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[Book Spoilers] EP 208 Discussion

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This was the first episode where the changes started to get to me. Given the fact that they hadn't set up any of the stuff relating to weasel soup, and that Roose is off with Robb in the Westerlands, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that they didn't have it, but it was still a bit jarring.

My bigger complaints are two:

1) What on earth is the deal with Talisa? I was convinced last week by her reluctance to go to the Crag that she was Jeyne, but now she's telling a detailed and convincingly detailed story about her life in Volantis, and seems to have returned from the Crag without incident. So she is Talisa? If so, why did they even bring the Crag into it? Why do the extras say that the Crag is home to House Westerling? That's just purposefully fucking with book readers, I think, which is annoying.

2) More subtly, I was a little bit irritated by the way Tywin took his leave of Arya. Which I guess is a complaint that the show runners haven't changed from the books as much as they should have. I guess I kind of thought that Tywin's interactions with her would prove to have some importance in the plot - that maybe he knew she was Arya, or something. Because we saw a ton of them sitting in that room talking to each other. And then he's just "Alright, I'm heading out, take good care of the Mountain for me." It didn't feel very satisfying within the context of the show. But perhaps that was inevitable.

Other than that, I was fairly satisfied. I don't mind the change in Catelyn's release of Jaime, although I wish she'd have said that she did it in part because she was afraid Karstark and his men would murder Jaime if she didn't, and end all chance of her seeing her daughters. And some of the other "changes" turn out not to have been changes at all, as I expected - Jon and Qhorin's endgame will play out basically as it did in the books, Bran and company are still hiding in the crypts.

And lots of good scenes - I loved Stannis and Davos, Theon and Yara, Cersei and Tyrion, all the Tyrion/Bronn/Varys business, and Brienne and Jaime. Still not sure what I think of Robb/Talisa (I guess I have to start calling her that, now), as I'm too confused about what's going on, but Oona Chaplin certainly has a great body, and the book version obviously wouldn't work given that Madden isn't 15.

The Dany plot I still don't really care about, but I'll be interested to see the House of the Undying.

I suppose I'll also have to admit that I was stupidly wrong in thinking they wouldn't use Ros in Alayaya's role. I thought it wouldn't make any sense why Cersei would think she meant something to Tyrion, but I guess it was fine, and it was obviously pretty predictable, since everyone else predicted it. Ah well.

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I don't mind the change in Catelyn's release of Jaime, although I wish she'd have said that she did it in part because she was afraid Karstark and his men would murder Jaime if she didn't, and end all chance of her seeing her daughters.

You must remember it came directly on the heels of dialogue between her and Brienne explicitly stating that Jaime would likely be dead before morning. I just wish she had called-out Karstark on that in front of Robb.

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They should have named this episode Can't Understand Normal Thinking. If I had a nickel for every time they used the word I would have... Maybe a quarter? It was delivered most effectively by good old Yara. That was fantastic. The next usage of the word I am most looking forward to is when Arya places a Camel before it. That was simply a classic book moment.

So I vaguely remember reading a thread (or 2) about who placed the NW cloaked obsidian in the Fist of First Men. I think the argument was that it was either Benjen or some other recent ranger. If the show is a proper reference then it looks like it is very old dragon glass. Which could mean it was left by someone of the First Men...

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You must remember it came directly on the heels of dialogue between her and Brienne explicitly stating that Jaime would likely be dead before morning. I just wish she had called-out Karstark on that in front of Robb.

Yeah, that's basically what I was saying - she should have told Robb that she did it in part because Karstark seemed to be planning to murder Jaime before Robb got back. But it's not a big deal, and I can kind of see why she might not want to alienate Karstark by doing that.

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In the preview for next week, does anyone else think it looked like Stannis was leading the charge off the rowboats, into the defenders of Kings Landing?

Don't get me wrong, I am glad the are showing something that makes Stannis look like a badass, but Stannis isn't really that type of badass. He is definitely the more cautious Commander, and if he leads the charge, they are going to have to make him look even more badass IMO. He would have to be super badass, in order to survive to fight another day, after having led the charge right into a trap, and then being flanked by the Tywin/Tyrell army.

So if my eyes did not decieve me, and if that preview was not just crafty editing to make it look like Stannis leads the charge, then I am very curious/excited to see Stannis fighting hand to hand the whole battle, and how he will survive it.

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i didn't catch this myself, but someone posted this screencap to Reddit from tonight's episode http://i.imgur.com/EcqaA.png -- its in the background when Jaime and Brienne get into the rowboat. their guess was that this could have possibly been the silent sisters with ned's bones

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I'm really unhappy with the changes to Arya's story. Arya slices a man's throat in cold blood and whispers "Valar Morghulis" on her way out of Harrenhal. Harrenhal was the beginning of Arya's journey to becoming a cold blooded killer. Nothing about show!arya coveys that she has that level of darkness in her. I think they have messed up her character arc in ACOK pretty badly, and given how Arya is my favorite character this is really ticking me off.

ETA:

HOTU in episode ten better be as freaking amazing as it was in the books (although I'm not holding my breath given what they did to Bran's 3-eyed crow dream), because otherwise the entire Dany story this season has been a big waste of time.

Edited by The Scabbard Of the Morning

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i like the the wildlings camo pattern

talysa im not that into her as she is too "in your face/pants" Robb

she is going to get married to the king by sleeping with him - i dont even care if she is a maid -

Jayne was a noble maid so when Robb took her, he was doing the noble thing so she wasn't disgraced but Talysa is not a noblewoman or at least not a Westeros noblewoman and the Freys wont be angry over Robb doing some westelands or essos girls but marrying one for sure will make them plan a RW

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I feel almost redeemed with this train wreck of an episode. Every major issue I've had with this season's writing was pretty much proven correct.

1. The miscast and terrible writing of Shae. Who bought for a second that Tyrion had fallen head over heels for her? There hasn't been a single scene this season that would suggest that his feelings are anything more than sexual, and now he is near tears? Uggh...

2. Talisa - Stupid unnecessary rewrite of a minor character which required a long lenghty and boring backstory this week, that adds really nothing to the Robb/Jeyne Westerling union. I wasn't against modifying the original story given the aging up of Robb's character, but this was as awful as expected. It isn't the actors, both are more than competent to deliver the goods, but I wasn't feeling anything with these two. Even the clumsy attempt of humour during the stripping down scene, as least I think was an attempt, came off as terrible.

3. Arya and Tywin - Yes - They have chemistry in spades, but other than Cersei and Tyrion, what two characters had more screen time together this season? And what was the point in the end? Nothing. Yes - We got some lessons in great acting from Charles Dance and Maise, but to have no real significant point for the characters suggests what a poorly thought out idea. Why not at least play up the drama and have Tywin get a letter from Tyrion indicating they have lost Arya and Tywin suddenly clueing in on who this high born girl is? At least it would add some drama to the events at Harrenhal. Or as I like to call it "Arya's Haunted Castle Vacation"

4. Qarth. Despite all the rewrites and changes, it remains the weak storyline that it was in Clash of Kings. It feels like its taking her a month to get from the kidnapping of the dragons to actually visiting the House of the Undying.

That said, I did like Stannis and Davros, and Tyrion with everyone (excluding Shae).

Edited by pleonasm

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No horses for the king and his escort at the riots...barely any horses for the crows beyond the wall...but plenty of horses for the Ironborn :P.

That's quite a funny observation. I was hoping to see less horses after "luck"'s cancellation though!

What I love about this show is that the ending was as close to a "happy" one as this show's going to get. And happy is "Theon burned two farm boys to death rather than the Stark kids"

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HBO really needs to get these last two episodes right...this episode was a snooze fest.

I watch the episodes with a group of friends each week (non-readers) and they have said that they do not even want to continue watching. Why is HBO focusing, and wasting so much time on meaningless scenes, only to leave out great moments in the book?

And if I hear Danny whine about being the mother of Dragons, I am going to scream. Granted she does not have the most interesting plot line in ACoK, but I would rather only see her charater every 4 episodes, than to have those horrible scenes like tonight...

Ugh..I digress

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Of course due to the changes the Robb / Cat argument is invalid as in the book Robb already [email protected]&€ up and married Jayne so the Freys already droped him as lord and ge is much more friendly to his mother "treason" so Edmure is the one who imprison her with their father on his death bed, but this is not a complaint just an observation

I just wondered who is protecting ER jayne from rape now and untill she joined the war effort as she is by far the only woman in Robb lowborn army (not including Cat& Brienne)

Also i wonder what NGO is she on as except for the silent sisters who are the field nurses by the book

Anyway they at least try this episode to link back to the book main plot

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Oona Chaplin naked :wideeyed:. Not saying she's worth a sword in the heart, but certainly a sword in the shoulder, possibly a leg.

Also, was that a Stannis scene I didn't hate? Hooray!

Edited by salt

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If Talissa ends up being actually a Volantene lady... after this episode I can actually get behind that. Now that she and Robb are actually talking to each other rather than the snarking from the earliest episodes, I'm a lot more sold on the two actors' chemistry. The description of the Volantis slave society was a nice touch foreshadowing for book 5.

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If Talissa ends up being actually a Volantene lady... after this episode I can actually get behind that. Now that she and Robb are actually talking to each other rather than the snarking from the earliest episodes, I'm a lot more sold on the two actors' chemistry. The description of the Volantis slave society was a nice touch foreshadowing for book 5.

I agree with this.

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I loved the descriptions of Volantis. It was a lot of name-dropping, which was nice. We heard that a Volantene lady's education involves recitation of Valyrian poetry (which is nice to know, since the everyday Volantene language has changed quite a bit from High Valyrian) and it was cool to hear about the Rhoyne. Yeah, she doesn't look Valyrian but it seems they're playing up the warmer climes of Volantis, so her tanned/Latin appearance works well for that.

And I feel like a pig for even saying this, but there's a face (and a body) that could launch a thousand ships... youch.

Varys continues to be spectacular, although I dunno about Bronn schooling everyone about how to defend a city. Seems like Tyrion should have an idea or two of his own, and it seems like reading books should be helpful (Napoleon learned a lot of the craft by reading Caesar). There is such a thing as the art of war, and military sciences. Sometimes I feel the show pushes a modernist mindset regarding commoners.

And of course, I was utterly enthralled to receive Hot Pie's words of wisdom. I learned more things about cherry pits than I had ever imagined. He is truly the prince that was promised.

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Bit slow this week, but I didn't mind it, bar a couple things.

Didn't like how they did Robb/Talisa. The story was so eye-rolling expected. Since they've kept in Theon killing the fake Bran and Rickon, I have no idea why they decided to keep Catilyn and Robb ignorant of it when grief from their deaths is perfect for tipping Cat over the edge and releasing Jaime, and for Robb to break his marriage vow and sleep with another woman. The change to Cat's actions isn't too bad since the core reasoning, to get Sansa and Arya back, is the same, but the change to Robb's felt really hollow as "oh, god, my brothers are dead, I need comforting" just works better than how cheesy they played it up for romance. I totally get the need to "show, not tell" and that the Robb romance had to be on screen; I just wish it was being done slightly differently.

I also missed "weasel soup," but unlike the above, I totally understand why they cut it. In general, Arya's story feels kind of truncated, but it's been pretty well executed so I don't mind.

My biggest "Yay, we're going to get-- aww..." moment of the episode was Tyrion asking Varys what he wanted. With all the focus on Varys in this episode, I thought for sure we were going to get Varys' backstory about when he was castrated and how he hates magic. I was a bit crushed when I realized the scene had ended.

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He essentially quoted Maggy the Frog's prophecy word for word. GRRM has said multiple times in interviews that D&D have insight into how the series will end. I think that scene was a tip of the cap to all those who assumed it be him over Jaime. We'll see if lefty ends up killing her, but that scene confirms Tyrion for me.

Huh? What? Citation plz.

"Robb and Talisa or whoever - meh. I don't see what we gain from this." Man I really really really don't understand people who are saying this. What we gain from this is a path to what could be one of the most amazing scenes on TV ever. Rob just can't show up and be married without us seeing how it happens. It has to be passionate as breaking his vow is a very, very big deal. So what we're seeing with Rob and Talisa/Jeyne and Cat releasing Jamie is set up for the Red Wedding. This stuff is ESSENTIAL for people who haven't read the books.

Uh, yeah, they did need to show his falling-in-love-and-marriage on-screen... that's not what people are objecting to. They're objecting because the storyline D&D wrote is cliché, boring, unbelievable and stupid.

Sigh. This again. Jaime would've never lived to see the morning. Karstark was right there in camp, stirring-up trouble, as opposed to off with Robb like in the book. If anything, the way the show did it makes more sense, not less, than her letting him go in some desperate (and probably misguided) hope that it'll get her the girls back. She knows, for a fact, that if the Karstarks kill him, the girls are dead meat.

Except, you know, Catelyn didn't even tell Robb that this was the reason she freed Jaime. Instead she just looked stupid and pathetic.

It’s ridiculous and it’s painful. It is annoying. It subtracts from the experience. It’s fucking assinine.

Funny, I feel the same about your bitching.

I honestly don't understand all the complaints about not getting weasel soup. I mean, if TV Arya isn't known as "Weasel", how or why can they have weasel soup in the same way as the book? Get over it, people! Yes, it was a 'fun' part of the book with Arya, but in the overall context of her storyline across this asnd the next 3 books, it was a tiny little detail that really has absolutely no long term signficance. Talk about griping over inconsequential changes!
*facepalm* People aren't disappointed because there wasn't a scene called that literally... they are disappointed that Arya didn't use Jaqen's name to participate in an awesome scheme that resulted in a slaughterhouse, which is very important for Arya's development, and they're disappointed that she didn't even get to kill her own guard while escaping. When they say "no weasel soup, boo!" they mean that there isn't even a similar scene that would replace what was referred to as the "weasel soup" in the book. Of course it wouldn't be called that in the TV show, but that's not the point.

"Tiny detail with no long-term significance"? Ugh, yeah, nevermind the House of Black and White and the Faceless Men and the whole assassin-in-training thing...

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