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[Book Spoilers] EP 207 Discussion

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I have one problem - only one - with this episode. The "deaths" of Bran and Rickon were not a driving factor in Catelyn's release of Jaime. I understand that the TV show wanted to have a great cliffhanger, but what she does makes so much more sense in the books as she believes that she's trying to save her two surviving daughters and her last children (besides Robb).

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Thought last week was one of the best yet, but watched tonight’s with a deep, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

· Yeah, Jaime’s a king slayer, but that business of murdering his cousin??? Please! That’s a bit much, even for profane, unholy Jaime.

· Last week I loved Ygritte’s being a pistol and a spitfire, tonight she just got on my nerves. Jon may be naïve, but he’s not stupid. Where is Quorin HH? And Ghost?

· I hate, hate, hate all the Quarth plot twists – The whole Quarth plot was bad enough to start with, but this one is even worse. At least before we still had the dragons, and Irri, and Doreah. Now we only have Dany, but I will say I at least like that she’s being more realistic now about her situation and not going around crowing about all of her ‘names/self-bestowed titles’. But, who IS the henna artist wearing the mask who knows so much about Jorah???

· More intrigue between Tywin and Arya, though, which I really liked. But I wonder if she’s given herself away now, too much enthusiasm and knowledge about the dragons, and Tywin must surely know that Arya hasn’t ever been found, right? Or, did he leave KL even before that? But just a stupendous photo shot out the window at all the ruins of Harrenhal, though – very impressive.

· Have I mentioned yet this week how much I love Brienne? The best was when someone popped his head in the tent and addressed her as “woman”, which she followed by throwing it right back (“man”, same tone). Then, her face was in the background of Caitlyn’s head when Cat is talking to Jaime, and she still has ‘screen presence’, cutting her eyes back to look at Cat when Jaime delivers those low blows about Ned’s [alleged] affair. She’s just so [painfully] earnest!

· Good scene with Sandor and Sansa.

· Loved hearing Cercei bitch about Joffrey and have a more honest talk with Sansa. Both completely unrealistic, of course, and impossible to reconcile with the quite cruel Cercei of the first season where Sansa and her ‘traitor’ father were concerned.

I just don’t think this one held together very well – at all. I read a post above where somebody alluded to HBO making it into a soap opera, and I gotta say, my thoughts exactly. I hope next week is better, and I hope they don’t screw it up! Otherwise, it’ll make an even longer wait for Book VI.

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I have one problem - only one - with this episode. The "deaths" of Bran and Rickon were not a driving factor in Catelyn's release of Jaime. I understand that the TV show wanted to have a great cliffhanger, but what she does makes so much more sense in the books as she believes that she's trying to save her two surviving daughters and her last children (besides Robb).

As I stated earlier, the difference between the book and the show is that, in the book, Karstark is off on the march with Robb. We don't see his hatred until she's released Jaime. In the show, Robb is gone but Karstark is there, a direct threat. Everyone is getting drunk and increasingly rowdy, and it's quite obvious Jaime will not live out the night unless she takes a hand and gets him out of there.

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As I stated earlier, the difference between the book and the show is that, in the book, Karstark is off on the march with Robb. We don't see his hatred until she's released Jaime. In the show, Robb is gone but Karstark is there, a direct threat. Everyone is getting drunk and increasingly rowdy, and it's quite obvious Jaime will not live out the night unless she takes a hand and gets him out of there.

Yeah, it still makes sense in that regard, though a little extra motive wouldn't have hurt. She has a few reasons for doing it in the book doesn't she, or was it just for the girls? I can't quite remember.

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Y'all keep complaining about the lack of Ramsay in the Winterfell scenes as an influence to Theon, but I think you're being a little too loyal to the books to notice something I've become 100% convinced of.

Who is there to tell Theon he needs to execute Ser Rodrik Cassel? Dagmer. Dagmer's also there when he (offscreen) makes the decision to kill the innocent orphan boys. The show's been awful focused on Dagmer, for what a minor character he is in the books going forward, and I think that means he's gonna end up being Ramsay, which is why he's filling Reek's role now.

I have no idea how they'd explain what Bolton's bastard was doing on the iron islands, but I've made my theory and I'm sticking to it. Hi haters.

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I dont really remember but why did QH & co. leave Jon with the wildling anyways? They said they'd meet back up with him but never did. Why leave a 'steward' alone with a hardened wildling?

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So the message of this episode: keep the stuff you have in cages or at the end of a leash under careful guard. Because dragons, wildings and Kingslayers make terrible prisoners.

What I liked:

The Man (Without Honor): You get this idea that every time Jaime gets a twinkle in his eye, some dummy gets killed. Jory, a Karstark, a distant cousin, Aerys Targaryen. Makes no matter. Jaime is not living by the rules imposed upon him by others. And the Starks least of all. So when Jaime operates its simple: one way or the other he ain’t staying a prisoner. I thought that … captured the essence of Jaime so very well. This was a man who wanted out of his chains… who wanted out of serving Aerys… who wanted to kill Ned Stark…. And for Jaime, well, you better watch it. Jaime, in so many ways is the Darkness reaching out for the light, and its either him or you.

And so he kills his cousin and a Karstark and when faced with Cat Stark Jaime is so very, very Jaime. His honesty is not just understandable, its refreshing. He does not trick or fool ANYONE; that ain’t his game. Jaime is simply living in this moment, and in this moment he does not want to be a prisoner. So he rolls the dice with Cat. And speaks the truth the whole time. Poor Old Dead Ned…. He ain’t gonna let a silly thing like “family” get in his way. Nope. And you ignore that at your peril.

The Crazy Person (Without Honor): THeon’s precarious problem has become manifest as the walls of reality close in on him. He cannot stay; he cannot go. He is stuck. And so he melts down and trashes out at anything around him. His desperation is not focused (like Jaime’s) nor cavalier (like Ygritte’s) nor innocent (like the dragons); its stark raving selfish. And I though the episode nailed that. I think Theon is, possibly, the most underrated character in the books. And he may be the most underrated in the show.

The Hostage and the Queen: I think that Sansa’s dilemma in the jaws of the lion’s mouth is incredible and as forceful as in the books. Yeah, it’s a little strange to have the actress playing Sansa screaming about her period when she now looks 18, but I can look past that. I think that Cersei’s whispers to Sansa are as good and as poisonous as they are honest. Its from a woman who has learned to distrust the world speaking to a woman who has not learned that she cannot trust everyone.

The Warlord and the Silent Girl: Okay look- I get it (to be read in the Louis ck whiny voice): "Tywin would do something if he knew his cup bearer was of high birth… he wouldn’t just sit around and talk to her… Tywin is a big meany and would never be nice or good… I want Tywin to be mean and bad so I can go on hating him" (end voice) …. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS! The Tywin/Arya dynamic just works. Its fresh, dynamic, poised, intelligent, honest and real. And the whole time these two fucking PROS are playing each other and EVERYONE ELSE WHO WALKS INTO THAT ROOM! I watched this episode with a room full of people, and when Tywin was saying “M’lord” to Arya showing her that he knew, I said “If they just had these two people ina room and then had a various person from the Series walk in and they schooled them for 55 minutes, every one of you would watch that show” And EVERYONE AGREED! It’s a great duo, an amazing interplay and people like it.

So, really, why can’t we like good stuff done well? Why do we have to be so “But Tywin would be bald and he’s a jerk… I LOVE ROBB!” Well, this works. WHY CAN’T WE HAVE NICE THINGS??!

What I am on the Fence About:

The Prisoner-Taker (with or without Honor): I stated in a prior post for the last episode that I thought that the show was going to circumvent the Jon/Quiron desertion for something else. That may or may not be happening. But they spent a lot of time on a story cross that is, almost literally, going nowhere. Okay, he may be kidnapped, etc, but they gotta pull this thing together. I like the Quiron storyline as it was in the book and I am uncertain how that would take any longer than what we are seeing now. I think that story always was a really solid idea and very interesting. The one where Jon is merely a prisoner? Gotta tell you, its better than the “catch and release" ideas people were saying before, but I am still not sold. Not sold at all.

The King in the North… I MEAN QARTH: WTF?! So we add in a convoluted power-grab in Qarth? Really? And how come anytime there is a counsel they are having their servants slash their throats? Really? Is this really what this season needed? Another awkward, unrealistic, highly convenient power grab in the middle of nowhere that somehow explains why they needed to kidnap the dragons?

Here is the one reason this is here and not in “What I do not like:” at least Dany is no longer trying to find the people who took her dragons: they found her! This marks the first time anyone has been able to get Dany to go after anything that could conceivably fold her into the plot of the books. If it sets her moving in the right direction so be it.

What I Do Not Like And What We Have to Really Start Taking Seriously:

The Death of Queen Amidala:

In the (horribly misguided) Star Wars Prequels, once we get to Episode 3 we are all left knowing that certain … cargo must be jettisoned. Droids have to have their memories wiped, Anakin needs to get into a suit and (not trivially) Padme Amidala has to give borth to two kids (Luke and Leia) and then die. Somehow. And so as the episode unfolds we all know “They gotta get finality here soon… because this is the last episode before 4 etc” And so, a droid tells us that Queen Amidala, the mother of two newborns is dying because she has “lost the will to live.” DONE AND DONE! In other words, in order to meet this arbitrary deadline, the story HAS TO wipe her out. So instead of putting together a real story-arc with conflict and tragedy etc. NOPE! She just “lost the will to live.” And that’s how its left. Teh suck.

So, I get that if I ever write ANYTHING that says “The show did X and I did not like X” I am in danger of being called a “purist,” which is somehow an insult (look where we all are? ON the message boards of the series we all love). And I can see that. I also knew that when the show started it was going to be in 10 episode seasons that would need to be trimmed down to include the essentials and eliminate a lot of subtlety and details. I get all that.

The series is drifting into this area where they are clearly trying to just finish in this allotted time period. And they are throwing out common sense and story depth for the sake of “coming in at the number.” Most notably, look at Cat: instead of having Cat release Jaime out of desperation after losing Brand and Rickon and to save her daughters, she does it … well, she does it because its Episode7 and we have a season to wrap up. So, lets’ cut out the middle and tie these ends together. Jaime is out in Ep. 7, not 10! DONE! What? Jon Snow not in it enough? Damn, we have to cut some time so… ah… ah… just forget all that stuff about Quiron’s plan etc- just have him get captured and then turn over. DONE AND DONE! What? Dany stuck in Qarth for no reason? Well, we gotta get her to the House of the Undying so, lets concoct this senseless power grab! And she’s there!

Nuance and depth are being sacrificed in the name of 9/10 episodes. And I get it- better than no series at all. I get that. But the choices being made? How come we needed so much time with Dany – for what purpose? A convoluted mess in Qarth? How come so much time dedicated to Jon Snow chasing one chick (he let go anyway)? Oh great, with the added bonus of a completely worthless scene where Jon is uncomfortable that a hot chick wants to fuck him. Thank God, we needed more of that.

Meanwhile, no Stannis, nothing meaningful with Robb, we finally got a Jaime scene after 5 episodes without a word. And for what? So we can learn that Dany is pissed somebody took her dragons? Or you could have shortened all this and just had her go to the House of the Undying! The reality is that no actor/actress would agree to have Dany’s part be so thin for season 2, so they added in a bunch of nonsense for her to do; same thing with Jon Snow. I get that. But does it have to be this blatant and uninspired?

And the nuance is being bled from the show. All the subtlety and texture of the show is being bleached away in this mad dash to finish it all by 10pm Sunday June3. I can appreciate a deadline, but at the same time, we have wiped out so much creativity, so much establishment, depth, subtlety, body and texture in order that Queen Amidala be dead by the end of the Prequels!

I just would like it of that while they are rushing so head-long into this, that they stop and try to add more flavor and depth to this world instead of trying to see if they can get this ride to hit 100 before it spins out of control.

I want to make it clear: the series is still really good and as a fan, I love that it is being made. Acting is still great and they continue to add good stuff and stay true to key concepts in the books. But at the same time, I can see the wear and tear on show as it sacrifices much to get to 10 episodes. And some decisions are not so understandable.

Edited by Rockroi

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- even if he is now a kinslayer, i loved jaime here!all of his lines were perfect!! and cat, her acting was so good, but if the northmen got crazy for what jaime did to karstark, then imagine what they'll do when next episode starts. i both feel for cat then, and yet want to see brienne/jaime start!!

-theon... yeah i am not symphatizing with his characater the way i did last week. tonight i really didn't like him.

- dany, well, i didn't like her either that much tonight. but pyat pree was great! so spooky, and i feel so sad for ser jorah! :(

- yrgitte is sooo funny! i can't wait for S3 if tonight was just a taste of what's to come between her and jon! but where is qhorin?? i'm not sure if i am liking this changes to the story.

- tywin/arya, they may not be in the books, but i like this odd bond they've created.

- and now to sansa and sandor!! that 1st scene with them was great!! love to see they are showing the nasty hound from the books! and it was great to hear him say that he did plan to stay and protect her in KL... until the blackwater that is. they've changed their story so much i am not sure what to hope for on that episode!

and about sansa's moonblood. sophie turner is such a talented young actress, it is known! & no sure what to think of it, but i like shae now. i guess that poor sansa will have yet another reason in S3 to be miserable about when she is married to tyrion: her handmaiden going sour on her..

and though it was weird to see sandor in the room (can't imagine who was more embarrased over the situation) i like that he was the 1st man to see her after this important change cause maybe it will mean a foreshadowing for something in the following books??

the cerseri/sansa scene was as good as in the books. and even if i liked the tyrion/cersei scene, gosh they've really cahnged cersei!!!

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I do like the Tywin/Arya scenes, although she is completely giving herself away, and Tywin knows it. Not sure how thats going to work out!

Yes, Tywin totally suspects her, hence the food "sampling". He is setting a trap and she is merrily falling into it by being too clever by half. Interesting to see how this plays out. Nice addition to the series.

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Yeah, it still makes sense in that regard, though a little extra motive wouldn't have hurt. She has a few reasons for doing it in the book doesn't she, or was it just for the girls? I can't quite remember.

It's just to get the girls back, having lost the boys (or so she believes).

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Now the House of the Undying will be good, the visions are coming!

I want to see what will they do concerning:

Tyrion's chain

From his conversation with the pyromancer and Bronn I am assuming there won't be one nor will they be flinging wildfire with catapults(it probably would have busted their meager budget). I think what will happen is they will use the pots more like mines than bombs-this will be Tyrion's idea-and fling hot coals from the catapults.

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I just wanted to let everyone in on a little delicious piece of info.

GRRM wrote this episode.

Thought he was only writing episode 9 "Blackwater."

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I just wanted to let everyone in on a little delicious piece of info.

GRRM wrote this episode.

What? Explain.

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The Jaime/Alton scene was powerful and I didn't expect that coming. When Jaime told Alton to lean in I thought "Wait...he's not going to...is he?" then (CRACK!) he did it. I thought it was a great scene and I also love how they worked in the Karstark angle.

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Only if Roose sired Ramsay when he was 8, could I see Dagmer being Ramsay. Otherwise, no way. Dagmer is too old to be Ramsay. I think D&D simply merged the two characters as far as the events of ACoK go. Ramsay may make an appearance in the season finale.

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What? Explain.

I could've sworn he said he was writing the 7th episode for this season. I heard it from him in a past interview. I don't have hard evidence so think what you will, but that's what I am pretty sure about.

Edited by The Smiling Eye

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I believe he has the honor of penning just one episode a season, and it was confirmed long ago that he is writing the Blackwater episode (2.9). Also, I think D&D were given credit for the writing during the opening credits, just as all the other episodes displayed the one(s) responsible with the task of writing the episode script.

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