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[Book Spoilers] EP307 Discussion

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Regarding Cersei, we dont need her "human side". She was what she's supposed to be season 1 and one episode of season 2. All this flip flopping of her personality and weakness she shows make her character inconsistent and falls flat to me. We arent supposed to see her "human side" because she doesnt freakin have one. She may be complex but she's a complex sociopath and has been one since she was physically torturing her little brother with genital mutilation as a child.

First of all, human doesn't mean nice. In the books, Cersei was scarred shitless from Stannis. She missed Jaime, she was so vulnerable to point of having Tyrion trying to comfort her. That's human.

I don't think we've ever seen Cersei being nice in the show. She could relate to Tyrion's despair because she was basically in the same situation.

And also, having 3 seasons of Cersei in pyscho bitch mode would get pretty boring.

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I'm a bit behind in this forum so I don't know if it has been mentioned, but I noticed a lot of people wondering why D&D didn't let Martin write episode 9. It might be tht he didn't want to write it. As much as it is a huge moment, I do remember reading somewhere that this chapter was particularly painful for him to write, so maybe he didn't want to relive that pain.

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I must admit that S03E07 wasn't quite as disappointing as many other episodes this season have been (and especially those from S02). Let me start by making a few concise and relevant observations about some key characters:

-Rob & Talisa: My problem here is that the writers (in this case, Martin himself) didn't blend the frustration of Rob's frustration over his ever limited options in the way of planning the war. He haphhazardly tinkered with some of the pawns as Lady Talisa lay naked. Martin tried to work the angle of "I can't plan this war" from the angle of "because Talisa is naked in my bed." Talisa distracting him via seduction is a plausible route (especially given the nature of the Stark characters), but it obscured the discrete (albeit telling) aspect of how Robb continued to struggle with war planning until his demise. Book!Rob really developed into a much colder, demure character in his final few chapters. D&D and Martin didn't quite capture this aspect of his character development.

-Jaime & Brienne: The dialogue between these two was undoubtedly the strongest component of their scenes in EP03. The ambiance was solid, the casting is still holding strong, and the show has managed to adapt it to the books quite well; but after this it goes sharply downhill. The Jaime/Brienne departure was a bit too played out and foretelling. Not to mention that the directors really tried way too hard to make Harrenhal look dark and grim. The director of lighting must be exhausted after searching far and wide for severely low wattage bulbs. I think we can do without the soap-opera-eque dark lighting. We know it's Harrenhal...as long as you don't stick fluorescent bulbs in the ceiling, we're fine. Don't get me wrong, the setting was appropriate, but I felt like the directors were trying way too hard and it didn't mesh well with the severely melodramatic initial departure of Jaime/Brienne.

The bear pit could have used a bit more focus. I think the common viewers can appreciate a well done fight scene, but to the enlightened, this was clear symbolism. I felt that Jaime & Brienne over-coming the bear and escaping Harrenhal really helped to demonstrate the plight of the people of the Riverlands and how they've come to accept instability in the way of their local government as the status quo. Just as Jaime & Brienne over-came the bear (and beat the odds) the surviving people of the Riverlands will weather the storm and carry on after the war winds down. Seriously, if they had just extended the bear scene by a good 35 seconds, this would have gone a long way in accomplishing this vital facet of the story.

-Jon & Ygritte: Well, here's a story with tons of great potential gone sour. As many on this thread have mentioned, the writers & directors have become too dependent on Rose Leslie's ability as a comedic actress. Ygritte is not the type of character who continuously cracks jokes and mocks Jon Snow. In the books, she is a fierce, ferrell fighter who threatens to murder him if he is in fact acting as a double agent. It's very difficult for the common viewer to take her seriously when she totally shifts gears between someone who you can't help laugh at and someone who will kill the love of her life without batting an eye. Mackenzie Crook has done a solid job as Orell as has Kristofer Hivju in his role as Tormund. I feel that the scenes at the wall (all of which obviously come from Jon's POV chapter) could have benefitted from another solid actor. If someone had been cast as Styr, the scenes at the wall could start to be repaired by another character (in a higher position of power) who is dubious of Jon Snow's loyalty to the wildlings and can thus create a more balanced yet radially opposed dichotomy in the wildling band's consensus about Jon. Another actor who could have helped this along is Edward Dogliani. However, it might serve the story better to leave him behind the wall to set up for his encounter with Janos Slynt in S04 (which is not shaping up well at all...wretch!)

Instead, we have a waffling Ygritte who goes between questioning Jon's loyalty, mocking him & cracking jokes with him, telling him that he's "one of us," and threatening to Theon Greyjoy him if he betrays her. Her inconsistency has left the viewers totally undecided when trying to determine how to feel about her. I never thought I would stoop to this level after all these years, but I'm afraid she can only be salvaged with a few more topless scenes. Compulsive fornication and gratuitous sex might be the only shot at really "re-organizing" her character. At this point in the season, I find it nearly impossible to happen. I can only hope the writer of episode 8 will see what many others have seen and get her character back on track.

-Bran, Rickon, Osha & Hodor: I really wish D&D had either rushed this storyline or put it on hold until S04. TV!Jojen is a suitable adaptation to book!Jojen and Sangster is an adequate actor for this part. I'm also quite fond of Ellie Kendrick's portrayal of Meera Reed. If someone will just replace Natalie Pena, I think their scenes will benefit a great deal. She's not nearly convincing enough as a wildling woman and probably would have been better suited as the role of Shae (see a few lines down). In the books, it just works better to keep Bran & company's story obscure and uncertain, but this has not adapted well to the show. The pace of their journey's progress seriously needs to be sped up. It only makes for some coma-inducing dialogue which could have otherwise been more constructively and tastefully done with a critical mass of solid actors (save for Pena...bleh).

-Daenarys: Forgive me if I go on about Dany at some length, but her story is so incredibly vital to the overall song of Ice & Fire that I must address some of the great strengths as well as a few noteworth weaknesses in her TV adaptation. This is probably the best adapted scene from the books (for this episode anyhow). Further, the over-the-top CGI dragons were tastefully done and really spoke to her power as a leader. The diplomat from Yunkaii and his aides all had appropriately strong but shaken reactions to the dragons. Emilia Clarke did a pretty good job with the facial expressions and thus really establishing Dany's poker face. When negotiating with that kind of leverage, a great poker face is only natural though, and Clarke's looked about 90% genuine and 10% artificial.

As far as the acting goes, Emilia Clarke has really helped to centrally bring her supporting cast up to a uniformly, bridged and over-all solid performance. Barristan Selmy and Jorah Mormont have used their status/standing with Dany as a pillar upon which they develop their relationship. Even Missandei (who I've always felt was not cast well enough) has really used Clarke's performance as a stepping stone to at least play her character in a way that is relevant. Nathalie Emmanuel has exceeded my expectations by the slimmest of margins.

The filming scene in Morocco is probably the one saving grace for this story. The sometimes questionable and forced acting often goes unnoticed by the layperson because the setting really helps to capture how geographically isolated and polarizing Dany's POV chapters really are. The tents were adapted nearly perfectly and the portrayal of the unsullied as nothing more than biological machines really blends well with the setting. I can't say I'm 100% satisfied with her story overall, but it has improved vastly over the last couple of episodes.

-Tyrion/Bronn/Shae: Peter Dinklange continues to carry this storyline to a slighly above-par performance. I hope D&D, the writers and directors all realize that more Bronn and less Shae is a great starting point for salvaging this ever-sinking story. Shae is just not convincing, and they're having to play it from the angle of Shae becoming jealous of Sansa. This continues to cripple Sibel Kekilli's performance and may lead to her being out of work soon if this erodes & deteriorates at the same rate it has been for 19 episodes now. Bronn makes the role look easy with his beautifully simplisitic, practical solutions to Tyrions vexing problems and dillemas. His ideas just roll off his toungue so naturally that I want to name him commander of the city watch once again! Dinklange's chemistry with Jerome Flynn so starkly contrast (yes, pun intended) with that of Shae that I can just hardly bear to watch any Shae scenes. I think Kekilli may end up costing Sophie Turner some future acting roles if this production staff isn't careful.

I will admit that the costume and set design were substantially surprising, and that the lyrical movements of the camera lens from character to piss-poor character were probably one of the stronger components to these scenes. King's Landing is supposed to feel a bit more formal than the rest of Westeros, and somehow the production staff has managed to pull this off without making it feel too 17th century European aristocracy. It's tastefully done and the colors of the curtains, rugs and costumes all blend well together to continue to speak to the sophistication and inherent wealth in the city.

I still have to mention a few things about Tywin/Joffrey/Sansa/Margaery, and hopefully next week, I'll have a bit more material to draw on in the way of Sam Tarly and Gilly. I just hope that D&D, the writers, directions and the rest of the prodcution staff take time out to really read some of the critiques on these message boards. Freelance critics like ourselves have valuable input to provide, but it is often brushed off and under-valued. The viewer is the customer, and HBO needs to realize this.

Alas, the boss is cracking the whip again, and I can't afford another write-up at work. Until next time!

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Why did they make the Blackfish such as asshole?

he isn't that bad, just grumpy. I think he came across very well in this episode.

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First of all, human doesn't mean nice. In the books, Cersei was scarred shitless from Stannis. She missed Jaime, she was so vulnerable to point of having Tyrion trying to comfort her. That's human.

I don't think we've ever seen Cersei being nice in the show. She could relate to Tyrion's despair because she was basically in the same situation.

And also, having 3 seasons of Cersei in pyscho bitch mode would get pretty boring.

This is a good point, and we've seen some of her vulnerability, but its getting to be a whole season of it. Which is boring me to tears. I'm tired of hearing about how she can't control Joff and seeing her cowed about everything to do with her father, at least show some rage behind the scene. I don't picture Cersei with this fake smile plastered on her face at all times, trying to put on her nice girl face.

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Its not like Joff never listened to Cersei and she was just bowled over by him. She shuts him up at tyrions wedding to sansa and he listens to her plenty of other times.

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By the way, where is Grey Wind ? Pretty sure we couldn't see Robb's direwolf this season

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I must have missed the episodes when Jaime pushed Bran out of a window and crippled him; attacked Ned's men and killed them b/c he felt like it; and murdered Karstark's son and his own cousin in his attempt to escape. Plus, the incest.

I'm a Jaime fan but the show is hardly whitewashing the guy; for two seasons he was a complete asshole.

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The scene that i loved in this episode, i hope that some people will not find me crazy :)) ... was the foreshadowing when Shae says to Tyrion, if i remember correctly, something like "We can still go across the Narrow Sea" to which Tyrion replies "And what to do there, juggling ?" ... i really laughed at that moment, knowing what will happen in the future ... there was some more foreshadowing in this episode but this one stood out for me, i hope i'm not the only one who noticed it

Edited by GeorgeIAF

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I must have missed the episodes when Jaime pushed Bran out of a window and crippled him; attacked Ned's men and killed them b/c he felt like it; and murdered Karstark's son and his own cousin in his attempt to escape. Plus, the incest.

I'm a Jaime fan but the show is hardly whitewashing the guy; for two seasons he was a complete asshole.

Playing devil's advocate:

Jaime pushed Bran because otherwise he, Cersei, and all three of their children, would be dead.

He attacked Ned's men because Cat had just kidnapped his brother without any sort of discussion. He was harsh, but not as much as Cat.

He killed Karstark's sons because they were enemies and it was a battle.

The whole cousin thing has no excuse. It was just a horribly written scene. Especially since family is the one virtue Jaime certainly has.

Having said that, I agree with you. Jaime is certainly not being whitewashed. It is simply just the first time we have gotten in his head.

ETA:

The scene that i loved in this episode, i hope that some people will not find me crazy :)) ... was the foreshadowing when Shae says to Tyrion, if i remember correctly, something like "We can still go across the Narrow Sea" to which Tyrion replies "And what to do there, juggling ?" ... i really laughed at that moment, knowing what will happen in the future ... there was some more foreshadowing in this episode but this one stood out for me, i hope i'm not the only one who noticed it

Nope, I noticed that as well, and got a laugh. GRRM wrote the episode so it could have just been him joking with book readers, not necessarily foreshadowing (since for all we know, it will get cut).

Edited by 7V3N

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Preview for next episode:

King's Landing hosts a wedding, and Tyrion and Sansa spend the night together. Daenerys meets the Titan's Bastard. Davos (Liam Cunningham) demands proof from Melisandre. Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) meet an older gentleman.

I am really interested in Sam and Gilly. Does that means Coldhands will be next episode? Along with 'Slayer'?

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Talsa CLAIMS to be pregnant. this might be the case (and a book departure) but perhaps not, maybe playing a part in lulling Robb to sleep. Either way I guess Robb will not name Jon as his heir, an unfortunate development.

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Talsa CLAIMS to be pregnant. this might be the case (and a book departure) but perhaps not, maybe playing a part in lulling Robb to sleep. Either way I guess Robb will not name Jon as his heir, an unfortunate development.

Why not, In the books Rob named Jon his heir even tho he and Jayne were desperately trying for very good reasons,

A Babe cannot hold the north in the event of Robs death,

The Lannisters would undoubtedly push Sansa's claim and the North would tear itself apart.

Jon was named heir to provide a successor who could continue or end the war and who wasn't under Lannister Control

I expect that when news of Sansa's wedding comes, and Roose Hands over Theon's finger skin along with the news that his bastard is interrogating Theon after capturing him fleeing from the burning Winterfell and has learned that Bran and Rikon are dead, Rob will do the will thing

Tasla and Blackfish will go back to RR. And hopefully we will Get Glover, Marge and Darcey (Along with Jon's great and small for the RW)

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All in all , I think the majority of non-book-readers have enjoyed this episode.

None of my Unsullied friends did. They thought it was a pretty dull episode that gave us nothing new. I have to say I mostly agree with them. But I saw this episode as an episode that defined relationships (Talisa and Robb ((the first scene of the two I didn't wholly mind)), Jon and Ygritte, Tyrion and Shae, Marg and Joff, Tyrion and Sansa ((from both characters' POVs)) ) before the weddings set the realm on fire.

The exception was the Dany scene.

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Playing devil's advocate:

Jaime pushed Bran because otherwise he, Cersei, and all three of their children, would be dead.

Jamie didn't give a rats ass about his children, he was trying to cover up his relationship WITH HIS sister. don't put thoughts in his head he didn't have. he also didn't give a damn that he tried to kill a kid because he was sneaking around. he couldn't care less. That=sociopath.

He attacked Ned's men because Cat had just kidnapped his brother without any sort of discussion. He was harsh, but not as much as Cat.

which was ridiculously reckless and sabotaged his father's plan. i don't recall Cat or any starks killing any lannisters beforehand. so its not tit for tat as you suggest

He killed Karstark's sons because they were enemies and it was a battle.

very true. in the show he killed one for an escape, book, in battle, no problem there really.

The whole cousin thing has no excuse. It was just a horribly written scene. Especially since family is the one virtue Jaime certainly has.

yes and no. he brings quite a bit of trouble to his family by banging his sister.

Having said that, I agree with you. Jaime is certainly not being whitewashed. It is simply just the first time we have gotten in his head.

i disagree. they are leaving out plenty, especially that he doesn't give a damn about his kids...

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i disagree. they are leaving out plenty, especially that he doesn't give a damn about his kids...

I disagree. There is a time where he gets angry with Cersei because they are and aren't his kids. He wanted to be a father to them, but couldn't. He had to ignore them to avoid any suspicious moments. He wanted to love them, but couldn't because he was never allowed to be their father.

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I disagree. There is a time where he gets angry with Cersei because they are and aren't his kids. He wanted to be a father to them, but couldn't. He had to ignore them to avoid any suspicious moments. He wanted to love them, but couldn't because he was never allowed to be their father.

He never says he wanted to love them, but he does say he didn't care about them.

That goes against direct quotes, but ok, feel free to ignore the text,.

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He never says he wanted to love them, but he does say he didn't care about them.

That goes against direct quotes, but ok, feel free to ignore the text,.

Well let's not be a jerk about it. But he does express anger with Cersei about it. It is not just, "I don't give a fuck about them." But I guess Tyrion telling Jaime that he killed Joff is also just pointless, right? Means absolutely nothing to Jaime? I really hope your response shows some maturity and respect for others' opinions.

Edited by 7V3N

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