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Xray the Enforcer

[Book Spoilers] EP 208 Discussion Mk. II

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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!

I think that the news of the king and queen having a child and his subsequent death would make it around the kingdoms. The children of a king are incredibly important, so people will pay attention. Plus, with Ned and Robert being such close friends, they would be bound to take an interest in each other's lives. I remember thinking it odd in the first episode that Robert asks Arya her name, because he should know Ned's children, but I wrote it off as the type of thing adults say to children...

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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.

Sorry, but Book Catelyn was also an idiot.

Sure, she was a desperate mother worried about her daughters, and in the books she was also grieving for Bran and Rickon. But as you say, she was the daughter and wife of great lords, so she SHOULD have understood the practical and political imperatives of keeping a key person like Jaime Lannister, Kingslayer and son of Tywin, as a Stark prisoner. He was a bargaining chip they could ill afford to lose, but she threw it away on some inherently stupid scheme to send him off downriver in a boat to KL, with only a Lannister cousin and Brienne to guard him.

As harebrained and idiotic schemes go, that one realiy is hard to better! :D

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Nice episode despite the lack of action.

The show obviously is slowing down before the finale grande.

I liked all the scenes in general. Here are some impressions in order of appearance:

- I actually didn't have much to say about Asha until now, because I've just had started to read AFfC. But now I'm nearly half into the book and have to admit that Asha is becoming one of my favourites. Thus the big interest I've had about the Asha/Theon scenes. This is the first time we see her in her true light. The actress has captured the essence of the character and the interaction with Alfie was great. We get too see how the different perception of the ironmen can turn the captives into brave children. I enjoyed very much the emphasis on how different the points of view of Asha and Theon are. And yet, they are still btother and sister and there exists some connection between them as little as it is. The Asha/Theon interaction was one of the highlights of this episode imo.

- I'm relieved to see a nice set-up abot the big Jon scene coming in episode 10. I'm glad we're going to see him killing Qhorin after all. About the issue how Jon is represented in the second season, I'll discuss it further in another thread. The big problem here still remains - where the f*** is Ghost? How are the going to think of some plausible explanation that he is gone all the time?

Loved the scenes on the Fist too. The shots in Iceland are breathtaking.

- I've seen that the scenes with Robb caused a huge discussions in this thread and there are many posts about this, so I won't go in details. My confusion about the Jeyne/Talisa story comes from a memory I have, about reading an article of the cast decisions few months ago. I've read somewhere that they have casted Oona Chaplin for the role of Jeyne Westerling. So I really thought at some point she will be revealed as Jeyne. After watching this episode I'm not so sure about this anymore. But it's fine by me, if she remains Talisa. I see what are they trying to do here and it's ok. We have a beautiful lovestory and a great chemisrty between the actors. They have been made so lovable, that while watching the love scene I had tears in my eyse for knowing what is going to happen in next season. Robb's story line works for me so far.

- In this episode we have a near-highlight, where I see a potential to become one of THE highlights at the end of this season and the beginning of the next one. I find the Jaime/Brienne interaction particularly funny and can't wait to see more of that.

- Well, the way Arya's story was handled was a bit surprising but as long as the coin-giving is shown, I'm fine with it. There was a plausible explanation for every person Arya picked and her last choice was handled well in this episode. Will miss the weasel soup in the show, but eh, what are you going to do ... it is not the end of the world. The passing through the gate with all the dead Lannister guards was creepy enough. I see the writers have something in mind, since the name of episode 10 is Valar Morghulis. I will miss the Arya/Tywin interactions though. Those were the best.

- Tyrion's scenes were THE best moments in this episode. I'm extremely happy about seeing Varys again. Missed him very much and was annoyed by the constant showing of LF. The Tyrion/Varys/Bronn scene was particularly funny and I enjoyed it very much. Nice actintg of Lena Headey too. I've been waiting to see that evil little smile of hers since the teaser came out a few months ago. Also it was a pleasant surprise to see the Red Keep during the Varys/Tyrion conversation. Have almost forgotten that they are in KL. The place looked different form KL in season one. It was a nice refreshing detail.

- The Davos/Stannis conversation was one of my favourite moments in this episode. Stephen Dillane is growing into his character with every episode and this was his highlight. "We were forgotten" - all the bitter dissapointment about not being appreciated by his brother was overwhelming and I nearly felt it myself. The cats and dogs-line was hilarious.

- Not really much to say about Dany's little scene. Still waiting for the HoU.

- Last episode and this episode both ended with something that was thought to be a "twist", I suppose. I didn't really feel the tension as in the books. I watched it both times with my boyfriend, a non-book reader. By the end of episode 7 he was sure that Bran and Rickon are alive and those burned bodies belonged to someone else. But during episode 8 his certainty was shaken and before the end he was already convinced the boys were actually dead. Then the final scene came and had an impact on him - he was really relieved. His reaction made me appreciate those final scenes more as some kind of twist.

Overall I liked this episode very much, but now can't wait to see the highlight of the season next week.

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I think that the news of the king and queen having a child and his subsequent death would make it around the kingdoms.

Not necessarily. You are looking at things from a 21st century POV where communication is instant. Heck, some kids these days look totally dumbfounded at the idea that people actually wrote physical letters! In the world of Westeros, urgent communication is by raven, and those are only used for essential matters, not the ordinary chit chat. Ordinary letters between people can take weeks or months to arrive (and sometimes don't arrive at all) and they didn't have newspapers or any other form of public information other than gossip. Nor do I see Robert as the sort of person who regularly wrote 'happy family catch up' letters even to his best friend Ned! I don't therefore find it at all strange in the context of Westeros that Catelyn didn't know about a child of Cersei's who died very young. And even if Ned had happened to mention it to her in passing, it would not the sort of detail that Cat wouldhave bothered to remember.

Anyway, that aspect of the Cat/Cersei conversation was such a very minor point, it hardly qualifies as 'sloppy writing'.

Edited by Currawong

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Not necessarily. You are looking at things from a 21st century POV where communication is instant. Heck, some kids these days look totally dumbfounded at the idea that people actually wrote physical letters! In the world of Westeros, urgent communication is by raven, and those are only used for essential matters, not the ordinary chit chat. Ordinary letters between people can take weeks or months to arrive (and sometimes don't arrive at all). I don't therefore find it at all strange in the context of Westeros that Catelyn didn't know about a child of Cersei's who died very young. And even if Ned had happened to mentionit to her in passing, it would not the sort of detail that Cat wouldhave bothered to remember.

This seems crazy to me - remember that you are talking about the heir to the throne. Her firstborn child is the next King, there is no way that wouldn't be a big deal.

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(+)

Bronn and Tyrion quabbling like spouses

Podrick Payne!

Lamprey pie name drop

"You're beautiful." and Shae's look of doubt soon after

Another mention of bastard at the Dreadfort

Stannis' menu in Storm's End, and his exposition

And Tyrion's question to Varys that we've all wondered: What do you want? Tell me.

(-)

Still no mention of chain, but I think Tyrion's invented plumbing history will matter soon.

Robb/Talisa. I'm sorry, it's just... no. Backstory is good though.

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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.

I would say that Catelyn has shown an extrordinary amount of courage while dealing with pain and adversity. Specifically regarding Jon and Tyrion.

And before this flames, we can simply agree to disagree on this point. :dunno:

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The worst episode of the season so far. Horrible writing plus significant changes from the books with little action made it a chore to get thru.

Tyrion is being made to look weak and pathetic. Catelyn looks dumb (I didn't see her as this dumb in the novels).

The only good scene was Theon and Asha and Maester Luwin and Osha at the end.....

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. 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!

Cersei's pregnancy with the first born heir to the throne would be MASSIVE news. Pig Farmers on bear Island would be aware she is pregnant eventually. The death of said heir would be the biggest news in the Kingdom for years. (probably until Greyjoy's rebellion happened) This is a world where the Lord of Bones mentions Ned Stark's death as common knowledge. So clearly information gets around. Catelyn would have been aware of every step of Cersei's pregnancies, and certainly the death of the crown prince. The writers wanted to add something more emotional to the scene, so they threw in a dead baby for Cersei (real or fake). They clearly gave little thought to impact of such a thing. Isn't it also odd how this dead prince is never mentioned again anywhere in the show? While Cersei is beginning to go batshit about her living children, you'd think it would come up again. That kind of thing makes an impact on parents.

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I just don't find it a huge deal, or think that Cat would follow every step of Cersei's pregnancy ('how' she would do that is beyond me). Ned's death as head of the Starks had far more practical importance for the kingdom. Basically, it was a tiny, tiny little conversation point in the TV show and hardly evidence of supposed "sloppy writing".

Edited for typo.

Edited by Currawong

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I would say that Catelyn has shown an extrordinary amount of courage while dealing with pain and adversity. Specifically regarding Jon and Tyrion. And before this flames, we can simply agree to disagree on this point. :dunno:

I agree. BTW earlier I mentioned that the same thing happened in the book so the comment that started "Sorry..." was off the mark.

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Two great examples of "enhancements" by the HBO crew are the story of Robb (offscreen in the books) and the stealing of the dragons to further motivate Dany toward the House of the Undying. This latter could be a nice payoff if the dragons get a little action rather than then just being retrieved. The details of how Stannis comes to grief in the battle of Kings Landing hardly matter, whereas the cinematic presentation does. We shall see. Without going back to the book shelf...how much of Book 2 is in series 2?

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I'm hoping the dragons have been magically aged by the warlocks. Regardless of his size, I want Drogon to go face to face with Pyatt and blow fire right on his ugly mug. I'm always up for a good face melting.

(null)

Edited by Craven Mummer

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(+) but I think Tyrion's invented plumbing history will matter soon.

Supervision of the drains not invented. He got that instead of a tour of the nine free cities when he came of age.

The could spring the chain on us still.

Edited by rmholt

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Still no mention of chain, but I think Tyrion's invented plumbing history will matter soon.

Not invented. He got this instead of the tour of the 9 free cities when he came of age.

They could still surprise us re: the chain.

Marie

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Sorry, but Book Catelyn was also an idiot. Sure, she was a desperate mother worried about her daughters, and in the books she was also grieving for Bran and Rickon. But as you say, she was the daughter and wife of great lords, so she SHOULD have understood the practical and political imperatives of keeping a key person like Jaime Lannister, Kingslayer and son of Tywin, as a Stark prisoner. He was a bargaining chip they could ill afford to lose, but she threw it away on some inherently stupid scheme to send him off downriver in a boat to KL, with only a Lannister cousin and Brienne to guard him. As harebrained and idiotic schemes go, that one realiy is hard to better! :D

As a hostage Jaime was completely useless. He wasn't a bargaining chip because there was no one Robb found important enough to exchange with him (never mind the fact that Sansa had a claim to Winterfell that could be used against the Starks, while Jaime had no claim to speak of, being part of the KG) and he wasn't a deterrent to Lord Tywin who went on with the war as if Jaime'd been killed instead (unlike Lord Paxter Redwyne who stayed out of the war at the beginning because his sons were hostages). The idiot in this situation is Robb, who caved in to his bannermen's expectations, and refused to make a valuable exchange because "girls aren't important enough". Sansa became even more important after Bran and Rickon had been captured. Robb recognizes it himself later on in the books.

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As a hostage Jaime was completely useless. He wasn't a bargaining chip because there was no one Robb found important enough to exchange with him (never mind the fact that Sansa had a claim to Winterfell that could be used against the Starks, while Jaime had no claim to speak of, being part of the KG) and he wasn't a deterrent to Lord Tywin who went on with the war as if Jaime'd been killed instead (unlike Lord Paxter Redwyne who stayed out of the war at the beginning because his sons were hostages). The idiot in this situation is Robb, who caved in to his bannermen's expectations, and refused to make a valuable exchange because "girls aren't important enough". Sansa became even more important after Bran and Rickon had been captured. Robb recognizes it himself later on in the books.

Oh, thank you, God, er, EvaMitchelle.

As harebrained and idiotic schemes go, that one realiy is hard to better!

Marrying someone other than a female member of the Frey clan seems to do the trick. Sending Theon to the Iron Islands is a suitable substitute. Putting cousin Alton in the same cage as The Kingslayer and providing only one guard which just happens to be the son of one of your bannermen who has already suffered the loss of another son will work in a pinch. Leaving camp to negotiate a surrender, but asking an unmarried nurse to accompany you, looks bad, is bad, and might just lead your allies to think you have failed to keep your eye on the ball, so thinking with your balls would also fall under harebrained if you find the previous options less to your liking.

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All in all, I thought this was a great episode. I understand what they are doing with Talisa... I only wonder why they had to change her name and backstory, but oh well, not a big deal. I agree Catelyn letting the Kingslayer loose looses sympathy because she hadn't gotten word of Bran and Rickon yet, and she still believed that Arya was alive.

My biggest complaint is how they changed Arya's storyline. In the books she was this little ninja wild girl with a strong spirit. We are only seeing little glimpses of her spirit now. She is made to be a little helpless girl who goes running to Jaqen when she needs help. She isn't getting her hands dirty at all. They haven't shown her practising with her stick, heck, they have only shown her "prayer" once. I understand they want to condense and simplify the storyline, but I was really disappointed that they cut the whole part about her and the weaselsoup and freeing the northmen who end up betraying and killing her brother and mother. That was a huge ironic twist, out of the frying pan and into the fire. A lot of people like the Tywin/Arya interactions, but i didn't. I understand why they did it, but still didn't like it. And they need to show what a monster the Mountain is! Right now he is just some brute, but not very intimidating. :(

Oh, and one little nitpit: they used the word "idiot" like 4 times this episode. If I remember correctly this is a fairly recent use of the word. It would not have been used in that context back then. They should have used words like "fool" or "simpleton" etc. ok I'm done for now. :)

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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).

I never said anything about expecting Mance to be merciful to Qhorin. I said Ygritte makes it clear that they have no interest at all in Qhorin as a prisoner, they just want him dead. But now they are doing the exact opposite from just killing him, they are taking the time to cart him off somewhere else for questioning. Now, they're allowed to change their minds because perhaps she's just thinking in general terms at first, but upon reflection it's pretty odd these guys are all the way out there and maybe they ought to find out whether this is just a ranging or something more. But if you're going to have a contradiction from one episode to another it ought to be meaningful and something you actually address, otherwise it looks like a mistake.

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It's not a contradiction, at all, unless you take Ygritte's words extremely literally. If Ygritte had said "They won't question you or ask you questions, they're just going to kill you", that's contradictory.

Qhorin asks "Tell me true. If your people captured me, would they hold me prisoner".

Ygritte's response how the wildlings' emotions might affect the manner of Qhorin's death, not that they'd kill him immediately afterwards.

To touch on Qhorin's specific language - they're not planning on holding him prisoner for any lengthy period of time, which is what Qhorin means (because he just talked about how they don't have the supplies or men to hold Ygritte). The wildlings will still kill Qhorin quickly if they feel kind and painfully if they don't.

Do you really think Ygritte needed to say "Well, after they interrogate you since you're a senior officer in the Night's Watch and presumably know what the Watch is planning" first?

Edited by Ser Hippie

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