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[Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

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I'm worried if the Volantis Nurse doesn't end up being Jeyne Westerling, the whole Red Wedding plot could be altered by the writers. However, in reality, I do not think GRRM will allow them to severely change one of the most important events of the next book (ASoS).

It's a puzzle right now, George has a good narrative in the novel , counting human passions, a logical dramatic line, adaptation needed, but not violence to the story narrative.

Edited by boojam

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Agreed 1000%. People are having trouble with the added scenes of Joffrey being cruel and misogynistic, because they're admittedly jarring and hard to watch; but they're missing the point... those scenes are *SUPPOSED* to be jarring and hard to watch.

But it seems to ALWAYS be Ross and SEX!

HBO has to find a way to include a sex scene or it is not HBO.

It is all forced, and bad writing.

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Sandor is the nearest thing to a "true knight" that Sansa has met. They wont get together romantically but I could see them both serving the Seven.

I hope not, I don't believe they will be ever after, but I do see him dying for her, as for Sansa I want that girl to take it all or be the reason her home and family continue on, not becoming a religious figure but if religion is to be her fate it will be with the old gods, she's her father's daughter.

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I'm worried if the Volantis Nurse doesn't end up being Jeyne Westerling, the whole Red Wedding plot could be altered by the writers. However, in reality, I do not think GRRM will allow them to severely change one of the most important events of the next book (ASoS).

GRRM gives them advise and stuff when they want it, and they let him write an episode every season, I believe, but ultimately he has no control over something, if they want to change it, he can't stop them. That's why I really wish GRRM would have required some control over the show, when he agreed to let them do it. GRRM did say though, that it was his wish for the to stick to the books as closely as possible, when he agreed to let them do the show, and D&D made it seem like they would honor his wish, as best as they could. That's why I think GRRM allowed them to do the show, because it's not like they were the only people wanting to do it or anything. Also D&D have always said they are big fans of aSoIaF, so I think GRRM thought that would help with them staying faithful to the books. All of that, is why I do not understand why they are making so many unnecessary changes, it baffles me.

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Oh, man. The Grantland reviewer who covers this show really likes Renly. This might not go well next week. Heh.

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I really liked the episode. It went by really fast, so much so that I was genuinely surprised when it ended. There seems to be a lot of discussion and controversy, rightly so, about the Joffrey and the whores scene. It was certainly disturbing but if you think about it it wasn't really graphic. Most is left up to the imagination of the viewer to fill in the blanks after the cut away. I've kind of been of two minds myself about it as well. One, it did seem overly long. But, it also showed the viewers (again without any blood or gore) what a psychopath Joffrey is. Even though we all knew he was a bit of a sick puppy, but his reaction to the women in his room was completely different from what any of us, and certainly Tyrion (who would not send whores in if he knew what would go down) expected.

Maureen Ryan at Huffpost TV broke down the scene brilliantly and explained why it was so disturbing. She says it better than I can:

As for Joffrey, we already knew he was a sick sadist, but the scene with the prostitutes gave us yet another reason to store up our own hatred for this murderous brat. "Game of Thrones" has gotten a lot of crap for its "sexposition" and its affinity for boobs, but I'd like to point out that this scene was not exploitative of the female characters in the least. In fact, it did what some other scenes in the show haven't done: It took us inside the experience the women were having, and it made us feel their emotions and reactions. The women weren't mere objects in the scene, they were human beings for whom I felt sympathy and pity. This scene wasn't about sex or nudity (and there was very little of either); this was about Joffrey's despicable need to exercise the very worst kind of power over others, and one can only begin, like other characters in this tale, to pray for the day that his head is separated from his body.

What bothers us so much is that these women are not just boobs and a vagina with a head stuck on, they are people. Despite the fact that Ros is somewhat unpopular, she is a character that we know a lot about and even care a bit about (at least when something like this happens to her). We know she used to schtup Theon, she came to KL to make it big as a back-alley-Sally, she was extremely upset about the baby killing. And now what she, and the other girl who we last saw with Pycell, thought was an easy job deflowering a teenager turns into a nightmare.

This episode was about the little people in the realm and how all this war, upheaval, and general shittiness is affecting them. Contrast Sansa sweeping out of the throne room with her ladies after being saved by Tyrion with the whores; no one was coming the save them. Even Littlefinger, who was away, would only be upset at the loss of revenue. The big players planned battles, or set in their castles while the peasants were being tortured and murdered at Harrenhal. The scene with Robb and SassyNurse! (standing in for Jeyne Westerling) was heavy handed but she was right. Most of the soldiers in this war aren't valiantly fighting to see their sisters released while seeking vengence for the murder of their father. Some of them are knights but a lot of them are just fishermen, farmers or tradesman who don't have anything to do with the aristocracy and the game of thrones.

Its been awhile since I read ACOK but I really remember getting the feeling from the book that war is just bad, it doesn't matter who is fighting it or why, it is just bad. Not to say that there aren't reasons that sometimes we have to fight. Joffrey is a sadistic psychopath who shouldn't be in any position of power. He gets out from under his mother's thumb and him torturing a couple whores is going to be the least of everyone's problems.

Oh and Melisandre's shadowbaby was awesome. The whole Renly/Stannis/Davos/Melisandre plotline was great this week. "Is he a ham?"

Edited by littleayrastark

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I really liked the episode. It went by really fast, so much so that I was genuinely surprised when it ended. There seems to be a lot of discussion and controversy, rightly so, about the Joffrey and the whores scene. It was certainly disturbing but if you think about it it wasn't really graphic. Most is left up to the imagination of the viewer to fill in the blanks after the cut away. I've kind of been of two minds myself about it as well. One, it did seem overly long. But, it also showed the viewers (again without any blood or gore) what a psychopath Joffrey is. Even though we all knew he was a bit of a sick puppy, but his reaction to the women in his room was completely different from what any of us, and certainly Tyrion (who would not send whores in if he knew what would go down) expected.

Maureen Ryan at Huffpost TV broke down the scene brilliantly and explained why it was so disturbing. She says it better than I can:

As for Joffrey, we already knew he was a sick sadist, but the scene with the prostitutes gave us yet another reason to store up our own hatred for this murderous brat. "Game of Thrones" has gotten a lot of crap for its "sexposition" and its affinity for boobs, but I'd like to point out that this scene was not exploitative of the female characters in the least. In fact, it did what some other scenes in the show haven't done: It took us inside the experience the women were having, and it made us feel their emotions and reactions. The women weren't mere objects in the scene, they were human beings for whom I felt sympathy and pity. This scene wasn't about sex or nudity (and there was very little of either); this was about Joffrey's despicable need to exercise the very worst kind of power over others, and one can only begin, like other characters in this tale, to pray for the day that his head is separated from his body.

What bothers us so much is that these women are not just boobs and a vagina with a head stuck on, they are people. Despite the fact that Ros is somewhat unpopular, she is a character that we know a lot about and even care a bit about (at least when something like this happens to her). We know she used to schtup Theon, she came to KL to make it big as a back-alley-Sally, she was extremely upset about the baby killing. And now what she, and the other girl who we last saw with Pycell, thought was an easy job deflowering a teenager turns into a nightmare.

This episode was about the little people in the realm and how all this war, upheaval, and general shittiness is affecting them. Contrast Sansa sweeping out of the throne room with her ladies after being saved by Tyrion with the whores; no one was coming the save them. Even Littlefinger, who was away, would only be upset at the loss of revenue. The big players planned battles, or set in their castles while the peasants were being tortured and murdered at Harrenhal. The scene with Robb and SassyNurse! (standing in for Jeyne Westerling) was heavy handed but she was right. Most of the soldiers in this war aren't valiantly fighting to see their sisters released while seeking vengence for the murder of their father. Some of them are knights but a lot of them are just fishermen, farmers or tradesman who don't have anything to do with the aristocracy and the game of thrones.

Its been awhile since I read ACOK but I really remember getting the feeling from the book that war is just bad, it doesn't matter who is fighting it or why, it is just bad. Not to say that there aren't reasons that sometimes we have to fight. Joffrey is a sadistic psychopath who shouldn't be in any position of power. He gets out from under his mother's thumb and him torturing a couple whores is going to be the least of everyone's problems.

Oh and Melisandre's shadowbaby was awesome. The whole Renly/Stannis/Davos/Melisandre plotline was great this week. "Is he a ham?"

I'm not sure that Maureen Ryan saw the same Garden of Bones as I did. Or maybe our perception varies so much as to make an accurate consensus impossible. I saw plenty of nudity in the episode, and more oral sex than I wanted to see on television. As for Sansa being untouchable and the whores being far more vulnerable, I would say that Sansa is in greater danger on a day-to-day basis - if something happens to Jaime Lannister, Cersei might well decide to let Joffrey kill Sansa. At least in the books, Sansa never knew which day she would be subject to beatings from the Kingsguard on Joffrey's whim. And she was utterly terrified, and about to be hurt, possibly badly; and it's not certain that Sansa would be rescued again if Joffrey becomes annoyed with her; Tyrion does not make any long-term changes to Sansa's situation; and he's not always going to necessarily charge in at the right moment. Roz and the other whores presumably have the option of going to another city if they have enough coin to relocate; and not all of their clients are sadists on the level of Joffrey. Which isn't to say that Sansa hasn't had an easy life, compared to Roz, before Ned Stark died, but at the moment Sansa's existence is quite stressful and subject to danger.

And I didn't read ASoIaF to read about the lives and struggles of prostitutes. I was interested in Chataya and Alayaya, because GRRM wrote them well; and also knew not to make Alayaya the omnipresent prostitute who services Theon, tries to service Jon Snow, services Pycelle and is King Joffrey's nameday present. I don't want to see Roz and her companion abused by Joffrey, because they don't deserve it; but that does not mean I want to see a continuing plot thread about the lives of prostitutes, or just Roz, in the entire series. Shae, in the books, was a well-drawn character seen from Tyrion's perspective; which made her more interesting than she probably was. There are many other major and minor characters in ASoIaF who show the inhumanity of war and the evil of which humans are capable all too frequently. I would have rather seen more scenes with the innkeeper of the Inn at the Crossroads, the woman who is a capable innkeeper, managing a fairly profitable business, and then murdered by Tywin Lannister for having allowed Catelyn Stark to snatch Tyrion (as if the innkeeper could have prevented an armed company from seizing him) - a ghastly incident that takes place off-camera but is still haunting - than more Roz scenes.

There's no question that War is Hell, and Westerosi war is painful, unpleasant and fatal for a lot of people, including many peasants, farmers, etc. who have no interest in playing the game of thrones but who are caught up in it. But it came out very cliched when the Volantene Florence Nightengale was lecturing Robb Stark about it. Why not have Catelyn, who, as an older person and a mother, might have sympathy for all these boys who are going to die for her son, tell Robb the same thing, so he will at least throw away the cannon fodder's lives less easily? I just don't think this gal would have lasted too long as a battlefield nurse in Westeros if she made a habit of lecturing generals who are also feudal lords about the Evils of War. She was right, of course, but her words and attitude sounded far more abrasive than a young woman of Westeros would think of using on meeting the King of the North.

It wasn't a terrible episode by any means, but it just showed me that the television show is slipping farther away from the original story than I would like. But at least for the moment, I can live with that, though I do (and probably will continue to) grumble about it.

And I did love Renly's line Is he a ham :rolleyes: . Poor Renly. Without him, there will be no one to try to convince Stannis to get over himself.

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Even though we all knew he was a bit of a sick puppy, but his reaction to the women in his room was completely different from what any of us, and certainly Tyrion (who would not send whores in if he knew what would go down) expected.

I have a couple of issues with the scene.

I still feel its unnecessary given we had just witnessed him excercising some sadist tendencies, albeit sans the sodomy, with Sansa in a scene directly preceding this one. Yes - His motivation is different in the 2nd scene, but it over arching purpose is very similiar... demonstrate how wicked Joffrey is. Yes, there is now a direct sexual component to his sadism, but it was implicit in the previous scene with Sansa. Given how many characters and interesting subplots have been eliminated for time, one scene is really all that is needed. It's my same complaint with the Tyrion/Lancel scene. I've already seen Tyrion masterfully workover the small council in the previous episode. The entire scene with Lancel, if its even necessary, could have been shortened considerably. I'd argue the original Martin inspired Sansa scene is more effective as it also provides insight into the characters of Sansa (growing inner strength), Tyrion (his general compassion for those in jeopardy) at the same time, even if it is tamer - less violent and less T&A.

Two - It's not a particulary interesting insight into Joffrey character. We all know he is becoming increaingly unhinged and more of a sociopath. This has been demonstrated in every scene he has been in with the exception of Robert's deathbed scene - every single one! In contrast to Cersei who has become well rounded character in the series vs. the books, Joffrey has been written as a one note villian. Would it not have been more interesting to see him paralyzed with fear (after all - we haven't seen any evidence Joffrey has any sexual experience), or perhaps show his evolution to a sexual sadist (if it is really necessary to even go there)? As written, it is what it is. Joffrey is cruel and a sadist. But I already knew that.

Another poster pointed out this highlighted a reason why the Tyrell's would want Joffrey assasinated. It's an interesting idea, but it only works if the Tyrell's would know about the incident and if it clear its not motivated to piss off Tyrion, but rather Joffrey, like Reek, has some disturbing sexual proclivities.

Edited by pleonasm

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I'm not sure that Maureen Ryan saw the same Garden of Bones as I did. Or maybe our perception varies so much as to make an accurate consensus impossible. I saw plenty of nudity in the episode, and more oral sex than I wanted to see on television. As for Sansa being untouchable and the whores being far more vulnerable, I would say that Sansa is in greater danger on a day-to-day basis - if something happens to Jaime Lannister, Cersei might well decide to let Joffrey kill Sansa. At least in the books, Sansa never knew which day she would be subject to beatings from the Kingsguard on Joffrey's whim. And she was utterly terrified, and about to be hurt, possibly badly; and it's not certain that Sansa would be rescued again if Joffrey becomes annoyed with her; Tyrion does not make any long-term changes to Sansa's situation; and he's not always going to necessarily charge in at the right moment. Roz and the other whores presumably have the option of going to another city if they have enough coin to relocate; and not all of their clients are sadists on the level of Joffrey. Which isn't to say that Sansa hasn't had an easy life, compared to Roz, before Ned Stark died, but at the moment Sansa's existence is quite stressful and subject to danger.

And I didn't read ASoIaF to read about the lives and struggles of prostitutes. I was interested in Chataya and Alayaya, because GRRM wrote them well; and also knew not to make Alayaya the omnipresent prostitute who services Theon, tries to service Jon Snow, services Pycelle and is King Joffrey's nameday present. I don't want to see Roz and her companion abused by Joffrey, because they don't deserve it; but that does not mean I want to see a continuing plot thread about the lives of prostitutes, or just Roz, in the entire series. Shae, in the books, was a well-drawn character seen from Tyrion's perspective; which made her more interesting than she probably was. There are many other major and minor characters in ASoIaF who show the inhumanity of war and the evil of which humans are capable all too frequently. I would have rather seen more scenes with the innkeeper of the Inn at the Crossroads, the woman who is a capable innkeeper, managing a fairly profitable business, and then murdered by Tywin Lannister for having allowed Catelyn Stark to snatch Tyrion (as if the innkeeper could have prevented an armed company from seizing him) - a ghastly incident that takes place off-camera but is still haunting - than more Roz scenes.

There's no question that War is Hell, and Westerosi war is painful, unpleasant and fatal for a lot of people, including many peasants, farmers, etc. who have no interest in playing the game of thrones but who are caught up in it. But it came out very cliched when the Volantene Florence Nightengale was lecturing Robb Stark about it. Why not have Catelyn, who, as an older person and a mother, might have sympathy for all these boys who are going to die for her son, tell Robb the same thing, so he will at least throw away the cannon fodder's lives less easily? I just don't think this gal would have lasted too long as a battlefield nurse in Westeros if she made a habit of lecturing generals who are also feudal lords about the Evils of War. She was right, of course, but her words and attitude sounded far more abrasive than a young woman of Westeros would think of using on meeting the King of the North.

It wasn't a terrible episode by any means, but it just showed me that the television show is slipping farther away from the original story than I would like. But at least for the moment, I can live with that, though I do (and probably will continue to) grumble about it.

And I did love Renly's line Is he a ham :rolleyes: . Poor Renly. Without him, there will be no one to try to convince Stannis to get over himself.

Where was there to much oral sex in this episode, i actually dont remember any in this episode? And there really was not a lot of nudity at all in this episode.

How is that you can say Stannis needs to get over himself, while also saying something about Renly in the same breath? Renly was so full of himself, that he though he should be King, and to hell with the line of succession. Everything about Renly, his clothes, his tournaments, his peach, it all screams that he is full of himself. Stannis even said in the books that he never wanted to be King, but it was his duty to, because he was the next in line, and he believes laws should be followed, and that laws should be made of iron, not pudding. Then we have Renly who thinks he would just be the best King ever, laws be damned.

Stannis also was not the one who was saying he was the Lord of Light's chosen one or anything, that was all Melisandre. All Stannis said, was that the Iron Throne was his by right, which is true.

You are worried about Renly not being around to help Stannis get over himself, but I am glad Stannis had Renly killed, because there was no hope of him getting over himself.

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I was not being entirely serious when I said that Stannis needs to get over himself, but he is proclaiming himself to be Azor Azhai, not necessarily because he believes he is A-A, but because he believes said proclamation will help him achieve his goal of world domination claiming the Iron Throne. If Stannis did not want to have himself proclaimed Azor Azhai/Lord of Light/Biggest Thing Since Aegon the Conqueror, then he would have kicked Melisandre out of his tent and disavowed her light show. But he didn't; Stannis will do almost anything because he, like Renly, wants to be king and is not overly scrupulous about how he accomplishes his goal. Both the surviving Baratheon brothers have very healthy egos. Renly's claim to the throne is obviously based on nothing more than 100,000 Tyrell swords (if I have the number right); by Westerosi succession law, Stannis is the king if one sets aside the claims of Cersei Lannister's children. Had to laugh when the brothers were quarreling and Catelyn tried to be a sensible mother - she was right, though. Though if Renly had accepted Stannis' offer, I think both Melisandre and Margaery would have been furious...

Edited by Raksha the Demon

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I said it before, but I thought that the shadow baby looked like a dementor as it took off.

True. I imegined the shadwobabies very different, but I still like what they made of them.

There's no question that War is Hell, and Westerosi war is painful, unpleasant and fatal for a lot of people, including many peasants, farmers, etc. who have no interest in playing the game of thrones but who are caught up in it. But it came out very cliched when the Volantene Florence Nightengale was lecturing Robb Stark about it. Why not have Catelyn, who, as an older person and a mother, might have sympathy for all these boys who are going to die for her son, tell Robb the same thing, so he will at least throw away the cannon fodder's lives less easily? I just don't think this gal would have lasted too long as a battlefield nurse in Westeros if she made a habit of lecturing generals who are also feudal lords about the Evils of War. She was right, of course, but her words and attitude sounded far more abrasive than a young woman of Westeros would think of using on meeting the King of the North.

It wasn't a terrible episode by any means, but it just showed me that the television show is slipping farther away from the original story than I would like. But at least for the moment, I can live with that, though I do (and probably will continue to) grumble about it.

Sorry, out of likes, but I really really agree with you about this. Catelyn could definitely be the one who talks to Robb about the consequences of the war and stuff. They are making her like a concerned woman who cannot think of solutiouns for herself, always relying on Robb and now LF had to spell the plan about releasing Jaime out to her - a great change from the first season actually, where she acted in her own right, kidnapped Tyrion and went to Robb's camp and everything. It is like she lost all her strength.

I believe they are now not going to show Robb wounded in the battle - they are making him some sort of invincible hero, he cannot be wounded, so they had to find some other way to introduce him to Jeyne/whatever her name is now. And a random commoner cannot talk to the king just like that. If I did not know that the actress apparently has a lot of scenes, I would hope that we meet another girl, the real Jeyne Westerling: innocent, shy, and completely in love with Robb, never questioning his decisions.

I wonder why there was no Greywind in the scene, I would like to see his reaction to her. Like: "Grrrrr ... really?"

Raksha, where did you see a lot of oral sex in the episode?

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I was not being entirely serious when I said that Stannis needs to get over himself, but he is proclaiming himself to be Azor Azhai, not necessarily because he believes he is A-A, but because he believes said proclamation will help him achieve his goal of world domination claiming the Iron Throne. If Stannis did not want to have himself proclaimed Azor Azhai/Lord of Light/Biggest Thing Since Aegon the Conqueror, then he would have kicked Melisandre out of his tent and disavowed her light show. But he didn't; Stannis will do almost anything because he, like Renly, wants to be king and is not overly scrupulous about how he accomplishes his goal. Both the surviving Baratheon brothers have very healthy egos. Renly's claim to the throne is obviously based on nothing more than 100,000 Tyrell swords (if I have the number right); by Westerosi succession law, Stannis is the king if one sets aside the claims of Cersei Lannister's children. Had to laugh when the brothers were quarreling and Catelyn tried to be a sensible mother - she was right, though. Though if Renly had accepted Stannis' offer, I think both Melisandre and Margaery would have been furious...

Stannis isn't really proclaiming himself Azor Ahai reborn, Melisandre is, Stannis is just not denying it, because he feels it might help him fulfill his duty.

And again, Stannis never wanted to be King, he says as much in the books, but now that the situation has happened, he feels it his duty to do everything he can to become King, because by rights of the law, he is the rightful King of Westeros. So I would not say that both Renly and Stannis are full of themselves in the sense that they both want to be King, because only Renly wants to be King. Stannis just wants to do his duty, that he feels he now has to the people of Westeros. Stannis also wants to show that laws need to be made of iron, not to be bent. Renly just thinks he is the best man for the job, and so he should be King. Nobody can think like that, and not be full of themselves.

And you have still not pointed out the frequent oral sex in this episode, or any oral sex for that matter, let alone having to "see more oral sex than you wanted to".

And there really was not a lot of nudity in this episode, especially in comparison to most of the episodes. If I remember right, you see the whore getting beatin naked, and Mel gets naked to have her "baby", that's it, I think.

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My two-penneth worth.

So it seems that season 2 is deviating from the books far more than season 1, I've had to try and detach the books from the show because the deviations do annoy me.

The whores scene with Joffrey was so unnessecary to the story, we don't need to hate Joff more than we already do, it was gratuitous torture porn, I know the show is meant to be adult and have lots of sex which enhances the story and character development, but to me this scene wasn't needed.

LF showing his emotions to Cat? Again not sure about that, but even more strange was his encounter with Margaery Tyrell, although I suppose it did show her scheming nature. I think they are just playing up LF's love for Cat so it's clear what his actions are at the end of ASOS.

On a bright note I liked Robb's meeting with Jeyne, although I'm not sure why she lied about her identity, I thought she came across well and really got the better of him. The opening scene with the Lannister guardsmen was good, Grey Wind looked brilliant.

Tyrion was fantastic as usual and his chastisement of Lancel was how I pictured it.

Dany's speech was very well done also, Emilia Clarke did well there, she got the vunerability of Dany (and her Khalasar) across but showed her strength and persuasive ability too. Wasn't really sure about the Spice trader, sort of reminded me of Uncle Monty from Withnail and I.

The shadow baby was fantastic CGI, the whole scene was really well done, it looked really good and came off perfectly. 10/10 for the graphics team, Mel and Davos there.

All in all in was a good episode, which despite the plot deviations, came off as possibly the best the season.

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And I did love Renly's line Is he a ham :rolleyes: . Poor Renly. Without him, there will be no one to try to convince Stannis to get over himself.

By the by are the actors ad libbing?

Peter has done it maybe three of four times now, 'high cheek bones' , for instance...

unless those lines are in the books?

Don't mind, I swear Carice van Houten looked as if like she was reacting to a bad pun, and they kept the shot, I think both Gethin Anthony and van Houten were ad libbing in that scene!

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And again, Stannis never wanted to be King, he says as much in the books, but now that the situation has happened, he feels it his duty to do everything he can to become King, because by rights of the law, he is the rightful King of Westeros. So I would not say that both Renly and Stannis are full of themselves in the sense that they both want to be King, because only Renly wants to be King. Stannis just wants to do his duty, that he feels he now has to the people of Westeros.

If Stannis really didn't want to be a king, he wouldn't have made his claim for the crown. Nobody forced him to do it, it was his own choice.

Besides, let's not forget he's a big time hypocrite and has no PoV, so anything he says should be taken with a big grain of salt.

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Something that struck me this episode is that I'm liking Hot Pie more and more. The actor does a great job with is facial expressions.

So it seems that season 2 is deviating from the books far more than season 1, I've had to try and detach the books from the show because the deviations do annoy me.

We already knew that. D&D have said that after they got the first season done they could start focusing on adapting the story as a whole, rather than each individual book.

I think it's the right way to go and you should probably always detach an adaptation from the source material to a good extent. Different medias always work differently and learning to let go of things is a lesson in growing up in my opinion (I used to be bad at it when I was younger but I've learned to be much better at it). Adapting books like these to a TV series is probably among the harder adaptations you can do as well.

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If Stannis really didn't want to be a king, he wouldn't have made his claim for the crown. Nobody forced him to do it, it was his own choice.

Untrue.

Stannis is King; his desire to be King has, literally, nothing to do with Stannis' actions (in fact, IIRC, in the books, Stannis specifically says that he simply became King when Robert died and that his desires play no roll in the decision). Stannis is the King and much like Robb Stark and Jon Snow, Stannis does his duty with grim determination. When Ned becamse Hand he, literally, thought that it was the last thing he wanted. Would Ned have been noble had he refused Robert? Nobody questions Ned's motivations. Same with Jon Snow-

if Jon Snow really wanted to, couldn't he just refuseto be Lord Commander? But wouldn't that be shirking his duty? How come its okay for John to accept being Lord Commander and nobody gives him grief for doping so but Stannis gets grief for doing his same duty?

Here with Stannis, Stannis became King because Robert died with no true-born children. For Stannis to deny this would be tantamount to treason in Stannis' mind. His duty requires him to be King once Robert accepted the crown. Stannis always thought it was a possibility and now has to (as opposed to "wants to") act on it. This is what makes Renly's treason so anathema in Satnnis' mind; Renly is absolutely not the King. Renly's argument - that "nobody" wants Stannis to be "their" King -is irrelevant; nobody elected Robert, Aerys, Daeron or Aegon King; "want" has absolutely nothing to do with this. Renly is Stannis' heir and that should have been that- the same way Stannis was Robert's.

Stannis Baratheon is doing his duty; people ignore this because Stannis' duty is not one that requires sacrafice; "Its Good to Be King" as Tom Petty said many moons ago, and so if Stannis is trying to be King nobody attaches good or noble motives to that. But take a step back- much in the same way Ned and Jon and Robb and many others do their duty is the same way Stannis does his. That- in and of itself -has nobility and honor to it.

Though.... he could be nicer about it ...

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