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Xray the Enforcer

[Book Spoilers] EP 208 Discussion Mk. II

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This may be true, but there is one problem: its not economical. What I mean is that it complicates a relatively simple story line. If Robb marries Jayne/Talisa it does not matter that much if she is a Westerling of a Volanese. To Walder Frey a betrayal is a betrayal. We then advance the story in much the same way regardless of whether or not we ever meet the character's family. This way- if Talisa is exactly what she says she is -we still get to the Red Wedding without any fuss or muss. Tywin can still get wind of this and still alert Frey and Bolton (its possible Bolton is Tywin's spy, not Talisa). However, if Talisa is Jayne Westerling, we then have to spend time introducing us all to her family, which means more actors, more plot, more time with Robb and draws us away from the other major players. In other words, more time an effort that would all be saved if Robb just marries this Volanese woman he has loved for so long. Same betrayal, same outcomes, BUT more economical as the writers have already completed that investment in the story and WOULD NOT have to reinvest in it in the third season.

Indeed. I think they just let go of the Westerling-story. It wouldn't make any sense as they could've spent that time to other storylines. Neh, Talisa's has to be the girl Robb forsakes his honor for. I don't care at all though, the Westerlingstory would have been hard to believe by nonbookreaders as it was already hard to believe by the bookreaders. In my opinion at least, I really couldn't believe that the son of Ned Stark would do this. On the other hand, just becáuse he is the son of Ned Stark, it's possible to explain his action as well.

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He clearly did not know. LF even tested his knowledge when he (LF) found it out with his comment about DaughterSSSS.

I interpreted that as bait for Arya's reaction, but I guess it works for Tywin, too...

I loved how Tywin/Arya ended. It was a meaningless arc (plotwise), but developed both characters better than Martin ever did. And it ended perfectly. After weeks of soulful conversations, clearly a bond forming, Tywin casually tosses Arya into the meat grinder because she serves no purpose for Tywin Lannister. That moment so perfectly defines his character. With 5 seconds of effort, he could have put her in a good position (working somewhere decent in Harranhal or even dispatching her with a couple of peon guards to Moat Caitlin for a small ransom, she is a Northern Highborn). But no, it's not worth that 5 seconds of effort, so he gives her to the worst human being on the planet. LF, however, did know who she is. He also knew Tywin did not know. I don't understand how he would leave Harrenhal without such a valuable commodity. It's like seeing a copy of Detective Comics #1 at a yard sale, and not paying the $2 they are asking for it. I understand that story-wise they can't let LF get her, because her story doesn't go that way, but we should have seen LF's plot to grab her get foiled.

Like this a lot.

Regarding Tyrion and the Chain or lack thereof: I put a few context clues together from the Varys/Tyrion/Bronn banter and I believe they are scraping the chain entirely in favor of another method. I think Tyrion "the Highborn Plumber of Casterly Rock" will devise some scheme with flushing rather than flinging a majority of the wildfire into the waters of Blackwater Rush. The scene with Bronn shooting the fire arrow made it seem as though he could have been using it to set the contaminated river ablaze. I still think they will probably fling some wildfire, and use ships full of wildfire as battering rams, but I think the crux of the plan will be the river itself. Not necessarily as ingenious as the chain, but it serves the same purpose of "trapping" and eviscerating Stannis' fleet. It's probably a lot more budget conscious as well, and would still be creditable to Tyrion's ingenuity. Just a thought.

A very good thought, and I do believe you're right.

The bay of wildfire seems quite plausible and really not much of a change. I think we will definitely see "Renly", though likely it will be Loras. Maybe as Tyrion's last image before he drops unconscious. Even possible as the last shot of the episode.

I think Loras as Renly is highly likely and I think it would be a good change. Don't think it's dramatic enough for the end shot, though. I sort of assumed it'd be Bran and Rickon out of the crypts revealing they were alive but now that that's shot, I'm thinking homage to last season the dragon(s) burning down the House of the Undying...though it wouldn't really finish off Dany's plotline from Clash.

Since D&D have gotten input from GRRM on the future plotlines, maybe the whole Jeyne/Talisa thing may take a more impotent role in the next book. If I remember correctly, Jeyne is not at the RW, and the possibility of a Stark heir is still unresolved. (null)

True, we don't exactly know that there isn't a Robb Stark heir, but we do know about Jeyne's mother getting in the way of that. Not impossible, of course, for GRRM to throw us a curveball later; one might even say it is likely, considering Jeyne just sort of disappeared and nothing much has been said about her. Discarded b/c she was merely a plot device or saved up and waiting in the wings with a little understudy in her belly...who can say? Look what happened when LF disappeared for awhile....

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I forgot to add my (killed the thread) post in Mk I. Have they just thrown LF knowing about Arya out the window? They have this great scene, with a significant plot development, and then it just disappears in a puff of smoke.

I think we'll see this come up again at a later date. One thing it does show you now is that LF is clearly not on the Lannisters' side, since he didn't say anything to Tywin.

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This may be true, but there is one problem: its not economical. What I mean is that it complicates a relatively simple story line. If Robb marries Jayne/Talisa it does not matter that much if she is a Westerling of a Volanese. To Walder Frey a betrayal is a betrayal. We then advance the story in much the same way regardless of whether or not we ever meet the character's family. This way- if Talisa is exactly what she says she is -we still get to the Red Wedding without any fuss or muss. Tywin can still get wind of this and still alert Frey and Bolton (its possible Bolton is Tywin's spy, not Talisa).

However, if Talisa is Jayne Westerling, we then have to spend time introducing us all to her family, which means more actors, more plot, more time with Robb and draws us away from the other major players. In other words, more time an effort that would all be saved if Robb just marries this Volanese woman he has loved for so long. Same betrayal, same outcomes, BUT more economical as the writers have already completed that investment in the story and WOULD NOT have to reinvest in it in the third season.

I don't think it's quite the same, if we take as given the arguments of economy/budget/simplicity and leave the rest, I still think it blows that Tywin will only be in cahoots with the Freys in bringing about the RW. The Westerling subplot was a brilliant, cold and calculating bit of Tywinesque strategizing and opportunism, nicely echoing his lifting of the siege in KL during Robert's rebellion, and it would have been nice to have that side of things included. Especially considering the whole grandfatherly rapport with Arya this season, I think he's not quite coming off as the powerful, unstoppable monster he is in the books, and the viewers may find it hard to gel with Tyrion taking him out later. I know we've heard the Tysha story, but we've seen the Arya interactions, so it's up for debate how non-readers will interpret him. I agree with the earlier post about his casually dumping Arya on the Mountain as a good view of cold-hearted Tywin, but that again, is partially due to the fact that those of us who've read the books have reason to fear and loathe the Mountain much more than the TV audience, who've only seen him slaughter a horse and heard the story of what he did to little bro as a kid.

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I think we'll see this come up again at a later date. One thing it does show you now is that LF is clearly not on the Lannisters' side, since he didn't say anything to Tywin.

LF is only on one person's side, ever and always.

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The Westerlings had nothing to do with the RW or plotting it, it's explicitly noted in the text because Sybelle Westerling is furious about it (since it got Raynald killed). The Red Wedding was a Bolton/Frey/Tywin plot; the Westerling betrayal was Sybelle feeding Jeyne the contraceptive.

We do lose that subplot but it was only relevant in one scene in AFFC.

Edited by Ser Hippie

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@legba11

Since prev. thread is locked I can't quote you, but I think it's personal interpretation re: whether the Halfhand was "captured" or no. It just reads tougher to me to have him die- sacrificially to boot- before anyone could technically take him into custody. I respect him more. It echoes something of the grit in the old Hollywood westerns. Also lines up well with Ygritte's answer to his question in the prev. episode, which is why I find it bizarre that he now shows up a prisoner. Don't really know what the point of having her say that was.

Ahh, i see you now, gotcha. I agree it conflicts with Ygritte, but she doesn't speak for all Wildlings. (Likely it was sloppy writing)

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Buckwheat, you said "since when can Shae read?". When was she shown to be reading? I didn't notice at all. A minor nitpick, to be sure, but I'm curious. Anyway, TV-Shae was apparently highborn, so I guess it's not that surprising. Personally I'm more puzzled about Bronn's literacy, lol.

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Ahh, i see you now, gotcha. I agree it conflicts with Ygritte, but she doesn't speak for all Wildlings. (Likely it was sloppy writing)

It's pretty easy to explain, really, even ignoring the possibility Ygritte was wrong. She says that if they were feeling merciful they'd kill the Halfhand quickly, if not (trails off). Rattleshirt specifically mentions they're going to find out what Halfhand knows, which presumably doesn't involve pleasant treatment - the "or else" implied in Ygritte's statement.

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agreed on Talisa = Talisa, there is no Jeyne

I'll actually be annoyed if they have the chain at Blackwater since there has been no mention of it by Tyrion, only the wyldfire which is more than enough to defeat Stannis

was Tywin really heading to fight Robb? Thought he was supposed to show up at Blackwater, confused...

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I don't think it's quite the same, if we take as given the arguments of economy/budget/simplicity and leave the rest, I still think it blows that Tywin will only be in cahoots with the Freys in bringing about the RW. The Westerling subplot was a brilliant, cold and calculating bit of Tywinesque strategizing and opportunism, nicely echoing his lifting of the siege in KL during Robert's rebellion, and it would have been nice to have that side of things included. Especially considering the whole grandfatherly rapport with Arya this season, I think he's not quite coming off as the powerful, unstoppable monster he is in the books, and the viewers may find it hard to gel with Tyrion taking him out later. I know we've heard the Tysha story, but we've seen the Arya interactions, so it's up for debate how non-readers will interpret him..

Obviously anything that reveals the brilliance of Tywin is always good in my book. Unfortunately, its details that this story cannot (literally) afford to elaborate on. I completely agree that in the books, the Westerlings were being used (willingly) by Tywin to trap Robb and that plan worked brilliantly. Well, that level of Machiavellian cunning cannot be properly translated in this show. So, we have to settle for the next best thing which is Tywin working with the Freys to take down Robb. Not as fulfilling, but not empty either.

The Westerlings had nothing to do with the RW or plotting it, it's explicitly noted in the text because Sybelle Westerling is furious about it (since it got Raynald killed). The Red Wedding was a Bolton/Frey/Tywin plot; the Westerling betrayal was Sybelle feeding Jeyne the contraceptive.

Ah... no... I agree that they probably had no idea that there would be a grand execution that evening, but Lady Spicer can protest all seh wants- she knew that she was serving Robb to Frey by way of Tywin. How do we know this? Well, duh- just like Deep Throat said years ago- follow the money:

“This grants Ser Rolph Spicer title to the castle Castamere and raises him to the rank of lord.” Tommen scrawled his name. .. This is your royal pardon for Lord Gawen Westerling, his lady wife, and his daughter Jeyne, welcoming them back into the king’s peace,”

Martin, George R.R. (2003-03-04). A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three (p. 819). Bantam. Kindle Edition.

Obviously, these people do not get these huge benefits and titles etc simply because they wrote Tywin nicely. The Westerlings knew (or more aptly "should have known") that their actions were going to lead Robb to his doom. Maybe not at the RW, maybe not in the manner described, but as soon as Sybil Spicer put quill to parchment, Robb Stark was as good as dead. Tywin orchestrated it all after that, but what did Sybil think Tywin was going to do? Declare Robb Stark a royal "Liar Liar Pants Be-Ith On Fire?"

The Westerlings want all the benefit of Robb's destruction (they took the pardons and titles, I assume), but none of the blame. Well... too bad. Its sort of like saying "Hey, didn't kill the guy.... I just painted the huge bull's eye on the guy and then called the guy with the gun and told him where to point."

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Yes, but I'm talking about what they did, practically speaking, to betray Robb. They (Sybelle and Rolph) obviously were working against him but in terms of story progression their key act was Sybelle feeding the contraceptives to Jeyne. In the books, Rolph appears in order to have Greywind react poorly to him and be sent away. Sybelle is a background character that doesn't do much (that we know of) until one scene in AFFC. Ruining the RW plotting would mean altering the Freys/Boltons/Tywin, losing the Westerlings doesn't really matter with regards to the Red Wedding.

I certainly don't agree with

as soon as Sybil Spicer put quill to parchment, Robb Stark was as good as dead.

The RW was Frey's idea; he goes to Tywin for (lack of a better term) "moral support". Similarly, it's Bolton's idea to betray Robb, Tywin's role is to hammer out the details. Robb is dead for many reasons, but Sybelle and Rolph are extremely minor players at best.

Rolph and Sybelle are definitely opportunists and (to most readers) villains, but they're not really that important in general outside of removing the possibility of Robb having an heir. The Frey, Bolton and Karstark betrayals are a lot more serious and relevant to "painting a bull's eye" on Robb.

Sybelle and Rolph betray Robb to cover their own asses - well Sybelle to protect her family too (the pardons)- and make a small profit (Castamere is famous but also a ruin the Westerlings can't afford). Sybelle, at least, certainly wouldn't have sent Raynald along if she had actually understood what the plan was. From Tywin's PoV there's absolutely no need to involve either of Sybelle or Rolph in his plot as they're not necessary to it.

Edited by Ser Hippie

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It's pretty easy to explain, really, even ignoring the possibility Ygritte was wrong. She says that if they were feeling merciful they'd kill the Halfhand quickly, if not (trails off). Rattleshirt specifically mentions they're going to find out what Halfhand knows, which presumably doesn't involve pleasant treatment - the "or else" implied in Ygritte's statement.

Yep, its explainable in several ways, though I think the most likely case is the writers didn't even consider it. It doesn't really matter, IMO. Similar to Catelyn not knowing that Cersei had a son who died last season. You can come up with explanations, but the simplest one is sloppy writing.

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LF is only on one person's side, ever and always.

Yes, but LF could get something from the Lannisters with this knowledge. The fact that he doesn't try to get anything out of it shows that he is already planning against them and not going to be around to reap any rewards from them.

On the other hand he's actually putting Arya in danger by not telling him. If Tywin doesn't know who she is then she can be discarded, as we saw. If he still thinks he can win Cat over then you'd think he'd be angling to get Arya himself. So I think he's perhaps given up on Cat at this point and set his sights on Sansa already.

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It's pretty easy to explain, really, even ignoring the possibility Ygritte was wrong. She says that if they were feeling merciful they'd kill the Halfhand quickly, if not (trails off). Rattleshirt specifically mentions they're going to find out what Halfhand knows, which presumably doesn't involve pleasant treatment - the "or else" implied in Ygritte's statement.

No, you're missing the context of how Ygritte says they would just kill Qhorin.

Robb wants to take Ygritte prisoner rather than kill her. He offers up the idea that they could question her as justification. Qhorin responds to this by asking her a couple of questions, to which Ygritte says nothing. Qhorin then asks her what they would do with him if they got hold of him. Ygritte quickly responds they'd either kill him quickly or kill him slowly, depending on what sort of mood they were in.

So what exactly is the motivation for Ygritte to either lie about this or speak on behalf of other free folk over which she has no authority, when this answer is confirmation of Qhorin's side of the argument that they should just kill her on the spot? This scene only makes sense if Ygritte is just speaking an obvious truth that there is no point in denying. Except that it isn't true.

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How is it not true?

First of all, Ygritte actually does answer two of his questions (revealing the Wildlings are massed there in great numbers). After she then refuses to answer a couple more questions, Qhorin asks if the wildlings would take him prisoner.

Ygritte doesn't say yes or no directly, she just gives the line about taking his head off if they were feeling kind and kill him slow otherwise. How does "take him prisoner, torture him for information, then kill him (presumably painfully)" not fit until the killing him slow?

I don't see why taking Qhorin prisoner makes people think they were going to be merciful, I'm pretty sure they were going to grind whatever information they could out of him, then brutally kill him. Thinking Ygritte meant literally "they'll kill you quickly right that instant" or "they'll slowly kill you immediately after that instant" is too reading that scene too literally.

Edited by Ser Hippie

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Because they aren't just questioning him before they kill him, they are transporting him back as a captive for Mance to do whatever he likes with him. It's clearly not in the spirit of Ygritte's answer, which is that they have no interest in taking him prisoner, they just want to kill him.

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Rattleshirt specifically says that Qhorin will know more (about what the Watch is doing) than Jon when Ygritte and her band arrive. He's being kept alive for a reason.

Mance has no reason to keep Qhorin alive afterwards. HE keeps Jon alive in the books because Jon convinces him that he'd want to actually join the Wildlings, not to be merciful or kind. I don't know why you'd expect Mance to keep Qhorin alive if he made it that far in the show (and he won't, of course, anyway).

Edited by Ser Hippie

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Agree with Rockroi's posts above. The writers have had to condense and streamline so much anyway, plus they were also faced with the task of bringing certain key people onto our screens where they are absent from the book ACOK. Robb in particular does not get a POV in the book, but because they have to show him on-screen (they can hardly have characters sitting down and expounding at length about what he's done!), they have to make some changes that allow them to show Robb, but in a condensed and meaningful way. The real guts of the Robb + Talisa/Jeyne story is that Robb is betrothed to a Frey girl, but because he has sex with another woman, he decides it is honourable to marry her and thus he betrays his vows to the Freys. As long as the writers can show that critical element leading into Series 3, then I couldn't care less if they have Talisa rather than Jeyne.

Similar to Catelyn not knowing that Cersei had a son who died last season. You can come up with explanations, but the simplest one is sloppy writing.
Get realistic. It's not sloppy writing at all - why on earth would Catelyn, married to Ned and way up north in WInterfell for all those years and concerned with her own family, know or care anything about what was happening to Queen Cersei in KL as far as having babies went? She's hardly on good terms with Cersei anyway!

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Is there anything in the book that shows Jayne to have betrayed Robb? Not to my (imperfect) memory. Whoever Talisa is, hardly matters, seeing as the Red Wedding is coming. Its enuf for me that she is Charlie Chaplins granddaughter. Roose is a traitor in the book and will no doubt be one in the series. I just wonder what fate the series has for Theon since I can't imagine his fate in the book would be allowed in a video series. Its just too creepy. This episode allows me to revisit my pet peeve (at least one of them) in the book. Catelyn Stark showed no evidence for the moron gene before releasing Jaime. She was far from a paragon (witness her treatment of Jon and Tyrion) but being the daughter of one great Lord and the wife of another, should have given her a little more fortitude.

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