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[Show Scene Spoiler!] Musical Chairs

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I'm really surprised no one else has really posted much about this awesome scene. Tywin Lannister, intimidating patriarch of House Lannister and now acting as Hand of the King and the real power behind the throne, holds 'small council' and deliberately sets the table in such a manner as to display the true personalities of the individuals who will sit in each chair.

Littlefinger, always the opportunistic rat, rushes to be the first to sit next to Tywin.

Varys, the spider, eyerolls and languidly takes the next seat to show he is confident with his position and importance to the court.

Pycelle, Grand Maester, keeps up his bumbling old fool routine to take the next seat, keeping his eyes downcast to show his (fake) servitude.

Everyone turns to see how Tywin's 'children' will participate ... and of course the best is saved for last.

Cersei deliberately moves a chair to the other side of Tywin, to be at his 'right hand' signifying her power.

Tyrion, ever the odd man out and knowing full well now how truly much his Father (and sister) both despise him, plays the scene to perfection... dragging his chair, scraping and squeaking across the floor to the far end of the table to take his position far away, but directly opposite his Father. Smirking and joking about the accommodations to defray the tension and to also show (IMO) that he's not going to back down and act like a whipped puppy simply because his Father has taken over.

I thought this scene was done to perfection and gives viewers some much needed reminders of why this story was called "Game of Thrones" in the first place. Even at court, with the Lannisters in full reign, we see just how precariously tense the chess board is as all the pieces settle in place and no one's sure who will make the next move. The tension was palpable, Tywin's austere and intimidating presence made me squirm in my own seat so I can only imagine how each member who sat down felt at that table! (Pycelle probably pissed himself under that raggedy robe)

What did you all think of the symbolism and power of that scene?

Oh and we're also introduced to the fact that Littlefinger will be leaving to propose to Lyssa at the Eyrie so this was a good refresher for viewers who may have forgotten that. I thought Tyrion's amused look about that was priceless. He could have warned Littlefinger that Lyssa is probably not the pretty young flower he remembered in their youth but it was even better he remained silent because of course it's got to be hilarious justice to him since he hates LF anyways.

Here's a link to the "Inside the Episode #3" with the thoughts of the producers on the scene which sums up my own interpretation I had as well.

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Loved it, along with many other moments in this episode. Far too much negativity around here if you ask me!

I for one was suprisingly impressed by Benioff's direction - it seemed much more confident and refined than Minahan's in the first two episodes. Just little details like the one-take tracking shot at the start of Hoster's funeral, the superb tension building during the final scene, the very impressively handled Theon chase scene (and subsequent unlikely yet badass archery skills displayed by Ramsey...), and of course the small council scene. Hope he directs more episodes!

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Genuinely one of the best things I have ever see on T.V. Reminded me a lot of that 'Fuckity fuck fuck fuck' scene in The Wire with McNulty and Bunk. Amazing actors not even having to communicate with words (apart from one word in the Wire), just looking at each other knowingly and contemptuously. The look Vary's gives Tyrion is genius. How come I've never seen Varys on anything before? He is such a good actor

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Loved the scene. Made me smile, and even laugh out loud when Tyrion dragged his chair across the room.

But it didn't occur to me that Tywin would have set the chairs up with much deliberation, He seems well secure in the power he holds and just wants to get business done with, not engage in petty power play with his "lackeys".

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I would have loved for that small council scene to be longer to be honest. There was a lot of potential.

For some reason, Cersei moving her chair and LF rushing to be next to Tywin were the best. They made me laugh out loud. But Tyrion moving his chair really bugged me for some reason, LOL. I dunno.

I just wish they'd cut the pod and whores part and made this scene a bit longer.

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This scene must be in my top ten favourite 'Thrones' scenes. I agree entirely with the OP.

I love Cersei's imput in the scene, just echoing her father. I have been longing to see Cersei and Tywin in a 'proper' scene together for such a long time and I was so excited by it.

I for one was suprisingly impressed by Benioff's direction - it seemed much more confident and refined than Minahan's in the first two episodes. Just little details like the one-take tracking shot at the start of Hoster's funeral, the superb tension building during the final scene, the very impressively handled Theon chase scene (and subsequent unlikely yet badass archery skills displayed by Ramsey...), and of course the small council scene. Hope he directs more episodes!

I absolutely agree here. Benioff had such a strong hand during this episode - the chase scene was incredible. There was no gimmicks in this episode, it was honest and as you said confident. The framing of the first half of the Jaime/Locke scene - with Jaime's right hand glowing in the firelight was just incredible.

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Sassy-Cersei might be my favorite TV character ever y'all.

It was a perfect scene; it encapsulates the attitudes and standing of everyone involved in the same way that a mess of dialogue would and it was absolutely hilarious at the same time.

If you hated this bit, I think you might just hate fun period.

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Great scene. Beautifully conceived and shot. The highlight of the episode, really.

The way Cersie positioned her chair, it wasn't facing the council members at the opposite side of the table, as one would expect. Her chair was turned slightly to the side, looking towards the far end of the table, where the final empty seat was located, where she expected Tyrion to sit. Even in a council chamber and in her father's presence, or perhaps because of it, Cersie is most wary of Tyrion. So suspicious of him is she, that she feels the need to seat herself in away that would insure she has an eye on him at all times.

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Great scene. Beautifully conceived and shot. The highlight of the episode, really.

The way Cersie positioned her chair, it wasn't facing the council members at the opposite side of the table, as one would expect. Her chair was turned slightly to the side, looking towards the far end of the table, where the final empty seat was located, where she expected Tyrion to sit. Even in a council chamber and in her father's presence, or perhaps because of it, Cersie is most wary of Tyrion. So suspicious of him is she, that she feels the need to seat herself in away that would insure she has an eye on him at all times.

Oooh, good analysis, I like this. :)

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Loved it! I had no clue what was coming as the scene opened, of course, but as it went on, I just burst out laughing. All those knowing looks, shifty-eyed sideways glances, silent smirks.. just hilarious. I wonder how many takes they had to do--the actors must have been cracking up, putting that whole charade together. I read somewhere that Conith Hill is so hilarious on the set, that Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage in particular have trouble even looking at him without laughing. He even made Sean Bean burst out laughing back in S1, and they had to re-do that scene.

Wish I could have been there! It resembled my family's Thanksgiving get-togethers, under-currents running a mile deep... :P

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Imagine Stannis and Robert present at that table.

Would've been an epic scene.

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Imagine Stannis and Robert present at that table.

Would've been an epic scene.

I can hear the teeth-grinding from here.

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I thought he set the chairs up so that the camera would face all the people sitting on that side and no one would have their backs to the camera on the other.

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great scene. absolutely the last thing i thought people would complain about in this episode

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I loved this scene. It was a great showing of the power struggle within the small council. I also noticed Cersei was bored while most of the business at hand was being discussed, setting her up for how she will handle things after Tywin dies. She only perks up when Tywin gives Tyrion his new job. Which both she and Tyrion think is an insult. Yet it seems to be affording Tyrion a chance to gain very important experience. It seems like a slight, just as being put in charge of the sewers at Casterly Rock seemed and yet, Tyrion is learning the crucial management of labor and resources.

I see what you're doing, Martin.

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I loved how Varys rubbed in Littlefingers face the fact he doesn't have Harrenhall yet.Then Tywin called it a useles spile of rubble.

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