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[Book Spoilers] EP302 Discussion

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At least we agree the fight was far below par. In ASOS it was gritty and intense. Here it was like some crappy stage play. And I understand that it should be obvious, but let's be honest, it really only is to us because we have read the books. Jaime is in fetters and is fighting an armored opponent while unarmoed, but he appears to be in near perfect condition and no mention is made of being starved, malnourished, weak, or imprisoned in a cell of his own shit for an extended period of time. Plus, the armor doesn't even come into play in the duel. Brienne just kicks his ass seemingly without any problems, especially at the end when she basically just shunned him aside when Locke was riding up.

I wish the duel had ended in the river like it did in the book. Brienne should have been exhausted by the end of the fight, not knocking Jaime's sword away with ease. Brienne is supposed to win the fight but you're supposed to be reminded why Jaime is one of the best swordsmen in the Seven Kingdoms. It's going to be the LAST time he'll have a chance to fight like that.

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Remember though, she has a very big part to play down the road. So those super important scenes will likely have more impact with a more developed Shae.

I understand where you are going with this, but in reality I don't think she is 'more developed'. I'm sure many would agree with me, but I think she is just being turned into a far less likable character, and any time and effort spent on attempting to make her something more than she is, is robbing other far more deserving characters of more important character development.

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*raises hand*

Quite a number of people I am guessing, as I assuming that not everyone expects a woman to love the living symbol of her husband's infidelity and don't see that as being overly spiteful.

People keep confusing "not loving" and "praying for him to die" as being the same thing.

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My main complaint with this episode is something that I think will be more and more unavoidable as the series stretches out, and I don't "blame" D&D for doing it this way because I don't see any clear alternative, but it felt very choppy and without any continuity. And because of that, there wasn't much narrative tension. For example...

Yep - that's it. and it's not D&D's fault - it's HBO's. D&D are doing what they can - but 1000 DENSE, complex, complicated, detailed pages into 10 episodes? and on a limited budget??

I've said it before..I'll say it again--yes, we applaud HBO for putting the money up to do this in the first place - but if you're going to do it at all - why do it 75% of the way when you can do it 100% and you (easily) have the money to do it. Why not 13 episodes - at a bigger budget. More narrative tension. Robert's Rebellion. The Battle of The FIst of The First Men. All the things that had to be skipped or rushed over. Letting things flow in a non-rushed or disjointed fashion. I love the episodes of GOT but I just know how they could have been even better. Why not give D&D the latitutde to go an extra 20-25 minutes on an episode if the content warrants it? Let each scene BREATHE. So we don't feel like we're rushing through them and each subsequent scene can have more impact!

But still - having said all that - I applaud what the great actors of the series have been able to do with what they have been given. I would love to see MORE. If only the execs at HBO would've given them the time & money with which to do more.

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One thing that I am really enjoying this season is how much double meaning so many llines have. A lot of lines that mean one thing to show fans and something totally different to book fans.

Also did anyone think that the line in the last scene b/t Brienne and Jaimie was an insisde joke the one about the bridge or the water. I think that might have been the writers way of saying that they had a choice of whether they would use the bridge or the water for the fight scene but that they couldn't use both and that D&D love making the writers having to decide.

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Oh, and I don't see the problem with the Cat/Jon story. She felt bad for him when he was sick, but after that, went back to typical Cat of hating Jon Snow. Cat has to be made more sympathetic, really. Who would care if she was killed at the RW if she was still the spiteful woman she was in the book?

Because in the book, we can actually sympathize and genuinely feel bad about the woman that feels (or in her mind knows) she has lost all - her father, her husband, her sons and her daughters. She felt there was nothing else to live for and was the epitome of sheer despair and depression and her heart has been ripped from her chest. Obviously, we don't get this in the series, although DnD easily could have done so. Maybe dropping scene with Ros and SHAE. Lmao.

They can still point this out in the future if they want. Something where someone, maybe even Brienne, is mocking him with the fact that she appeared to be rolfstomping him and he can respond with the fact that he had been starved and imprisoned for how long.

I believe Ran said that a small bit of emphasis is put on this in the coming episodes. Regardless, with the sheer amount of ease that Brienne dispatched Jaime, the scene is quite despicable in comparison to the sequence in ASOS.

I wish the duel had ended in the river like it did in the book. Brienne should have been exhausted by the end of the fight, not knocking Jaime's sword away with ease. Brienne is supposed to win the fight but you're supposed to be reminded why Jaime is one of the best swordsmen in the Seven Kingdoms. It's going to be the LAST time he'll have a chance to fight like that.

EXACTLY.

.

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*raises hand*

Quite a number of people I am guessing, as I assuming that not everyone expects a woman to love the living symbol of her husband's infidelity and don't see that as being overly spiteful.

I don't know maybe with bookreaders but if you read the TWOP thread even with sympathtic CAT she seems to be the least liked character

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*raises hand*

Quite a number of people I am guessing, as I assuming that not everyone expects a woman to love the living symbol of her husband's infidelity and don't see that as being overly spiteful.

She was spiteful but it was in the past, and it would have been better to focus on her role as mother to her other children - particularly as a mother who her four youngest children wanted to be home with, with both Sansa and Arya still hoping to find a way home. Even if she hasn't been especially sympathetic in some subplots, there's a lot of be gained in sympathy for how happy she'd be to know that her children were alive, and now they'll never get to see her again. ETA: If the thing with Jon were really going to be a problem, a 5 second throwaway line about how she couldn't bear to think of Ned's infidelity but hoped he found honor in the Night's Watch would have sufficed.

Edited by Eponine

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I understand where you are going with this, but in reality I don't think she is 'more developed'. I'm sure many would agree with me, but I think she is just being turned into a far less likable character, and any time and effort spent on attempting to make her something more than she is, is robbing other far more deserving characters of more important character development.

Less likable character then Who? Surely not book shae.

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It's much more easier than that. Summer is now a part of Bran and vice versa, and there is a part of the dreamsighted dream that gave a familiar feeling to Jojen through Bran and their encounter. No Bloodraven needed to justify that scene

I agree not needed but is he there? I like to think Bloodraven is everywhere , he brought that wolf and that stag together in aGOT. I like to pin all pecular animal activity in ASOIAF on BR with the exception of the Stark kids. I believe if the kids arent sleep-warging then BR might be present. . just saying.

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Less likable character then Who? Surely not book shae.

Haha. I mean if the show runners would just leave her alone and allow her to be the minor character she is. By trying to 'enhance' this character, they are in fact making her more unbearable with every scene. Unless this is what they are going for......then what a waste of time that would be.

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People keep confusing "not loving" and "praying for him to die" as being the same thing.

You mean the thing they added in this scene thus if it didn't exist there wouldn't be the need for her to look sympathetic over it?

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The end of Season 2 had Dany opening the Vault and saying that it was "empty."

Watching Season 3, Episode 2, I thought more along the lines of "Vacant;" like a hotel with a great location and great rates at the height of tourist season, you would expect people to be in there, but instead? The rooms are ... vacant.

That's how I felt about this episode: I expected to find something; uncover something; experience something. But it was vacant; there was no there there.

What I liked:

The Wolf-less Girl in a Bed of Thorns: Watching Sansa try to maneuver with Maergery and Oelnna both breathing down her neck was exceotional writing and Sansa showed the constriction she is under; that keepinga foot in both worlds is suffocating her- the actress herself was amazing- the way she intimated that she could hardly breathe, her worlds jumbled as the truth came tumbling- unwanted -out for hear. That was masterful. Sansa's struggle is about as good as I have seen it- a complex story of how to survive a death sentence.

Rhymes with Technique: Keeping Theon present so we can witness his absolute and tital desintigration is great. I know that watching torture is horrible, but it was placed perfectly here. We see the depravity of the Boltons and how to break a man down... flap of skin by flap of skin. I thought the decision to include Theon in season 3 (when he is MIA in books 3 and 4) was great. ; it shows a good insight into continuity of story and keeping around the things that work well (Alfie is amazing).

...To Win It: While I thought the scene went on far far far far far too long, I really enjoyed how it ended. Since she first smoldered on stage, Margery Tyrell has been a gigantic win for the series. And what she did well in Season 2 she improves upon in Season 3: how to play men who want to play with you. Margery Tyrell completely outmaneuvered and disarmed Joff (whose whole plan was to do just that to her). And in her deft motions she turned Joff away, parried his clumsy shows and then emerged as the won holding the weapon. She told him what she needed to disarm him and now, she's the one in control. In. It. To. Win. It.

The Lion and the Maid: Gotta love it when a plan comes together. JAime and Brienne are a great tandum. Two good actors, a great outline from the books, some great dialog and writing and you have 3 knock-out scenes. And it didn't hurt that swords were involved.

Let Loose the Hound of War: I like it when a story does not get bogged down in needless details or minutia. Getting the Hound to Arya that fast was great; and you lose the utterly incomprehensible part of the books where SOMEHOW a Northern man (Honor, Duty... blah blah blah) somehow justifies to Arya why he cannot take her to Robb... his liege Lord... You get Arya and Sandor in a room together and the story takes care of itself. Good work.

What I am Not Sold On:

Bran's Dream, Story-line and the utter unlikeability of the Reeds: Tied in the middle of this unwieldy episode and its utter lack of momentum, was the "Okay-We-Have-To-Put-Bran-On-Screen-So-Lets-Throw-Everything-About-His-Story-Into-The-Pot-Right-Now-Because-Its-Obvious-He's-Not-Little-Anymore" So, we get thrown at us Jojen Reed (more on him later) and Meera Reed as these pompous, arrogant little shits who basically have the run of the North. Is there ANY sense that they are talking to their liege lord? I mean, I am grateful that it only took the series 2.2 seasons to mention Howland Reed (it took them 7 episodes to mentions Stannis so...), but to introduce the Reeds as basically a trumped up version of every duo we have ever seen ("Jojen's the brains of the outfit, see? And I'm the brawn" - said every character from every bad 1930s gangster movie ever) reeks of cliche and rudimentary thinking. Did they even bother to try to make it interesting?

Honorbale Mention: Is it physically possible for the woman playing Osha to keep her head straight and not look like she's carrying a 400 pound gorilla on her back at all times? If it turns out she has scoliosis or something, my apologies, but it’s just annoying.

Why Can't We Just Not Like Her? In my mind, Cat Stark doesn't like Jon Snow And for obvious reasons that include loyalty, fear of a split in her house, the potential death to her own children, the affection of her husband and the cruelty of a war. I have no qualms about that; I accept it and think it helps make her a complete and full character. So why does she have to be nice about it? Why did the writers have to come up with this terrible, hollow... vacant ... story about how Cat Stark nurtured this son she never really loved back to life? How she stayed up with him and prayed to the gods and blamed herself and yadda yadda yadda ... why do we change story-lines to make audiences like people more? I know some people are saying that "Oh no; the story actually makes you like her less!" That's not what I got; what I got was that when push comes to shove, Cat will be there for Jon Snow; that her hatred can be mended. And that’s not what I EVER got from her in the books. And that ... well... before the "season is out" so to speak, we have to keep Cat likable... /shakes head...

I Can't Possibly Go On In This Sunny, Temperate Day Where Its Clearly Not That Cold Out At All: I didn't buy for a second that Sam was that tired or it was that cold. Or hard. Or deadly. If you are going to try to "Copy/Paste" a scene from the books into the story, for fuck's sake, make it seem like you didn't just tack it on at the end. Watching Sam Tarly "Fall to His Knees And Not Go On" is really, REALLY hard to swallow when its on a bright, sunny day, its clearly warm out (hardly any mist coming off the breath of the actors), the snow is melted down to the grass (hint: we got more snow in Massachusetts in February than the wildings got this year... apparently), and everyone looks fine. Seriously- that scene lacked depth, setting, atmosphere, realism and soul. In other words... vacant... I don't believe anyone was THAT tired on THAT trek; never bought it for a second that it was THAT cold out. Again, if you just want to play "Copy/Paste" from book to show, that's fine, just make it seem like you gave a shit.

Honorable Mention: Though, Edd's part and Mormont's part were both really great; I thought they saved an otherwise unwatchable scene.

What Was Just Bad:

I Think it was Sartre Who Said "Hell Is Watching Shae": I know I am a broken record at this point, but alas... the women playing Shae cannot act; I buy nothing she is saying and I know that makes me shallow and foolish; but that would be bad enough. Why is she FUCKING TALKING?!?! What is she saying? She feels the need to belittle Tyrion? Tell us she has a good heart? All the while telling us a whole bunch of poop we already know! Like nails on a blackboard, only instead of nails, it was dying puppies. I mean, fine- let’s say I am wrong about her acting ability (and I will say that maybe I just don't get her) fine! But tell me what she did in that scene that we could not have inferred already through prior acts actions and dialog? That whole scene did not need to be here (except that we need Peter Dinklidge or everyone will stop watching the show). Still... vacant...

But, hey- at least she talked about Roz so that way we could be saved from that...

Somehow You Made Me Hate Jojen Reed More: I didn't think it was possible. In the books, Jojen suffers from "Always-Right-itis"; basically it’s a character that is always right but nobody in the book can get their brain around this utterly obvious fact so he gets to be all superior and all. And because nobody like that exists on the planet Earth, it always reminds me that “This IS The Part of The Book That IS Unrealistic and Reminds Me I am Reading a Fantasy Trope.” And that was terrible and Jojen remains one of the characters I do not enjoy reading. Thankfully, though, GoT did the books one better. At least book-Jojen could glide by on not being pompous and arrogant about it. At least he never seemed to be thrilled with being able to hold knowledge over others' heads. But show Jojen is just an insufferable shit. That petulant smile, that know-it-all demeanor. Well done, HBO; you made my least liked character somehow less likable.

And you may have ruined Meera as well, but there may be time to salvage that wreck.

Overall, this may have been the worst episode of the series; an empty, hollow episode with few things to make it stand out; wasted time, wasted opportunities and a whole bunch of "Why Am I Watching This?" Now, I could be wrong; I think that sometimes the show sets itself up on the slow side for a big reveal.

Then again...

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Just watching it again and a random observation: Bran got really big comparing to the previous season, didn't he (the actor of course)?. I mean it's strange to see a Bran that big. I guess Hodor will have a hard time to carry him around.

Edited by cybobbie

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I understand where you are going with this, but in reality I don't think she is 'more developed'. I'm sure many would agree with me, but I think she is just being turned into a far less likable character, and any time and effort spent on attempting to make her something more than she is, is robbing other far more deserving characters of more important character development.

Wait what? I got the impression that the show wants us to like Shae. That shes got a heart of gold underneath it all. Frankly, i hate show!Shae just as much as i hate book!Shae which is a lot. I hate Shae. I do agree that shes kind of up in our business stealing the screentime of characters who matter though.

like to think Bloodraven is everywhere

Bloodraven is supposed to be the Three Eyed Crow but Jojen confuses me when he says its actually Bran. Maybe it is but its also Bloodraven. In a way.

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Just watching it again and a random observation: Bran got really big comparing to the previous season, didn't he (the actor of course)?. I mean it's strange to see a Bran that big. I guess Hodor will have a hard time to carry him around.

thats wut the wheelbarrow is 4, k?

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Less likable character then Who? Surely not book shae.

I like her less than book Shae. Ultimately, book Shae was exactly what Tyrion should have known she was - a paid whore who tried to do and say whatever she thought would please Tyrion. When she betrayed him, she was a powerless, ignorant girl threatened by one of the most powerful men in the country - and we know from Tywin Lannister's character that he wasn't going to let her think for a moment that refusing him was an option. A betrayal by show Shae seems like it will have to be much more deliberate and malicious, since she isn't being portrayed as helpless or naive.

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love that Winterfell is smoking in the opening now.

I noticed that too. Very clever on the credits.

did Summer change colors?

He's definitely lighter. Maybe it's the northern sun. ;-)

Thoros singing Rains??? What?

Yeah that was Iwan. Looks like he will be getting an excellent intro. BTW does anyone else think Thoros was just trolling singing Rains?

Rated this episode the same as last, BTW -- a seven. It's still slow, and the best thing in it is Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr... and there's only so much a tertiary character can really do, you know? But boy, everything brightens up when he's on. Last thing I would have expected.

Thoros of Myr was great. I loved him singing Rains of Castamere! yes, I think he was trolling for Lanisters. :-)

Also a future conversation between her and Robb about legitimizing Jon.

That makes sense to me, too. I'm glad they are taking the time now to set that up. We book-readers know they won't be able to in future seasons.

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I don't get the outrage over the Cat/Jon thing. Like we all realize she was a huge bitch to him his whole life, right?

Her little commentary wasn't the writers pinning all the stark misfortune on her actions, it was the miserable ramblings of a woman who has essentially lost all of her children and husband, and now is reflecting about everything she could've done differently and projecting her "failures" unfairly on the whole situation.

That's exactly how I saw it. And ultimately, she basically admitted being unable to get over her hate for him. Not sure why that seems to piss off so many folks.

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I am pretty much convinced Vanessa Taylor is the worst writer currently on staff for Game of Thrones. Is this her 2nd or 3rd episode? Regardless, while she appears to better at pacing and constructing a scene than Benioff and Weiss, she is pretty clueless about how to adapt the source material. And some of her lines are absolute clunkers - Did Robb actually ask of Bolton a version of give me the good news or bad news line? Seriously? Ugh...

Benioff and Weiss also need to be called out here as well, because I really think they are missing some golden dramatic moments from the novel to mine - ie Catelyn's thinking her two youngest sons are dead. Why not let that play out in some way. Its heartwrenching great stuff. Yes - the novel is complicated as is the show, but people would be able to figure it out. Give us some credit.

And Shae - Its the actress, its the writing, it's everything and none of it makes any sense. Why does she care about Sansa? What does she suddenly have a jealous streak? Why is it impossible to read anything from the actresses's expressions (or lack thereof)? What the fuck is this character's motivations? 14 episodes in and I'm still freaking clueless...

Sigh...

On the bright side, the casting remains top notch.

Edited by pleonasm

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