 3 dragons) and she finaly starts to get some respect from people she simply refuses to do what anybody else tells her to do. She is a queen, a Targ, khaleesi and mother of dragons. She feels that people should show her respect. The 13 are not doing that. They make the mistake by showing up with soldiers. Off course dany is going to be offended by that and keep her foot down. And in the beginning you could tell she felt unsure but when she was making her threats, thought she was very confident ( even if the threat itself wasnt that strong).

And yes, people state that in the books her dragons were in the open but the big difference is that in the books, the emmisaries from quarth came to her and were respectfull and acknowlegded that she was a queen. In the show they treated her as a little kid and we know that Dany cant stand that

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Wow, reading about a shadow baby being born, and watching a shadow baby being born are 2 completely different experiences. But also, in the book

this scene happens after Renly is already killed by a different Shadow, does this get rid of the Edric Storm character in the show? Do we just assume that this shadow is going for Renly?

Edited by Kevin Chicken'sbane

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There seems to be some general "naivety" amongst readers regarding Danys role/personality/behaviour. I think the producers will want less ambiguity in the show and. like with Joffrey, they may go a bit out of the way to show Dany's real colours. Hence the early degradation, notice the posturing followed by hissy fit and empty threat that does not fool anyone. And most importantly the "True Targaryen" coment that follows. I loved the scene. And based on the next weeks preview things are about to get sadder/funnier depending on your view on this kind of thing.

The problem is that I'm not sure the audience is going to take it that way. Someone like Joffrey, who actually has the power to carry out horrific acts, is going to be regarded as far more terrible than someone like Daenerys, who currently lacks the potential to burn cities to the ground. I do know a few show-only viewers who were perturbed but the majority weren't, and while that may count for little I suspect it's her current desperation that will lead a lot of viewers to give her a great deal of leeway.

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Well, I really laughed throughout the whole 'Jeyne-thing'. Can anybody imagine Robb Stark, the King in the North, would fall for a common camp follower nurse? Love does not overcome class distinctions in Westeros. How can they possibly integrate Davos and him being uncomfortable about being a noble of sorts, and intend to make this girl a queen?

It really is too ridiculous to rant about it...

I also missed Renly's peach, but Stannis, Davos, and especially Mel really were awesome this week. It's a change that Stannis is actually privy to the whole shadow thing, but I don't mind. Stannis did know later on when he charged Davos to help Mel to kill Ser Cortnay.

What concerns me is that the writers are inserting more and more deviations into the story. One or two, as in Roz' prominent role and the lack of Damphair, don't bother me so much. But the story of ASoIaF is a tapestry: pull out one thread and it will hold, even two. Pull out thread after thread after thread and insert blue thread where there should be red, and the tapestry will eventually be far less recognizable.

Some of the changes I've noticed:

1. Roz; not just Theon's favorite prostitute in the North; now she is an important supporting character. I think she's getting more screen time than Sansa; and most of it is semi-pornographic. If I wanted to watch porn, I know how to find it. I don't want to see porn every season of AGOT; at this point I guess it's inevitable. I'd have rather seen them stick to Chataya and Alayaya as prostitutes in King's Landing, they were interesting characters.

2. No Jeyne Poole. Are they going to send Roz up north to sub for Arya as Ramsay Bolton's bride? Will anyone believe it?

3. Robb's love interest is a Florence Nightengale type, with a very 20th century attitude, from Volantis, rather than little Jeyne Westerling. Maybe the writers thought that the viewers could not handle Robb marrying out of duty after sleeping with a minor nobleman's daughter, or that Jeyne was sweet and shy; but that's how the character was in the books.

4. The Hound grimaces when Sansa is beaten in the throne room, but does not speak up to protest. They could have included that, it's far more important, as far as I can tell, than Roz and her friend bouncing on Joffrey's bed to warm him up or whatever, and would have taken less time.

5. Littlefinger seems almost a completely different person in the TV production; far from being a superficially pleasant, useful financier who controls himself enough to help his game brilliantly succeed, he's almost as mouthy as Tyrion.

6. Shae is much older and, in my view, less realistically portrayed, than the character in the book; a prostitute who was utterly dependent on the whims of her patron would have been a bit less arrogant, at least at this point in the story, especially since she has no other friends or allies or resources in King's Landing.

7. Margaery is at least 10 years older; perhaps a move to consolidate her with her grandmother and thus spare the need to add the Queen of Thorns to the cast. They could have included the Queen of Thorns and had one less scene with Roz; since the QoT only has one major scene. I would have preferred that Natalie Dormer play Melisandre and that they had found a teenager to play Margaery.

8. Apparently no Reeds, and no Edmure Tully in sight. I don't know who the Red Wedding bridegroom is going to be. Perhaps Maester Luwin will survive and accompany Bran; though I don't know if he would be physically strong enough for the long journey in the cold. At least no one's fooled around and changed Hodor from the book. And I don't mind the changes to Osha; they're minor; and her conversation with Theon in Season 1 was wonderful.

9. Joffrey not just being a vicious sociopath who enjoys inflicting pain and torture on practically everyone who annoys him, no matter how minor or imagined the slight is; he's a sadist who forces prostitutes to hurt each other. I think it was more important to the story that Joffrey inflict pain and humiliation on Sansa (and not just one blow and one slap with the sword, there were welts on her legs; and it was implied that there were several other beatings, not just one other) than Joffrey torturing prostitutes; but perhaps the writers are more interested in the storyline of their invented character (Roz) than one of GRRM's own characters who is an important supporting character in the series. Joffrey's already been depicted as a monster for removing the tongue of the minstrel and trying to choke Dontos with wine because the knight was drunk, and having Sansa beaten; the scene with his torturing Roz & friend was, in my opinion, overkill.

10. Cersei not only was not the one who ordered the massacre of Robert's bastards after the king's death (implied in the books), she was fond enough of Robert early in their marriage to have him father a child on her. That lessens Cersei's ferocity; she's been made a softer and more subtle character. I prefer the character as GRRM wrote her.

I know that the writers have to compress a great deal of pages and characters. I just don't see the reasoning for all the changes I've listed. I suppose I should be glad that Bronn and Tyrion and Sam Tarly and the Old Bear and Arya are very much in character. I enjoyed the first season; and some of the second, at least so far, but I really prefer book scenes to Roz-porn; and I fear that we're going to get more Roz-porn at the cost of dialogue and scenes that GRRM created.

The bright spot this episode was Tyrion; his intervention in the throne room and interaction with Joffrey and Sansa, and then his scene with Lancel. I guess Lancel isn't quite dumb enough to go search for another breastplate stretcher, but he comes close.

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I agree with most of what Raksha has posted above, and would like to subscribe to his/her newsletter.

That said: I can understand the lack of the Reeds and Edmure, if only because there's so little space and so many characters even without all the Ros scenes (who I'm convinced is going to end up as the Prince That Was Promised) that it'd be bewildering to TV viewers. It's possible their stories might just have to be left to ASOS and the comparative breathing room of 2 seasons for a book that's only 100 or so pages longer.

I agree completely about Margaery, despite finding the current version utterly hilarious, if only because I think that doe-eyed innocent Margaery from the books is a better player than she lets on and is a worthy protege of the QoT, but the show version is far more blatant in her desires. Both her and LF ought to be subtle--I think the audience can be trusted to be uneasy about them.

I *completely* agree about Ros being a waste of time, and if they needed a character like her, they could have at least used one that was actually supposed to be in KL. Regardless, the role is completely inflated and you're absolutely right, overshadows an already marginalized character called Sansa *Stark*.

As for Jeyne Poole, D&D did make some joke in the commentary that the girl that Sansa was talking to in the pilot was Jeyne Poole but at any rate, nobody knows that.

I also completely agree about Shae. Tyrion is not some dashing debonair fellow, used to getting submissive women and therefore getting a kick out of one that talks back to him. For him, his relationship with Shae is because she is completely his coupled with the self-loathing that it's completely fake and paid for with his gold and jewels.

I'm fine with most added scenes/changes we've seen, and I'm not expecting textual literalism in an adaptation--the show is better than most in that regard. But Ros and Shae are the most grating, and Sansa is the most shabbily treated as a result. I don't think it's intentional on their part--the commentaries suggest that the creators just really liked Bianco's acting, and that they're puzzled as to why the fandom dislikes Sansa but unfortunately the former is oppressively omnipresent to the point of being a main character, and the latter (despite exceptional acting by Turner) isn't given enough of a chance to shine.

Edited by Dragon of Valyria

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