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Ran

[Book Spoilers] EP 209 Discussion

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For the atmosphere we need some Turner:

http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/turner/i/slave-ship.jpg

And for the light there is Aivazovski:

http://www.russianpaintings.net/articleimg/aivazovskiy/big/aivazovskiy_chesmenskiy_battle_1848.jpg

Edited by Woman of War

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Agree!! That was an amazing performance. He looked possessed, fearless and deranged and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE of it. That was how Robert was described as a fighter and this was the first time Isaw that Baratheon warrior blood in Stannis. It was a wonderful surprise from the tv series:)

Tywin scares me with his powerful swagger but his game face seems like a pose- something he does to look like a tough military commander. Stannis looked raw and out of control and real. He would scare the bejesus out of me if he came at me with that violent look on his face. God he looked fierce.

I know it looked cool, having Stannis be that badass, but I hate what the are implying for the character. You said it yourself, Stannis looked "possessed" and "deranged". The show is making it out to seem like Stannis was unstoppable, but not because he is a naturally skilled swordsman or anything. They are making him seem unstoppable, "because he sold his soul to the devil", and that's why he couldn't be killed.

This is backed up by the show having Varys say, "the dark arts have provided Lord Stannis with his army's and paved his path to our door. For a man in service to such powers to sit on the Iron Throne, I can think of nothing worse."

I really hate them doing this to Stannis's character, he is not evil, and he did not sell his soul to a "demon"(Melisandre), to win the Iron Throne. Melisandre is also not evil, we learn this as the story goes on. I don't know how the show is going to come back from this, that's a major "butterfly effect" IMO, and I am afraid the show will continue to make these two characters black, instead of grey. Even when the show gets to ADwD, I am afraid they will still make these two characters "evil", and that's bullshit IMO, the story is much better with grey characters.

I personally believe that, even though Stannis and Melisandre are "grey" characters, overal I would still consider them as "good guys". Just like how Arya has killed in cold blood, but she is still in the catagory of "good", when looking at the big picture.

When we first meet Stannis and Melisandre, most of us though they were "bad", but as the story progressed, we learn that's not the case. So I am worried that, even if the show wants to start showing these two characters as not being evil down the road, like in the books, they won't be able to, because they have made them to unredeemable, and to unlikeable. If that makes sense.

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Well it depends on people's memory really. If they remember Varys' scene with Illyrio about killing Ned, they won't give much weight to his words. Melisandre wasn't even included in the attack, so his argument makes little sense and even the most casual of viewers will see Stannis was trying to take KL fair and square rather than relying on magic. I even saw someone remark 'why isn't he helped by scary gas demon?!' lol. Like in the books, almost all the information we get about Stannis is second-hand information given to us by his enemies. People may be able to see past that in time - I remember a lot of people saying Stannis grew on them gradually. When Tywin and Cersei will inevitably lose some respect (they have been toned down up till now, but Qyburn and the framing of Tyrion just has to happen) that'll only work to his advantage. If not, more people are sure to start rooting for him when he appears at the Wall and later even more when he's the only main guy left opposing the instigators of the Red Wedding and Ramsay the Horrible.

Edited by StannisandDaeny

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This is backed up by the show having Varys say, "the dark arts have provided Lord Stannis with his army's and paved his path to our door. For a man in service to such powers to sit on the Iron Throne, I can think of nothing worse."

Yes, but since we know how Varys was cut, we know he has good reason for a negative bias against magic and magic practitioners.

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When we first meet Stannis and Melisandre, most of us though they were "bad", but as the story progressed, we learn that's not the case. So I am worried that, even if the show wants to start showing these two characters as not being evil down the road, like in the books, they won't be able to, because they have made them to unredeemable, and to unlikeable. If that makes sense.

I think they're just trying to really sell the "bad guy" vibe right now, so, when the face turn occurs, it'll mean more to the casual TV viewers who, having not read the books, will have missed-out on all the subtle nuance. I'm hoping they don't cut Edric Storm and Stannis fighting with himself (morality -vs- ambition) over whether or not to let Mel burn him. Seeing that struggle, with Davos essentially saving Stannis' soul and helping him to find the honorable path, could make for great TV and a lot of dramatic tension for season 3.

Edited by J_Crews

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Yes, but since we know how Varys was cut, we know he has good reason for a negative bias against magic and magic practitioners.

The people who have actually read the books know that, not the people who only watch the show. It would not have been so bad, had Varys told the story, but he didn't, and now all the non book readers most likely think Stannis is evil.

And that's my point, they are doing so many things to make Stannis look evil, it wasn't just this episode. This episode was just when they made Stannis look really evil. Most book readers start off not liking Stannis, and thinking he would make a bad King, but as the story goes on, many of us changed our minds and we started to like Stannis, and thinking he would be a good King. I don't see that happening at all for the people who only watch the show. D B Weiss has actually said Stannis would make a horrible King, and it's very obvious his personal opinion of Stannis is reflecting in how the character is written. I don't agree with that at all, they should let the viewer deside for themselves on how the feel about Stannis. The show writers own personal opinion should not reflect in the character when doing an adaptation. They need to stop this black and white bullshit, and make the story with grey characters, like they are in the books. That's probably the biggest thing that sets aSoIaF apart from most fantasy, it's characters are not black and white, even the "good guys" do some fucked up stuff. That's one of the reasons why people like the books so much, and the show is screwing that up.

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I think they're just trying to really sell the "bad guy" vibe right now, so, when the face turn occurs, it'll mean more to the casual TV viewers who, having not read the books, will have missed-out on all the subtle nuance. I'm hoping they don't cut Edric Storm and Stannis fighting with himself (morality -vs- ambition) over whether or not to let Mel burn him. Seeing that struggle, with Davos essentially saving Stannis' soul and helping him to find the honorable path, could make for great TV and a lot of dramatic tension for season 3.

I really hope your right, and that is what they are doing, but I am worried they are making the Stannis to unlikeable. So even if they do give him a face turn, I don't see that many people starting to like him, like with the books. Right now they are going so heavy handed with the black and white characters, its going to be an unbelievable transition when these characters start doing the opposite. I don't see many show watchers changing their opinions of Stannis in particular.

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I don't think they tried to make Stannis a bad guy. On the contrary,in his interactions with Davos, he seemed to be a stern but just person. All the non-book followers I have met, they were rooting for Stannis in the battle of Blackwater. XD

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Stannis was a badass but the best scene of the night for me was Bronn pulling the bow, arching waaaaay back and shooting the arrow into the night. It was the coolest shot by bow I've ever seen save for the archer during the Barcelona olympics opening ceremonies. Thrilling!

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Gotta disagree on Stannis being too heelish this episode (his direct knowledge of killing his brother certainly did that earlier, though). Stannis looks like a true leader this episode. Look at the other rulers we've seen:

Robert: gets drunk and goes hunting when it's time to do something difficult

Joffery: lol

Ned: Unable to put his honor aside to do whats best, this whole mess is his fault (as much as we love him, Ned would be a horrible king)

Dany: she planned on bringing a barbarian horde to rape and pillage to retake her throne and now all she talks about is burning all her enemies (I hope they fix this next season)

Renly: likable but like Robert, unable to do the tough parts of ruling

In this episode, Stannis is shown as the man who will do what it takes to be king. He (last ep) selected the most likable character currently on the show (Davos,) as his hand, and now, when the things get rough, he is the first man off the boats and the first man up the ladder onto the battlements. There was no indication of anything mystical about him (other than Varys, who nobody believes). They went out of their way (weeks ago) to make sure we knew he is doing nothing mystical this time. To quote my non-book fiance, she he was on the front of the boat, "Now that's a king!" He was painted as the anti-Joffery this episode, you could not do more to make him more of a face (this episode)

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Robert: gets drunk and goes hunting when it's time to do something difficult

How quickly they forget. Stannis owes any claim he has to be King to Robert for actually deposing a real King and his regime, the Targaryans. Robert was a better warrior than Stannis and a better general, for example, by inspiring loyalty in great allies like Ned Stark. Stannis can't even win a battle against Tyrion Lannister (who held him off until the cavalry came), and the only reason he could challenge at KL is because he used the Sorceress to murder his younger brother.

Stannis improves in subsequent books with his (somewhat surprising) foray north of the wall and his campaign south of the wall. However he would make a terrible King and I don't suspect GRRM will give him the chance to be one.

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How quickly they forget. Stannis owes any claim he has to be King to Robert for actually deposing a real King and his regime, the Targaryans. Robert was a better warrior than Stannis and a better general, for example, by inspiring loyalty in great allies like Ned Stark. Stannis can't even win a battle against Tyrion Lannister (who held him off until the cavalry came), and the only reason he could challenge at KL is because he used the Sorceress to murder his younger brother.

Stannis improves in subsequent books with his (somewhat surprising) foray north of the wall and his campaign south of the wall. However he would make a terrible King and I don't suspect GRRM will give him the chance to be one.

Are you kidding me? Tyrion did not hold Stannis off until the calvary got there. Did you miss the part of Tyrion saying "fuck me", as like a thousand guys came charging at his small band of troops? Had Tywin and Loras been three minutes later, all of Tyrion's men would have been slaughtered, including Tyrion himself. Same goes for in the book.

Stannis would not make a horrible King, it's because he used Melisandre to kill his brother that makes him so good. Stannis will literally do what ever it takes to fulfill his duty, which is sitting the Iron Throne. Renly was a Usurper by all the laws of Westeros, because he lost. Your not a rebel if you win, but Renly did not win, so he was a rebel.

I am not saying Stannis would make the perfect King, but he sure as hell would not be a horrible King. Nobody can be a perfect King, because nobody is perfect, but Stannis would make a good fair King.

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How quickly they forget. Stannis owes any claim he has to be King to Robert for actually deposing a real King and his regime, the Targaryans. Robert was a better warrior than Stannis and a better general, for example, by inspiring loyalty in great allies like Ned Stark. Stannis can't even win a battle against Tyrion Lannister (who held him off until the cavalry came), and the only reason he could challenge at KL is because he used the Sorceress to murder his younger brother.

Stannis improves in subsequent books with his (somewhat surprising) foray north of the wall and his campaign south of the wall. However he would make a terrible King and I don't suspect GRRM will give him the chance to be one.

Didn't forget anything, we are talking about Stannis in this episode only, I was very clear and specific about that. We (the television audience) know very little about Robert's winning the throne, he was described as a fearsome warrior. We saw (and heard many times) about what a lousy king and father he was. This episode showed Stannis being a true leader. To be honest, I think he was too heroic this episode, it made for GREAT television, but I think it will detract somewhat from his dramatic face turn in Season 4. Of course 19 episodes of him whining and brooding will likely erase these memories.

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I really hate them doing this to Stannis's character, he is not evil, and he did not sell his soul to a "demon"(Melisandre), to win the Iron Throne. Melisandre is also not evil, we learn this as the story goes on.

I personally believe that, even though Stannis and Melisandre are "grey" characters, overal I would still consider them as "good guys". Just like how Arya has killed in cold blood, but she is still in the catagory of "good", when looking at the big picture.

When we first meet Stannis and Melisandre, most of us though they were "bad", but as the story progressed, we learn that's not the case.

I am not sure I agree with this. Stannis is rigid and determined to sit the Iron Throne because in his eyes, it is his by right. I get that. But, he has done evil and made "dark grey" choices to achieve that goal. Melisandre is "evil" out of good intentions. She believes the Red God is the true god and that her power is a testament to the truth of her believes, but her decisions and manipulations cannot be construed as anything but "evil", regardless of motivations and intentions. That is why Jon gave her such short shrift at the Wall.

The show can paint them as "evil" without corrupting the nuance of GRRM's character development. At the end of the day, it is safe to chalk Stannis and the Red Woman up as antagonists.

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I love Stannis and always will, even if GRRM kills him or returns him to a dark place. I won't root for him if the latter occurs, obviously, but I'll grieve for what might have been. Stannis, in his heart-of-hearts, is a soldier doing what he believes is his duty under every law of Westeros. He doesn't want to be King; he *IS* King, and, in his eyes, failing to fight for what is his is tantamount to not doing his duty -- an idea so alien to everything he is that he doesn't even consider it. True, he has no real proof that Cersei's children are what they are, but he knows it to be true; and so duty requires he act upon it, proof be damned.

Using Melisandre's magic to kill Renly was a necessity, because Renly commanded the larger force -- a force that Stannis both required in order to take the Iron Throne and should've been his by rights in the first place. They were all rebels and the only reason he forgave any of them was, again, by necessity.

In all honesty, the only thing that I imagine could make Stannis a poor King would be his past ideas of outlawing whoring and gambling. In every other way, he would be an awesome King who would deal justly with every person and issue on their own merits.

Edited by J_Crews

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I'm surprised none of the discussion in here mentions Dog of the King's Guard. His character made a dramatic and enigmatic turn in this last episode; can anyone explain it, either with or without the books? Why the conflict with the mercenaries and betrayal of the king? Why fight at first only to give up? Why take Sansa to the Starks?

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I am not sure I agree with this. Stannis is rigid and determined to sit the Iron Throne because in his eyes, it is his by right. I get that. But, he has done evil and made "dark grey" choices to achieve that goal. Melisandre is "evil" out of good intentions. She believes the Red God is the true god and that her power is a testament to the truth of her believes, but her decisions and manipulations cannot be construed as anything but "evil", regardless of motivations and intentions. That is why Jon gave her such short shrift at the Wall.

The show can paint them as "evil" without corrupting the nuance of GRRM's character development. At the end of the day, it is safe to chalk Stannis and the Red Woman up as antagonists.

What manipulations?

And just because she believes that R'hllor is the one true god, that does not make her evil. Everything Melisandre does is to achieve her goal of stopping the Others and saving the world, how can that be "evil"? Sure she may be wrong about some things, or she may be right, but either way that doesn't make her evil. She is willing to make necessary sacrifices for the greater good, some of those things may be "bad", but she believes them to be neccisary. Given the evidence she knows, I don't blame her for her decisions. People in power have to be able to make neccisary sacrifices. That's not evil, it's a "necessary evil".

Edited by Ghost714

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I'm surprised none of the discussion in here mentions Dog of the King's Guard. His character made a dramatic and enigmatic turn in this last episode; can anyone explain it, either with or without the books? Why the conflict with the mercenaries and betrayal of the king? Why fight at first only to give up? Why take Sansa to the Starks?

The conflict with Bronn was just to show that they were both badasses and it was added for the show. Sandor left the battle because he's surrounded by fire and absolutely terrified of it. He couldn't stay in the King's service after refusing to fight (and he was surely tired of being the Lannisters' dog) so he said "fuck it". In the books Sandor simply offers to take Sansa away from King's Landing, not to Winterfell. It doesn't make any sense in the show universe or the book for him to offer to take her from one (about-to-be) occupied city to another, but that's many of the show changes in a nutshell.

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I'm surprised none of the discussion in here mentions Dog of the King's Guard. His character made a dramatic and enigmatic turn in this last episode; can anyone explain it, either with or without the books? Why the conflict with the mercenaries and betrayal of the king? Why fight at first only to give up? Why take Sansa to the Starks?

LeBronn Jamie pretty much nailed it

The conflict with Bronn was just to show that they were both badasses and it was added for the show. Sandor left the battle because he's surrounded by fire and absolutely terrified of it. He couldn't stay in the King's service after refusing to fight (and he was surely tired of being the Lannisters' dog) so he said "fuck it". In the books Sandor simply offers to take Sansa away from King's Landing, not to Winterfell. It doesn't make any sense in the show universe or the book for him to offer to take her from one (about-to-be) occupied city to another, but that's many of the show changes in a nutshell.

Whether or not he offers to take her 'away' or 'to Winterfell', his motives are clear: He cares about Sansa, and wants her to be safe (note: I am using 'care' in the normal way, not the San/San ship way)

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