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[Book Spoilers] EP 207 Discussion


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Something important to note, guys. Yes, killing your cousin is horrible. But, so is pushing children out windows. I think, because Bran lived, people are somehow forgetting what Jamie is capable of doing in the name of self-preservation. Is killing your cousin that much more lowdown than pushing a child to his death?

absolutely agree!

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So many changes in this episode i can't keep track

The good: Anything with Jaime, Tyrion-Cersei, Pyat Pree scenes. All excellent, the first two for acting and last for the special effects. Also go Shae! And Arya-Tywin was gold as always.

The bad: Really don't like Ygritte, whether it's the actress or they way they wrote her (leaning towards this one) something is off. Also don't like how they wasted "You know nothing Jon Snow" about sex, sure in the book it was about freedom or something the first time. Also didn't like that they excluded the crypts, without Meera it would be even more impossible for them to travel without notice making the crypts all the more important. No way they escaped Theon, what are they gonna do, have them hide in a cellar?

The ugly: Somehow I hate Dany more in the show than the books, how is that even possible. She has like 5 people left and no dragons yet she treats all potential allies like shit, what an entitled, little brat.

Anyways probably my least favourite episode of the season but that's fine, I expected a slow one before it picks up for the final 3.

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It takes the history out of why he's obsessed with Theon. There will be no "because" behind why he likes to keep him around for torture.

I don't see why that matters. He wants a Reek, he has Theon, ergo Theon becomes his Reek. All the subtle nuance is cool and everything, but the showrunners are constrained by real-world issues such as a limited budget.

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I don't know how Ramsy went to the iron islands and became first mate. And how is he the one insisting on iron price and stuff. I think that would be hard to explain if Dagmer is Ramsy. Also, Dagmer looks somewhat way too rational to be Ramsy.

Considering episode, this one was great. I liked Ygritte scenes best. Last one in particular. She totally rocks. Already my favorite.

Jamie, I could have used more dialog with Cat. It was great, I just think that more of the same would be even better. They do have a long chat in the book.

Tyrion told Cersei that she has beaten 50/50 odds with her children. But out of 3 children it cannot be established. Perhaps 4th one would be crazy. How could 50/50 come from Joff, M and Tommen? Joff crazy, M half-crazy, Tommen normal?

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I'm 100% on board with adaptation concept, especially since I understand that producers have a limited budget for each episode and have to avoida lot of horses, a lot of fights, a lot of extras, a lot of locations as much as possible... But... 6 minutes talk with a half-random Lannister guy (even ending up as it ended)? More and more scenes showing that Dany isn't happy to loose her dragons? 4 Minutes talk between Cersei and Tirion giving pretty much nothing to the plot progression or story? GRRM books have way more intersting things to boil this TV soup.

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Loved this EP, tied with EP3 for the best of the season IMO.

To crosspost something I put in the TWOP thread:

The list o' awesome:

-Jon/Ygritte are hilarious. And wow Ygritte is attractive. Some credit to Jon for his awkward self control.

-Cersei/Tyrion made me tear up a little. I enjoy show Cersei a lot better than book Cersei at this point. The almost moment with Tyrion was powerful stuff.

-Theon, Theon, Theon. It feels like after killing Rodrik he just went off the rails into "no more fucks given" mode. Then when he turned around and saw those bodies and realized what he'd ordered...god. Stomach punch. Also, Dagmar? In the running for the most evil fuck in Westeros. I didn't see it coming after he was so amiable and 'nice' to Theon in EP5.

-I think I can get behind the Qarth changes now. XXD's coup was shocking, and the image of the 11 warlock clones stepping forward and slitting the throats of the former rulers was chilling.

-Quaithe, bamf. "Draw your sword. See what your steel is worth." The way she said it... definitely do not fuck with mask lady.

-Tywin and Arya continue to be great. Loved the dodge Arya tried to pull with proper/properly and Tywin's reaction. Also glad they're finally telling non-readers what the hell the Brotherhood without Banners is.

-Jaime is such a fascinating character. His interaction with his cousin, and then just coldly killing him...the switch he can pull from easy talk to sociopathic arrogance and disregard never ceases to amaze. He did it with Bran, he did it with Jory, and now poor Alton.

-Can't get enough Jaime/Cat. I loled pretty hard at his comments to Brienne too. I CANNOT WAIT for more on this.

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why am I spoiled brat, I could post 10 things from this episode that make no sense, will make no sense or are just plain cliched and/or boring

a. why would tywin trust Arya

b. Why will the wildings accept Jon

c. Why will the NW allow Jon back in

d. how can 3 cat sized dragons do anything

e. why doesnt dany just buy a ship cause she only has like 20 people in her khal, why does she need a fleet of ships

f. why is someone going to Valeria

g. did jon just turn his cloak without orders? He is a deserter, and should have his heads cut off

h. WHy does cersei hate her own son? and why will she care when tyrion kills him supposedly

i. Why did LF go to a Usurpers camp with the bones of ned stark? did he somehow know cat was going to be there? if so how could he have know that

j. how did Theon lose Bran and hodor osha's trail?

a. he doesn't trust her. he makes her taste his food. he just doesn't know who she is.

b. because he will kill qhorin.

c. because he will have turned his cloak under qhorin's orders.

d. with fire.

e. yup. 1 ship would do it. Jorah cam back from trying to find a ship.

f. not going to valeria, passing near it.

g. nope. he was captured.

h. she stated very clearly that she loves her children. she has no choice.

i. He was sent by tyrion to negotiate for the release of jaime. varys would know where Cat was.

j. the dogs lost the scent.

As to your initial question. See a through j.

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I enjoy it because it is uncharacteristic. She is not his daughter, but Arya reminds him of her. Arya is intelligent, and an interesting distraction for him. I can see this happening, under the right circumstances. He is involved in a war and he is excited and riding high. These conversations are stressless to him. They work.

How do you love it? It is beyond uncharacteristic for Lord Tywin.

I am LOVING the Tywin/Arya dynamic!!

Kevan Lannister, or was it their sister does share that that Tywin DID smile with Cersei - just very few people saw this side of him.


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I don't know how Ramsy went to the iron islands and became first mate. And how is he the one insisting on iron price and stuff. I think that would be hard to explain if Dagmer is Ramsy. Also, Dagmer looks somewhat way too rational to be Ramsy.

They made a movie out of Cross Creek and if I recall correctly Rip Torn played a composite of 3 characters. A common technique.

Tyrion told Cersei that she has beaten 50/50 odds with her children. But out of 3 children it cannot be established. Perhaps 4th one would be crazy. How could 50/50 come from Joff, M and Tommen? Joff crazy, M half-crazy, Tommen normal?

She BEAT the odds. 2/3 > 1/2

"Math class is tough" - Barbie

Edited by rmholt
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While I really liked this episode, I had to warn my non-book friends that it's like 75-80% non-book if only because it was working on the new plots HBO installed. Here are my reader's thoughts in no particular order:

They got Theon's plot back on track by the end even without Ramsay and kept it vague while still making it clear to the observant viewer that it's the miller's sons who are dead. We still need Bran and Rickon to double back to the crypt and the Reeds to appear or else I fear their plot might be moving too fast.

The Arya-Tywin stuff has always been a brilliant addition and remains thus even if it "wastes time that should be devoted to the sacred texts" as some would say.

"Talissa" better be Jeyne Westerling or I'm going to get mildly annoyed, although I did love Lord Bolton's expressions as he walked away from her and Robb.

I'm glad they were willing to include Sansa's "flowering" freak out and felt the addition of Shae actually gave me my first ever reason to care about Shae at all in either version. The very idea that she could have actual sympathy for anyone is a real surprise.

As far as the gigantic departures:

I'm glad they have Dany on track to enter the House of the Undying (as I figured/hoped the dragon theft would be an excuse to send her there) but I still have no idea where in the seven hells they are going in an effort to make her story more exciting this season. I will try not mourn the loss of the "It is known!" cliche as long as we get to see her visions.

As far as Jon Snow, I really enjoyed his interactions with Ygritte but I am very concerned about his apparent capture by the wildlings. Why introduce the Halfhand if Jon doesn't join the wildlings on his command? And how can we accept Jon as a loyal man of the Night's Watch if he tries to return without that command? I can only assume that in the effort to establish Ygritte they decided to have his entire party be captured by the Lord of Bones, at which point Jon might initially refuse until he is thrown into captivity with Qhorin who then orders him to join them.

Regarding Jaime, I am now convinced that "Alton Lannister" was never Cleos Frey. However, if we are going to invent a random Lannister for Jaime to murder, no matter how distant the relative, is he not now an absolutely accursed kinslayer? It took a few books for me to become a Jaime fan despite all his crimes but I can't see him ever murdering a fellow Lannister. I also would have preferred for him to slay Karstark's sons in battle rather than murder just one by treachery but I am happy to get that plot at all. I'm sure plenty of viewers were confused enough by the Karstark name suddenly appearing without explanation. (though I appreciated the Sunburst on some cloaks) I had hoped that with the known casting of a Lord Karstark we might have seen more of him before this. There are so many random unimportant Lannisters to kill off that I will never understand why we need fake ones. At any rate, if Robb ends up beheading Karstark just for wanting Jaime dead, I'm going to have a really hard time rooting for him in futility and that can only get worse if "Talissa" isn't a Westerling.

In Conclusion:

As much as they departed from the books in this episode, I really appreciated how much they drew from the source material in telling the tale of Aegon's conquest of Harrenhall, the marital life of Robert and Cersei and the tale of Jaime squiring for Barristan Selmy in the fight with the Kingswood outlaws.

Forgot to add the best inclusion of a book scene:

"Brienne, your sword."

I was always hoping that would be an end of episode cliffhanger and it nearly was.

Also, Ygritte said "you know nothing, Jon Snow!" That alone deserves a celebration.

Edited by Ser Chuck
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Tyrion told Cersei that she has beaten 50/50 odds with her children. But out of 3 children it cannot be established. Perhaps 4th one would be crazy. How could 50/50 come from Joff, M and Tommen? Joff crazy, M half-crazy, Tommen normal?

Cersei's firstborn son was stillborn. That's from the books and we got it in season 1 when Cersei talks with Catelyn in Bran's room while he is still comatose.

Also, Targaryens used to be far more numerous, the insane princes didn't all get to become insane kings.

Edited by Ser Chuck
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Some of the changes from the book are great. I love Tywin and Arya together and their scenes have been my favorite of the series. Ygritte is fucking amazing...she's an improvement from the books. However alot of the changes this season are driving me crazy. For the life of me I cannot understand half of them, and most of them seem completely unecessary.

So far I haven't liked this season that much. Just way too many changes that weren't for the best IMO.

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I actually like the scene with Tywin and Arya. It also shows L.Tywins cunning and suspicious the way he catches Arya off guard with her knowledge in history of the Targariyans . It shows he is willing to play any rules to catch his pray off guard. I believe he has suspicions over the identity of Arya. Was not overtly keen with Theon ending scene, as he shows the body of the two boys..where are their dire wolfs? surely that should have also been displayed to make it look more believable unless i missed it on screen?

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After watching this episode and the preview for 18, I can safely say, they destroyed the best part of ACOK (for me), the Jon Snow story... alright, there will be a fight with Qhorin, I knew there would be... but that's not enough!! They completly took out warging, Ghost and the eagle, the hunt of the NW men, of course, the discussion between Jon and Qhorin.... what is the point?? why would the wildlings want to keep Jon alive?? in the books it was the direwolf that got their attention.... Now what? just because he is the son of a Stark?? that would be a good reason to just kill him, not keep him around. Maybe things will look better when all of this sink in, but how could anyone believe that Jon would defeat alone the greatest swordsman in the NW?? :(

Oh, I forgot, so Tywin suspected all along that Arya is highborn (nice introduction of the m'lord/my lord thing), but how in hell would he have let her still work in the kitchens??? That makes no sens, I am sure this is the same for non book readers. She would make a perfect hostage, a little torture/pressure, whatever and she would confess who she was. Ok Arya had an explanation, a good one I thought, but before that Tywin had an oppinion, and he didn't act on it??? What is going on with the script???

PS: I guess no chain, bummer

Edited by Bayard
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im still wrapping my head around jaime killing this relative.....it is just so out of character for him :( :( :(

He tried to kill Bran Stark, but failed.

The boy was only 10, even younger in the books.

Jaime is heartless to strangers if he can save his own hide (<--- see the lion reference there?).

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I really like the changes to the Qarth storyline; this makes waaaay more sense than what happened in the books. I never understood why nobody ever moved against her in the books; as weak as her khalasar was, somebody should have moved against her while they could, and either captured or killed her dragons.

I'm waiting to judge the Jon's storyline. While I love this Ygritte more than the books, but the way it's playing out is just dumb. Why would Qhorin be so stupid as to leave Jon snow behind like that? The only thing I could come up with was that he expected Jon to screw up because he's a Stark, and planned for him to be captured so they could ambush Rattleshirt and interrogate him for intel.

The music in the last scene was completely inappropriate to the close. They overdid it, and it seemed pretty obvious that it's not Bran & Rickon just based on the rules of TV Drama. I suppose that's inevitible, though.

One thing I didn't like was Shae pulling a knife on the handmaiden; that's just dumb.

I also don't like Jaime killing Cleos Alton. That seems way out of character, even for him.

Out of character? Think again, back to his attempted murder of Bran - a young boy.

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In a lot of ways, I almost felt like this episode was specifically designed to shock people who read the books. There were at least three occasions where I sat back in total surprise.

I liked the Qarth changes a lot. Dany's time in Qarth was rather boring in the books, so I'm glad they're actually having things happen there in the TV show. Xaro and Pyat Pree's coup was believable, and it establishes them as serious and credible threats for Dany. I'm really looking forward to seeing the House of the Undying next episode.

I also like the dynamic between Tywin and Arya, it's absolutely brilliant character interaction. I don't think it's as out-of-character for Tywin as people think. He's in private with a lowly serving girl, it makes sense he'd let his guard down a little bit. I can definitely see how Arya would remind him of Cersei too. I don't think these scenes make Tywin look weak either, he's always made it very clear to Arya that he's her master. He's a master who can be kind to his servants when they serve him well, but he's still careful to make sure they don't get too comfortable around him. In my opinion this is completely consistent with the way Tywin was portrayed in the books.

What happened with Jaime, on the other hand... I have very mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it was incredibly well-done. I was suckered right along with Alton into thinking that Jaime was a decent guy trying to be friendly. I felt like I'd been punched in the gut when the poor sap got murdered, which is a lot more than I felt when Cleos Frey died in the books. I can see why Nikolaj Coster-Waldau said it was the best scene he'd ever done, and I'm inclined to agree with him. In terms of writing, acting, and directing, it was a superb scene.

My problem with the scene is that it effectively makes it impossible for Jaime to have a convincing redemption arc, as he does in the books. This version of Jaime is a cold-blooded sociopath. He's about as close to irredeemable as you can get. Unless they completely change around his role later in the series, I don't see how this characterization could possibly work in the long run.

Also, they had Jaime kill Karstark's son during his escape, rather than on the battlefield. It makes sense for a TV show, since it'd be hard to build a plot around something that happened off-camera last season, but it makes Karstark's attitude seem a lot more sympathetic and reasonable. (I know Jaime killed some Riverrun guards in the books too, but that was never why Karstark hated him.) I'm also baffled by their choice to have Catelyn free Jaime before she finds out about Bran and Rickon's "deaths," that was the one mitigating factor that made her decision understandable. The way the show's portrayed things, I'd be on Karstark's side.

Edited by Catastrophe
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fascinating episode. Lots of juicy backstory, memorable scenes and interesting changes from the book:

  • Winterfell: Nice to see Rickon speaking, and cute little scene of the foursome on the lamb! The unhinged Theon is a delight to watch - at this stage Alfie Allen has mastered the flipping between utter disgust at himself, to taking pleasure from his sick actions. I didnt get why Theon's 2nd in command called Theon over to look at walnuts!?! Why would that mean anything. Otherwise all the Winterfell scenes were done well. I noticed one or two people asking "didn't they go straight to the crypts" but I thought they went into the woods then circled back? Maester Luwin's AND Theons' reactions at the end were well played - but will watch this with my fiance later to judge whether non-book-readers can guess it isn't Bran and Rickon.
  • King's Landing: Sansa is an absolute triumph - the actress is playing her part so perfectly. The horror at her "blossoming" was pitched well, and go Shae - I know she is an unpopular character, but this one scene brought did her well. I cannot believe we've not had a single Shae/Tyrion scene since what, Episode 2? Seems too long!I really enjoyed the interactions between the Hound and Sansa. Tyrion's chain is still not mentioned - hopefuly next week? Cersei and Sansa's scene was great. Wasnt so keen on the Tyrion and Cersei scene as I felt Cersei was giving too much away and that felt out of character to let her guard down with him - but their dialouge was still fab.
  • Quarth: Where is Doreah? From future scenes from the book, she is going to need a handmaiden still, just so HBO can have more gratutious scenes. I haven't read enough of the comments here (yet) to gauge whether the changes are seen as popular: but I really like them. Dany has been played for a fool by Xaro, the killing of the 11 of the 13 was sinister and well-shot, and the drama has been sufficiently heightened. As with the books I am a big fan of Quaithe - but I wish she was having mysterious scenes with Dany, as opposed to the more "normalising" scenes with Jorah.
  • Harrenhal: The opening shot was fab - finally showing what you feel from the books: Harrenhal is a big desolate and depressing castle full of fear. I am SO glad we get these Arya/Tywin scenes - I like that we see some vulnerability and we get an idea of his feelings on this war. The good parts of this dialouge involved Arya's contribution to the Aegon/dragon's tale. Also liked that Tywin caught Arya's poshness, he is clearing sussing her out - and i LOVED that he drew parallels to her and Cersei as that is how I have been justifying him putting up with Arya and enjoying his time with her. I am also glad he told her to watch her tounge! Please Arya was considering how she could kill Tywin and also that Tywin has Arya pretty sussed out.
  • The North: You know nothing Jon Snow - YES YES YES! Line delivered perfectly. I saw a few people bemoaning Ygritte grinding Jon last week - but this was all part of the book, that she fancied him and wanted to get in his pants, and wind him up about his lack of sexual knowhow. This episode continued that and also gave us some of the best dialouge and understanding of the Wildings v Crows story. Was gripping. I wasn't so keen on the final scene where Jon gets taken captive, as I wanted the scenes from the book where he interacted much more with Quorin Halfhand - I pray this still comes.
  • Riverlands: "In your later years you're more She-wolf, there is barely any fish left in you!" -- what a line. Caitlin was perfect in this episode (the actress does so well with her), and the ruthlessness of Jamie at this point is so well done. That last scene involving Jamie, Cat and Brienne - although set in a different location to where we see it in books, where I think Jamie was also drunk - was so frickin good. Jamie's side remarks about Brienne, his mocking over Ned/Jon... oooh cannot wait for more!

All in all, I thought the episode was my favourite so far this season. We spent good time with each set of characters and were permitted good doses of dialoiuge that explained or questions motivations (Jon/Ygritte, Cat/Jamie, Sansa/Cersei) - but I do think we could do with certain threads being brought out again:

- Where is Stannis and Davos? It has been too long since we've seen them - even a simple scene in the last episodes to show they are en route would've been good.

- All seems too relaxed in King's Landing; Cersei seems oblivious to the danger they face, Tywin is still in Harrenhal and not fussed and Tyrion is just pouring over a letter.

- Tyrion and Shae need some interaction - I think of her as Sansa's maid now, and barely remember she has anything to do with Tyrion.

- I will be miffed if Quorin and Jon don't have more time together - I always saw him as a strong influence on Jon in the books.

- It is time for Twyin to leave Harrenhal to put Arya in a more dire situation; as his servant she hasn't been giving us eyes on the horrendous situation in Harrenhal (beyond when she first arrived) - she seems too comfortable there right now.

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