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[Book Spoilers] EP301 Discussion


Ran

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I have a bad feeling about the Dany arc. They're moving way too fast. If they end with Yunkai, that's a whole season dedicated to the siege of Meereen. Or alternatively they'd be cutting into DwD material and jeopardize the future of the series. DwD contains a lot of Dany chapters, but probably not enough to last three seasons and still keep the viewer base.

I think that moving into Dany's ADWD material for S4 would actually be a good thing. It would free up a lot of space for a crowded season 5 and would allow them to more quickly get through the two least popular books in the series (though ADWD is one of my personal favourites.). As to S3 itself I think it's good they're moving along quickly. Dany took way too long in S2 to get to Qarth so I'm glad they're remedying that now.

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I think that moving into Dany's ADWD material for S4 would actually be a good thing. It would free up a lot of space for a crowded season 5 and would allow them to more quickly get through the two least popular books in the series (though ADWD is one of my personal favourites.). As to S3 itself I think it's good they're moving along quickly. Dany took way too long in S2 to get to Qarth so I'm glad they're remedying that now.

They have certainly establish Dany's storyline for this season - her moral dilemma regarding slaves and slavery in general. I would expect that this becomes more sedate in the next episode, if she features at all, as the next logical step is Daenerys/Barristan exposition - and him offering the alternative viewpoint to Jorah.

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Wut.

I know this is off topic, but why? Her chapters were amazing UNTIL she joined the FM and then her chapters got bad. haha

Word!

I truly enjoyed the episode, apart from the cold open. My favourite parts were the dinner scene and the Tyrion/Tywin scene. The Harrenhal scene was kind of confusing... okay, very confusing, but I loved the little conversation between Roose and Karstark. I'm sure you've discussed a lot already, I haven't got the time to go through all 21 pages of it, so I'm just gonna leave it at that. I don't want to drag up things that were discussed to death pages ago.

8/10 overall, much better than season 2 premier.

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Did anyone else find the volume of some characters quite low?

In the beginning, I had to turn the volume way up because I couldn't understand what the people in Mance's tent were saying, as well as the stuff in King's Landing. Then later on, the scene right before Dany's dragons was kinda quiet as well, and then the dragons were so damn loud it scared the daylights out of me.

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I'm glad they're dropping the Ser Dontos ploy. He was annoying in the books, and even though he seemed believably sincere, he wasn't competent. Sansa should never have trusted him. Littlefinger and the Tyrells both offering to spirit Sansa away should work nicely this season. There are plenty of things for Littlefinger to be sneaky about, and plenty of areas for him to spar with Varys. And Varys permits some of Littlefinger's machinations, as he did by failing to warn Ned. Similarly, the Belwas / Whitebeard thing was clownish and I’m glad they decided to skip it.

They must have kept Loras from joining the kingsguard at the end of season 2 so that the Tyrells could offer to marry Sansa to him. That changes the dynamic, since Sansa had a crush on him but had to talk herself into wanting the Willas marriage. Hmm, maybe Tywin will offer Loras a spot in the kingsguard specifically to prevent the Sansa marriage. I would like to see Jaime’s interactions with Loras, but I don’t think anything really hinges on Loras joining the guard.

Book Davos wasn’t Stannis’ hand when he was thrown in jail. He wasn’t an important person on Dragonstone. Show Davos is already an important person in Stannis’ retinue – throwing him in jail preemptively would be absurd.

I liked Jon’s changed justification to Mance, it fits into the story arc better. The night’s watch has forgotten about the Others, has forgotten about the real reason for the Wall. The Wildlings have not forgotten, and are in a desperate fight for life. The night’s watch is a decaying, cynical, clueless institution now. Jon’s speech brings these issues into focus.

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...A few things fell flat for me.

  1. The first was Stark's men turning up at Harrenhall. This was a bit confusing since we had no idea that either northmen were being held there or that the Mountain's men had left.

  2. Second, with every episode I dislike Sibil Kekkili's performance more and more. She's a good actress but in Thrones, she always sounds as thought she's reading from a cue card.

  3. Third, and most important, Littlefinger's behaviour is becoming inexplicable. He would never have operated in the open as he did here. I really don't understand why the writers didn't go down the road of A. N. Other helping Sansa escape King's Landing with a big reveal later on that Littlefinger was behind it all. It did not need to be Ser Dontos, it could even have been Ros (residual loyalty to her former lord, pity for an abused young girl, etc). This Littlefinger would have been caught out by Varys ten times over by now.

  4. Fourth, I hated Margaery's Princess Diana/Kate Middleton routine. I get that it established her as a friend of the commons but it would have been more effective to stick to the book and have Tyrell men/women handing out food to all rather than giving toys to orphans. Food would win over a starving people, not wooden knights. Generally I like Natalie Dormer's Margaery but the orphanage scene just reeked of a contemporary tabloid news story.

1. No real comment. I thought it worked OK, but I don't really disagree either.

2. Funny, with each episode I hate it less and less (though I still think hers are reliably the worst performances on the show). I think she was an unfortunate casting choice, and her acting has made it harder for me to engage with what I cautiously think might be pretty interesting deviations from the source material, but I don't think he's as bad as she was in S1. Her early performances were particularly nails-on-chalkboard for me.

3. Yes. I actually think this would have been a great role for Ros on the show, unless she's also working with Varys (which it seemed like she might be), because that could really complicate things.

4. I see where you're coming from, but I think it's OK if some of the Tyrells' PR efforts are a little cheesy. Outside of Olenna, they're not geniuses. And the show did discuss their relief efforts, the food coming in from the Reach. So, I think that she goes a little over-the-top. It helps us identify with Cersei being driven nuts by it (and in particular by Joffrey's attitude toward it).

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I think it needs to be mentioned that at the end of season 2 we saw Ros basically become employed by Varys. So does this mean she is now spying on Littlefinger for Varys? And if so, that scene with her watching Littlefinger talking to Sansa at the docks has a little more reasoning. She is clearly going to inform Varys that LF has been meeting with Sansa to discuss something, and Varys will no doubt find out about LF plan to rescue Sansa. However, I don't really think Varys will care too much because he already had his own grand plans in motion.

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Really enjoyed the Margaery and Dany scenes. Not the best GoT episode, but as reviewers have said it's the weakest of the first four.

I hope that's true, because I was disappointed with the season opener. I still don't understand what was going on in the Robb/Catelyn at Harrenhal scene. It made no sense. Maybe I'm just a book snob, but it seems the farther they get away from the book the plot is confusing or weak (see the Tywin/Tyrion scene versus the dinner scene w/ Joffrey and Cersei).

I am okay they ditched Strong Belwas and the Arstan pretense - that's the kind of stuff I expect from an adaptation not this Ros plot line. Ghost being with the Nights Watch makes sense from a TV production sense and they do separate later in the book, but it's not explained AT ALL in the show.

All in all, I'd say it's an average episode, but a weak season opener.

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I see where you're coming from, but I think it's OK if some of the Tyrells' PR efforts are a little cheesy. Outside of Olenna, they're not geniuses. And the show did discuss their relief efforts, the food coming in from the Reach. So, I think that she goes a little over-the-top. It helps us identify with Cersei being driven nuts by it (and in particular by Joffrey's attitude toward it).

So did Joffrey sit in his little box the entire time Margaery was in the orphanage? That was a weird scene. Also, most office building hallways are bigger than the streets of King's Landing.

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I thought that this was a better opening episode than we got for series two. We spent a bit longer with each character but managed to cover quite a lot of ground. With a series that has such a large cast and so many different locations, these opening episodes that (re-)establish the narrative will always be imperfect but I thought this season they did as well as possible with it. Plus we got some exceptional scenes between Tyrion and Tywin and Dany and Kraznys (it's worth noting here that both of those scenes were almost taken verbatim from the book...). I also loved Stannis' scene. Dillane absolutely nailed that haunted look. You could see the steel of the old Stannis but he's just suffered a grievous loss in his bid for the Throne and he's suffering from that; he even looked older and greyer.

A few things fell flat for me.

  1. The first was Stark's men turning up at Harrenhall. This was a bit confusing since we had no idea that either northmen were being held there or that the Mountain's men had left.

  2. Second, with every episode I dislike Sibil Kekkili's performance more and more. She's a good actress but in Thrones, she always sounds as thought she's reading from a cue card.

  3. Third, and most important, Littlefinger's behaviour is becoming inexplicable. He would never have operated in the open as he did here. I really don't understand why the writers didn't go down the road of A. N. Other helping Sansa escape King's Landing with a big reveal later on that Littlefinger was behind it all. It did not need to be Ser Dontos, it could even have been Ros (residual loyalty to her former lord, pity for an abused young girl, etc). This Littlefinger would have been caught out by Varys ten times over by now.

  4. Fourth, I hated Margaery's Princess Diana/Kate Middleton routine. I get that it established her as a friend of the commons but it would have been more effective to stick to the book and have Tyrell men/women handing out food to all rather than giving toys to orphans. Food would win over a starving people, not wooden knights. Generally I like Natalie Dormer's Margaery but the orphanage scene just reeked of a contemporary tabloid news story.

It was still a great episode and I loved the little touches such as Drogon roasting a fish in mid-air, and I'm generally happy that Dany is finally doing something. In a similar vein, Jon seems to be back on track, thinking on his feet and proving himself to be smart rather than bumbling around like a moron. Ciaran Hinds should also dismiss any doubts about his casting as Mance; he might be older than many would have liked but Hinds is ridiculously talented and I can't wait to see more of his scenes, and then we have Diana Rigg incoming as well (I pray to sweet R'hllor that she gets a scene with Charles Dance).

#4. the kids also got food. When Margaery was talking to the septon outside you could see children with big chunks of food.

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#4. the kids also got food. When Margaery was talking to the septon outside you could see children with big chunks of food.

Yes, the point was to bring them food and appear to be their saviour. Not to bring them a toy and pretend to be their friend.

I don't know why people seem to take everything in the show at complete face value.

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I thought the Margaery stuff was excellent, really good and appropriate addition by the showrunners. TV Joffrey seems pretty smitten with her and I'm interested to see where they're gonna take that thread.

And I like that they're giving Bronn more to do as well, the actor has really lifted the part and it'd be a shame to waste that.

All the Davos scenes were great as well.

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I think that moving into Dany's ADWD material for S4 would actually be a good thing. It would free up a lot of space for a crowded season 5 and would allow them to more quickly get through the two least popular books in the series (though ADWD is one of my personal favourites.). As to S3 itself I think it's good they're moving along quickly. Dany took way too long in S2 to get to Qarth so I'm glad they're remedying that now.

I have been skeptical that books 4 and 5 contain 2 seasons of TV material. I'll add that my guess is that the TV show finishes before the last books come out
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