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[Book Spoilers] EP 205 Discussion

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I don't think Quorin picking Jon was all that surprising in the books. In the books their mission was simply to scout, not "assassination" as in the TV show, and Quorin makes it clear that he wanted having a well trained Direwolf along would help them in their scouting. He takes Jon because Jon commands Ghost, but he was more probably more interested in having Ghost come than Jon.

You were quicker, but we seem to agree.

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I've always got the feeling that he choose Jon only because he has Ghost. So it was Ghost he choose not Jon :)

The Scabbard said as much and I am not sure I buy it. If you can provide the quote where Halfhand says (or even implies) that he chose Jon at least in part because of the Direwolf I would love to take a gander at that. However, in my mind Ghost was, at best, a factor, but not dispositive. I mean if Jon was a fuck-up, but somehow controlled Ghost that's not a good reason to choose Jon. I think Quiron chose Jon because he thought Jon had "tremendous up-side"; that with his heritage etc that COULD mean Jon could do well. But is that any reason to chose somebody after 5 minutes? Really do not think so. I think the ranging party always had the chance to transform into a much bigger operation and therefore I would think Halfhand would be circumspect in his decision.

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Regarding the complaints that we get nude brothel scenes but not one-boob Quarth scenes... note that HBO has made a lot of money off of cleaning up The Sopranos so A&E could show it. They can do that because most of the scenes with nudity are just there for that purpose, and don't advance the story arc too much; they can be cut down enough to get the point across without showing anything you can't show on normal cable TV. Assuming that someday GoT will go through the same process, they can take out brothel scenes completely and still have a decent storyline. So much info is given during the Quartheen Garden Party, though (and the entire stay in Quarth), it's pretty crucial to have it, and they couldn't do so with half-top dresses on every woman in the scene.

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Before reading the 20 pages of reactions, here are my thoughts:

- This episode was a bit slow, and I don't remember many really cool moments, other than Arya staring down Tywin after she says "Anyone can be killed." THAT was great.

- The shadow was done well, I think, although I was a bit uncomfortable with how much time elapsed after Brienne killed the tent guards. It seemed like FOREVER until someone else approached. Given how much noise they made fighting, wouldn't someone else have gotten there quicker? Oh well, that's a nitpick. Overall, I really like the way they've done Brienne's character, and the scene with her and Cat was well done.

- I like the expansions they've made on Loras and Margaery's characters. It will be interesting to see how Margaery does with playing a completely innocent young woman once they get to King's Landing. And while it may not have been explicit in the books, there was indication that Loras wanted vengeance on Stannis. For example, he was incredibly eager to be the one to lead the attack on Dragonstone, probably for that reason.

- My guess is that Osha replaces Jojen and Meera. She's a wildling and the show has portrayed her as someone who knows about mysterious/magical things. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be upset by this, but I'm all for it. I never got into Jojen and Meera's characters in the book. Osha is more interesting to me.

- Tyrion's scenes didn't steal the show like they have in each previous episode this season. His conversation with Lancel was just a bit off, in my opinion; too much talking over each other. I did like Cersei's scene, which made it clear that she's willing to drink to cope with her problems. The wildfire stuff was fine, but are we going to see Tyrion building the chain?

- Dany's scenes were okay, but, like in the books, she's so far away from the rest of the action that I have a hard time getting into her story. The Dothraki arguing about how to loot the jeweled statues was pretty funny. And her scene with Jorah was very well done.

- The Fist of the First Men should have been in the forest. I understand they have to use what geography is available to them, but what the heck sense does it make to camp up on this exposed rock in the middle of open land? In the book, I got the sense that the fist at least offered a bit of protection from the elements. This is just out there for everyone to see, and for them to freeze. Did anyone else have a totally different picture in their head of the Fist?

- Arya is so awesome. So very, very awesome.

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Well it's never said out loud since we don't get Qhorin's POV but it can be inferred from the text.

The first time Qhorin meets Jon, he asks "It's said that a direwolf runs with you." Basically indicating that fact above all else interests him.

And when he asks for Jon to come, he says " The old gods are still strong beyond the wall, the gods of the First Men, and the Starks." I take that as he believes that the Stark's supernatural connection to the Old Gods (of which the only manifestation so far any one can see is in Ghost) would be of benefit.

And after Mormont agrees to let Jon go, literally the first thing Qhorin says to Jon as they leave the tent is "We ride at noon, best find that wolf of yours." So in very scant few sentences we see Qhorin speak, he bring up the wolf time and again. He's clearly interested in Jon because he's got Stark blood and he's got Ghost.

Edited by The Scabbard Of the Morning

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Does anyone have a theory as to what the gate was for. We know from the books that the shadow could not get through to storms end because of socery built into the walls, so Davos had to get Mel under the castle. Here Renley was in a tent, that didn't seem that close to the sea.

Did they film it anticipating a storms end scene later, or just do it because it looks and sounds so cool.

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Emilia as Dany and every moment of Qarth is giving me everything I need. When I saw Quaithe in that mask, I did NOT know how to act. I was so nervous for this season, but they keep exceeding my expectations. I just want to see Viserion and Rhaegal.

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Does anyone have a theory as to what the gate was for. We know from the books that the shadow could not get through to storms end because of socery built into the walls, so Davos had to get Mel under the castle. Here Renley was in a tent, that didn't seem that close to the sea.

Did they film it anticipating a storms end scene later, or just do it because it looks and sounds so cool.

My guess is they just did it because it looks cool. In order for it to make sense, you have to infer a couple things. 1. That Melisandre needs to be within a certain distance of Renly to send the shadow, or that the shadow can't travel over water, or some such thing. 2. That Renly has posted sentries on the shore (which was confirmed this week) and so a simple shore landing in the open wasn't possible.

I doubt they bring up magic in the walls of Storm's End at this point to retroactively explain the smuggling scene.

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* No problems with the looks of the shadow. Yes, it's not exactly as described in the books, but that's just a matter of aesthetics. It would have been weird to have a 2D shadow on the tent wall after the 3D shadow creature we saw being born the previous episode. This was more consistent. I do agree something felt wrong with the pacing of the scene, though. Especially panning out to show the whole tent after all the close-ups felt forced. I can only imagine it is because they originally wanted to do it more like the book, then changed their minds afterwards.

* Brienne killing the guards: nothing wrong with that as far as I'm concerned. I actually think their escape from the tent makes more sense to me than Cat being able to convince one of them that Stannis did it. After all, the guards see Brienne, Cat, and a dead King. Magic is just 'reborn' so it is not as if they have lived with the concept all their lives. It didn't really make much sense to me that someone would believe the word of Cat (who's not even on their side) above what they can see with their own eyes.

* Oh wait. Loras obviously just made the conclusion it couldn't have been Brienne and Cat but had to have been Stannis. He didn't see the shadow or even hear about it, but he obviously thinks the only thing important about solving a murder is motive. Circumstances and the fact that Stannis is nowhere around obviously don't matter... What?

* "Do you want to be a Queen? No ... I want to be THE Queen". Great line. It looks more and more like she will actually take the Queen of Thorn's role herself instead of just being her grandmother's pawn (which was how I judged her in the books). I think having a strong elderly woman in the show would have been great, but I do love the new Margaery.

* At last someone in Kings Landing realises there might be trouble ahead... I was starting to think Stannis was going to have to burn his own ships... Still no chain though.

* Loved Tyrion and Lancel in that small, small carrying chair :P and Bronn's "It will be my pleasure" and that grin.

* Stannis and Davos: this is the first time Stannis feels like the real Stannis to me. Not sure about the changes: why put Davos in charge of the fleet? Will they pin the failure on him? He's even apologising in advance: "my time on the seas was spent evading ships, not attacking them".

* Tyrion taking a stroll through King's Landing: this whole scene felt wrong. We see a fishmonger with crates full of fish, a farmer selling fresh fruit, and a stand with vegetables. I thought the people of King's Landing were supposed to be half-starving and pretty hostile against their rulers in the Red Keep by now? The guy criticising them and the few people cheering him on must be a very small minority, because most of the people seem to just ignore the 'demon monkey' as he is walking amongst them with only one guard...

* Theon being his own arrogant self once again, only to be taken down a peg by his own crew. Good thing he has Dagmer to all but tell him what he needs to do to gain their (and his father's) respect. (Can you tell I really don't like this guy?) I've been on the fence about this, but I am starting to like Yara. She's sassy and down-to-earth enough to make her place amongst her men make sense.

* The Tywin and Arya scene was awesome, but left me wondering. Why does Tywin take this attitude from his cupbearer? Does he suspect who she really is? If so, what does that mean for the rest of Arya's arc? Though I would have loved to see Arya's story closer to the books, some part of me likes that it has been mixed up so. It leaves me wondering what will happen at Harrenhal, a kind of suspense I would never have felt if everything remained as in the books, of course.

* A man looks really sexy.

* I hardly recognised The Fist. Nothing at all like the description in the book, but amazing scenery! And Ghost, just being there, without him actually having to be in the image because of the story. Did they have a little bit of budget leftover after all? Good exposition by Sam, too. From him, it didn't feel forced at all, especially with the 'you read it in a book' comment from Ed.

* Couldn't help but think, in a castle lit by candles and fires, having indirect lighting coming from behind/between the pots of wildfire seems a bit imprudent. Tyrion needs to have a word with the castle's interior designers, as well as making men practice with the empty pots.

* Drogon is so cute when he tries to breathe fire and only coughs up some smoke at first. Also, yay, a glimpse of a second dragon!

* After showing all the rather pointless nudity we've seen before, HBO decides to do away with the tokar. The fashion could easily have been explained in the dialogue between Dany, Doreah and Irri.The excuse of it being too distracting doesn't make sense, as in the first season whole expositions were being made over whores doing each other. And it's not like we haven't seen Dany's breasts before. Why would we be distracted by a mere bare breast and not by two girls having sex? I can only think that extras willing to have one bare breast in the garden scene were more expensive than fully clothed extras.

* Pryat Pree looks creepy enough, that was a good introduction. Same with Quaithe, although I really saw her mask differently.

* Good scene of Brienne swearing her loyalty to Catelyn. A bit strange that they are alone there, yes, but it is very possible that Catelyns escort is a bit further away, giving the women a bit of privacy.

* Bran is learning quickly about how to be a good lord. And Rickon is shown for the halfwild boy he has become.

* Looks like Jojen and Meera's essential plotpoints will be taken over by Osha and Bran. I don't really mind, I like Osha in the show and think she can make up for Meera and Jojen, assuming she comes with Bran. It makes me wonder who will be with Rickon, but I suppose, as we don't get to see that arc, that doesn't really matter that much. Also, why did the crow become a raven?

* Didn't care for the change to how Jon gets to go with Qhorin. In the books it is obviously Qhorin who wants him there, not so much here. Also Jon's bragging about killing the Wight and Mormonts response about Craster is a big change to their relationship. Gotta love Sam for offering to do his friend's work so he can become the ranger he wanted to be, though. Who will find the dragonglass now?

* Vault? Valyrian stone? Ser Jorah wanting her to sail to Westeros with one ship?

* Shirtless Gendry, and Arya notices how broad a target that would make :)

* The tickler dead already, makes me wonder who Arya is going to kill. Doesn't really matter (the 'is there gold in the village' scene was great in the book, but I doubt it would come over well on TV, seeing how much time there is between both scenes.) but i hope they won't have her not kill someone. I loved the tiniest of smiles on Arya's face when she realises the power she has. I wonder who she's going to pick next.

Overall, I liked the episode. Lots of changes, but nothing i can't live with...

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I have to admit, I have zero recollection of Quaithe from the books (which I've read twice). Is she important in any significant way?

Not really. All she does is show up from time to time to tell Dany that "to go West you must go East". The problem is that Dany has shown no inclination to go East, GRRM has said that we won't see Asshai (which is to the East), and there are only two books left and Dany really needs to start heading towards Westeros.

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I have to admit, I have zero recollection of Quaithe from the books (which I've read twice). Is she important in any significant way?

Depends how much value you place on prophecies etc.. She shows up to give some very cryptic advice to Dany once or twice, including some rather key pieces of info... like the "Mummer's Dragon."

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I don't like Davos potentially taking the fall for Blackwater.

That was the first thing I thought! Davos is constantly thinking how he would have done that attack differently, and I would hate it if he makes the blunders that cause them all to suffer so horribly.

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Well it's never said out loud since we don't get Qhorin's POV but it can be inferred from the text.

The first time Qhorin meets Jon, he asks "It's said that a direwolf runs with you." Basically indicating that fact above all else interests him.

And when he asks for Jon to come, he says " The old gods are still strong beyond the wall, the gods of the First Men, and the Starks." I take that as he believes that the Stark's supernatural connection to the Old Gods (of which the only manifestation so far any one can see is in Ghost) would be of benefit.

And after Mormont agrees to let Jon go, literally the first thing Qhorin says to Jon as they leave the tent is "We ride at noon, best find that wolf of yours." So in very scant few sentences we see Qhorin speak, he bring up the wolf time and again. He's clearly interested in Jon because he's got Stark blood and he's got Ghost.

Thank you so much for responding to that ridiculous ass post, I was getting so worried that it was going to go unchecked for pages.

Qhorin definitely chose Jon in the book because, "the old powers were awakening", and he spotted Jon as a Warg. Qhorin knew having a son of Winterfell would be helpful now that the old magic has woken up, because the Starks have the blood of the First men, so the Old gods are strong in them.

You know not to take a post seriously about how "Jon shouldn't have been chosen", when you see the poster can't even spell the Halfhand's name right. Some expert they are.

I am sorry for being harsh, it just makes me very angry when someone goes into some long ass rant about how Jon should not have been chosen, they make it so long, constantly repeating themselves, "trying to make such a strong point", and they have no idea what they are talking about.

Jon getting Longclaw is not some undeserved gift either. Yes it was Jon's job to try and save Commander Mormont, but trying and succeeding are two different things. Jon did not just try and save Mormont, he succeeded at saving Mormont, he managed to kill the Wight without getting himself, or Mormont killed. Mind you, it took multiple men of the Nights Watch to kill the other Wight named Jafer Flowers, but not befor that Wight killed Ser Jaremy Rykkar, the acting First Ranger in Benjen Starks absence. Also, if people want to get technical, about Jon's "job", it was Jon's "job" to stay in his sleeping cell like he was ordered to. Jon however followed his gut, and he left the cell, when he opened his cell door, Jon found the guard that was posted to make sure he didn't leave, and that guard had his head completely twisted around. After seeing that, most people would get scared and run for help, especially most greenboys, but Jon is brave enough to go check on the Old Bear before going for help, and that is what made all the difference in saving Lord Commander Mormonts life. That's another part of the reason why he deserved Longclaw.

So the old Bear finds his family sword, after the fire, and he decides to give the sword to Jon, a surraget son, who happened to save his life. What doesn't make sense about that? Some people think Jeor should have sent Longclaw back to Bear Island, they think that would have made more sense. I don't understand that line of thinking. Jeor had just convinced Jon that their war against the Others and Wildlings was way more important than Jon going South to help Robb fight his war. So after Jeor having just said that to Jon, people think he should be a hypocrite and send his Valyrian Steel sword back to Bear Island, instead of giving it to a gifted young Swordsmen who is about to go on a Ranging North of the Wall, against the Wildlings and Others?? So how would it have made any sense for Jeor to have told Jon to forget about his family, because they have more important things to deal with, while at the same time thinking a Valyrian Steel sword would be of more use going South with his sister to fight the Lannisters, instead of going North to fight the Others???

Oh, and this same gifted young swordsman just happened to save his life on top of it.That's why it makes sense that Jeor gave Jon Longclaw

Gods, why can't people actually take their blinders off and think about something???

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Well, unlike in the books, no one really blames Brienne. Everyone is just confused and doesn't know what really happened.

And such is the shame of the cuts and story trimming that had to happen. That Brienne was made a member of Renly's Kingguard (why not call it the Rainbow Guard anyway?), yet not knowing any of the others other than Loras, well that's really dampened the emotional aspect of the whole scene. And having Loras blame Stannis, rather than Brienne? That just takes a whole lot of sting out of her character arc after her trip with Jaime. Pretty much everything about Renly on the show has been weak. Possibly my least favorite aspect of the adaptation.

It would also seem that we're not likely to get Mace Tyrell or any of the others to the extent that they deserve to flesh out the whole Tyrell/Lannister alliance.

I think the scene in the House of the Undying will be that Dany goes in, they cut to a different scene, (preferably Jon, blue rose and all that). Cut back to Quarth, Dany comes stumbling out, Pyat Pree goes mental, Jorah cuts him down. Later she recounts what she saw. The scene is too trippy for viewers to make sense of anyway, it would be like a David Lynch movie.

Folks are being way too optomistic. If we get any kind of scene in the House of the Undying, it'll be nothing like the scene in the book. Too much has been altered or left out for any of the scenes to make any realistic sense. Any sightings of Rhaegar will be lost on the non book reading audience as Jon's parentage has not really felt like much of a sub-plot at all in the show and remember, the name of the television adaptation is "A Game of Throne" not "A Song of Ice and Fire". To have Rhaegar appear and talk about it will certainly be much more confusing. The foreshadowing of the Red Wedding? Bet we don't see it. Television won't want to take a chance to spoil the reveal or power of it. Other images? Does it matter? The house with the red door in Pentos?

Perhaps there will be new images for the show, but somehow I just don't see the scene being much. Too much of the overall story feels neutered from the books to make as much of an impact on the show. Just an opinion though and I hope to be wrong.

As to the rest of the episode? It was good, but as mentioned, the Shadow Baby fell flat. When we saw a clear image of Renly's shadow on the tent, I thought for sure it was going to come alive and we'd see things go properly. Instead, we get some odd Death Eater/Lost Smoke Monster imagery that never actually looked like Stannis.

Ah...enough of the griping. I do, I really do like the show.

John

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Good points, I think it makes it pretty clear. I'm rather certain that, Halfhand being the expert of "North of the wall he is", he guessed Jon was a warg.

Anyway I'm lazy so i'll just say:

What about the dragonglass? Are they going to make someone else find it? Or later ? Discovering a weapon that can

kill Others seems like a pretty essential element to me ....

Edited by Fantôme

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One small thing..

In the books isn't Stannis' health affected after the first shadowbaby appearance.

I dont remember exact quotes I think Davos has a thought that stannis looks like sh** at one point. And i was expecting to see this in the show.

Can anyone confirm this for me?

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One small thing..

In the books isn't Stannis' health affected after the first shadowbaby appearance.

I dont remember exact quotes I think Davos has a thought that stannis looks like sh** at one point. And i was expecting to see this in the show.

Can anyone confirm this for me?

In the books, Davos thinks Stannis looks ten years older since the last time he saw him, yet in the show they make him more alive and energetic after making the shadow...hmmm

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Late to the conversation…loved the episode, with one caveat:

I'm quite worried about Jaqen talking about the Red God. I'm not sure how they're going to handle Arya later in that case.

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