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[Book Spoilers] EP309 Discussion

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I was not going to weigh in on the whole Talisa issue because the argument seems to have devolved into an argument of preference vs. substance...BUT I do need to point out that the sheer number of people (both sullied and un-) who just don't buy R&T's love story is pretty clear evidence of an unsuccessful storyline. Regardless of whether you "liked" Talisa, or even Jeyne for that matter, not enough people bought into it, which makes it an inarguable failure. Maybe the pooch was already screwed...maybe Jeyne really was just a plot a device and the opportunity to make a more compelling love interest for Robb just couldn't be supported by the time and story constraints already in place, but inherently good writing makes you buy into it. And in a series (both TV and book) that provides so many relationships that fans would pay to see, when that doesn't happen for the majority of the fanship...who can legitimately argue that it's NOT a failure?

And while I don't feel the vitriol that so many do for Talisa, and I did cry salty crocodile tears when she named the baby and when she died, most of the great love stories in ASOIAF and GOT are earned over time (Dany/Drogo, Jaime/Brienne, Cat/Ned, etc). Mostly, we are urged by the series to suspect the "love at first, (or even second) sight". R&T's romance was as close as you can come to that without venturing into naive, beautiful Sansa territory.

BUT, my original posting reason isn't even about Talisa, it's about Cat/LS. Deepest apologies if someone already covered this, but regarding whether or not Michelle Fairley will be back:

From Buzzfeed:

So Catelyn is dead, but in the books, she is not actually gone! She becomes Lady Stoneheart! Who has deep gashes in her face from scratching herself, can’t speak because her throat was cut so deeply, and was in the river for a few days before being brought back to life. She marauds around killing Freys, plus anyone who might have done the Starks wrong, and appears occasionally going forward. Have you talked to Dan and David about Season 4?

MF: Well, you’ll just have to keep watching. You’ll have to keep wattttttcccchhhhin’.

The way Lady Stoneheart, zombie Catelyn, is described — she’s completely insane, basically.

MF: I’m completely insane, so it mightn’t be too much of an acting stretch!

Were that to happen in the show’s future, would that be fun?

MF: No one knows, no one knows. Sorry, Kate!

Oh my god — I’m asking IN THEORY. You mentioned before that at the end, Catelyn is purely consumed by vengeance, and that seems to be the after-death version of her. Which seems to be great fodder.

MF: Of course. For an actor to play something like that, I think visually it would be incredible. How do you portray evil, vengeance, lust for revenge? What does that do physically to a human being, what do they end up looking like? How do they attain it? The embodiment of that is something that would be incredibly exciting. Even evil people are justified. If you’re playing a character like that, you have to find a way of liking them.

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That's certainly an interpretation of Rovv's decision process in regards Jeyne I havent seen before... Interesting idea, but I really don't see Robb as not wanting to fight anymore at this point. Remember, this is before Blackwater, before Duskendale, before the Karstark desertion, etc, when the chances of the Starks still looked pretty decent, even with Winterfell lost. Even after all those setbacks happened Robb still didn't even want to consider the possibility of bending the knee and got really angry when Cat proposed it.

I do think that when he said he married for honor he was lying (mostly to himself) and it was a justification for marrying the girl he felt in love with.

Ultimately the marriage not much of a problem for me, really. It's not completely impossible, just very unlikely the way I see the characters. Robb just seems too dutiful for this, even at 16.

He didn't want to fight the Lannisters any more, is what I meant. Yeah, his campaign was going all right at the time, but he probably started realizing how big are the advantages Lannisters have over him and that he's going to need much more than pure field victories to crush them. And then news from Winterfell arrive, and he sees that he lost his home to the man he considered a brother. At that moment, I'm pretty sure Lannisters weren't in his mind any longer, along with the word he gave to Frey. (With Cat, I think the same thing happened even sooner, when she saw Renly's death. While she and Brienne were running from Renly's camp, all she was thinking was Stannis' line that Robb's time to answer for treason will came, too.)

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Just to add: Not only that Robb lost the will to fight a war against Iron Throne, he also seemed to me as he was ready to give up on everything except producing an heir to his family. After executing Karstark, he was all like: "Why would anyone want to be a king at all?!" And by writing his will down, he showed his possible death was on his mind. Which is why I believe he gave up on everything other than producing the heir to Winterfell and someone who can carry the Stark name. I'd even say that he wanted Jeyne to be pregnant from that first intercourse they had, and he certainly didn't want that child to be a bastard.

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With this I completely agree. It doesn't mean Robb got what he deserved, of course (nor am I implying you implied that), just that I don't buy "Robb was his father's son" explanation. Robb was noble and brave and a good leader in his own right, but he was really not Ned 2.0.

Couple points:

1) robb kinda got what he deserved. He could have just fought a good old fashioned warfor the redress of grievances, which wouldnt have required total victory, just being enough of a pain in the ass to get some concessions. Instead he crowned himself and refused to even consider bending the knee. Ned would gladly have sacrificed his honor, as well as any personal ambitions, to avert a bloodbath. Doesnt mean i wasnt rooting for him, but he should have been seeking an exit plan before the westerlings even came into it. Think about roose boltons comment about boy lords being the bane of any house.

2) i thought robb not being "his fathers son" was a theme. So many references to his auburn hair and tully features and his soft heart. Not that he didnt have plenty of his father in him, or that ned didnt have a heart, but where ned was icy and reserved robb was warm and gregarious. In the context of the larger story, i took it as a significant theme that robb was less "starkish" than jon.

3) i to this day do not understand tywins comment about robb being his fathers son and jeyne being her mothers daughter. For jeyne, did he just mean a temptress, because her fathers marriage was unwise in a socio-political sense? But ned, everyone believes that he fathered a bastard, some believe it was on the highborn ashara dayne, who was definitely of a high enough social rank to marry. Either way, as far as anyone knows (though obviously most of us believe otherwise) he "dishonored" a woman and chose not to break a crucial alliance for her sake. So wtf was tywin talking about?

4) and this is off topic, but can we get some angst and vitriol directed at catelyn? She really ruined everything. She encouraged ned to go to KL when he wanted to refuse robert (in the book, not the show, much to my bafflement), she told him to trust LF, leading directly to his downfall, she trusted LF herself, naively, leading her to arrest tyrion impulsively, which started the war in the first place, and if she hadnt released jaime and alienated the karstarks robb might have been able to weather the storm he caused when he married jeyne. And if she had been willing to just go home and let her son handle his business she might have been able to prevent ser rodrick from leaving winterfell essentially undefended, though admittedly thats a weaker point since robb wanted her to go treat with renly. But still, not only were most of her chapters excruciating to read, but she was the classic hovering, meddlesome mother, and she pretty much fucked everything up.

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Yes afterward. Of course you can't tell during the events because you don't get the information until after. And for the "hole" notion of Robb's infatuation (not sure if this was an intentional pun or not), that isn't the contrived part. It is all the information we get after the fact that feels contrived. The RW scene works in the books because you get so little information; you really only get Cat's POV in regards to Robb. After the fact is when you get all the pieces and it starts to feel a bit contrived. On screen, it would be doubly so.

Anyway, in my own personal anecdotal experience, the book purists are people who have come to the books relatively recently. I read the first book when it came out, back before many on here even knew how to read. If you are one of those like me that waited patiently for years upon years between books and are still a book purist, more power to you. The GRRM is a god fascination wore off for me long ago. I'm just elated that I get to see one of my favorite stores shown on screen. So much so that I am willing to overlook character and plot changes that often work for the better. Let's not forget that GRRM has worked and continues to work on this show. If you have ever written anything in your life (not you specifically) then you know that often times you wish for a do-over. GRRM in many ways is getting that.

Interesting, your comment about waiting years and the grrm is god effect wearing off, because i often wonder if anyone who was into the series early on still is. I mean, 17 years later and you still dont know who jons mother is, you only just found out who killed jon arryn, none of the starks have been reunites, not even arya and nymeria (at least mot physically), even though it looked sure to happen when she was wandering the riverlads, and the walkers havent even invaded yet. You havent gotten any of that, but you have gotten a myriad of filler content, the dunk and egg books, the map book, and a tv show, so grrm could max out his revenues. Id say that id be pissed, but in reality, id have long since moved on.

Now, i think the key point regarding jeyne is that robb dis something impulsive out of grief, just like his mother. His tragic flaw was his softness, but the significance i think is his greater association was cat than with ned. Not that ive really fleshed out what it means, but it seems clear that it means something.

Gotta love my sloppy typing.

Edited by StoneToilet

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4) and this is off topic, but can we get some angst and vitriol directed at catelyn? She really ruined everything. She encouraged ned to go to KL when he wanted to refuse robert (in the book, not the show, much to my bafflement), she told him to trust LF, leading directly to his downfall, she trusted LF herself, naively, leading her to arrest tyrion impulsively, which started the war in the first place, and if she hadnt released jaime and alienated the karstarks robb might have been able to weather the storm he caused when he married jeyne. And if she had been willing to just go home and let her son handle his business she might have been able to prevent ser rodrick from leaving winterfell essentially undefended, though admittedly thats a weaker point since robb wanted her to go treat with renly. But still, not only were most of her chapters excruciating to read, but she was the classic hovering, meddlesome mother, and she pretty much fucked everything up.

Amen. When I first read the RW, I was just overwhelmingly happy that I wouldn't have to read another Catelyn POV chapter. Show Cat was much improved by judicious cutting and the astonishing Michelle Fairley.

Edited by Weeping lobster

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I'm going to assume your just trying to mess with me.

Hey, I am reading A Distant Mirror by Tuchman. There's a medical school, there are knights and castles and sieges and all sorts of stuff. Try cracking open a book.

If you want to stay in AWOIAF I refer you to not only the Citadel but the maegi who study apparently at Asshai where some medical knowledge is apparently transmitted to students.

Edited by rmholt

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What does him not having much to with the say in the series have to do with anything? They were saying he liked changes and I was just pointing out Talisa/Robb is the sort of fantasy story he's mentioned in the past that he does not like and tries to steer clear of. So it's doubtful to me he liked this particular change.

OK

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Hey, I am reading A Distant Mirror by Tuchman. There's a medical school, there are knights and castles and sieges and all sorts of stuff. Try cracking open a book.

If you want to stay in AWOIAF I refer you to not only the Citadel but the maegi who study apparently at Asshai where some medical knowledge is apparently transmitted to students.

I don't recall female apprenticing in the Citadel. And I don't recall them referring to people as 'students'. I don't get why you and others like using modern names/terms like college. Obviously there's not going to be a college in the series.. I don't even remember what the point in this particular conversation was I'm so tired. I'm guessing your trying to say Talisa is more modern by having gone to an actual college? That's funny lol. Make her more modern than she already is.

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4) and this is off topic, but can we get some angst and vitriol directed at catelyn? She really ruined everything. She encouraged ned to go to KL when he wanted to refuse robert (in the book, not the show, much to my bafflement), she told him to trust LF, leading directly to his downfall, she trusted LF herself, naively, leading her to arrest tyrion impulsively, which started the war in the first place, and if she hadnt released jaime and alienated the karstarks robb might have been able to weather the storm he caused when he married jeyne. And if she had been willing to just go home and let her son handle his business she might have been able to prevent ser rodrick from leaving winterfell essentially undefended, though admittedly thats a weaker point since robb wanted her to go treat with renly. But still, not only were most of her chapters excruciating to read, but she was the classic hovering, meddlesome mother, and she pretty much fucked everything up.

Dude, you seem to have some serious mommy issues.

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I don't get why you and others like using modern names/terms like college. Obviously there's not going to be a college in the series ... I'm guessing your trying to say Talisa is more modern by having gone to an actual college? That's funny lol. Make her more modern than she already is.

Salerno Medical school, active around 1100AD, probably with female students no less; and Volantis has always seemed to me like GRRM's echo of the medieval Mediterranean world, with many more cultures intersecting. Female doctors wandering around northern Europe? Not likely, very dangerous, but conceivable. More conceivable in Westeros, which as sexist as it may be, at least doesn't have as bad a habit of burning as witches any women that display intelligence and independence.

The word "college" dates from the 1300s. Not all that modern, and about a century before the War of the Roses that provides the very loose template for Martin's story.

I've always wondered if Talisa was a bit of a rip off of Adelia in Arianna Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death. Sure that novel is a bit fanciful, but the writer studied medieval history a lot and always made sure that the characters and events COULD have happened.

Mind you, I remain mildly confused how we can talk about anachronisms in a fantasy world.

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I can agree I don't think Ned would have cheated no matter what was happening and what grieving news he got. But I think if he wasn't married, and in Robb's position, I think he would have married Jeyne.

Or maybe it was just the fact that Robb was raised up by his honorable father that made him realize he had to fix the horrible situation once he took her innocence. Either way it was derived from the fact he has Stark morals. It doesn't matter if Ned would have had sex with her, but I think he would have tried to fix the situation as best he could in that situation, like Robb had attempted to do.

I disagree. It wasn't something Ned would have done, married or not, he would never NEVER put a girl who chose to sleep with him above the men who are fighting for him and a pre-existing and definitely more important oath when he could fix everything in other ways. And Robb knew this.

Robb knew that marrying Jeyne wouldn't just hurt his honor but also his kingdom and the North's cause and therefore it wasn't the right or most honorable thing to do .... but « "I took her castle and she took my heart," Robb smiled.»

'Honor' was just a convenent excuse he chose to use and to believe in. Personally I prefer to see a good and honest young man with his judgment clouded by his feelings understimate the consequences of his actions and admits that he is doing what he's doing for love instead to see him do the same but hide behind an excuse that doesn't make sense.

look at how Robb was in season one, that's another reason I find it unrealistic he suddenly fell for Talisa all because she was spunky/idealistic/and bold enough to question a king. Even someone as young as Robb I can't see would liking the fact someone's berating him. As noble as he is, that's no justification for anyone to say he would actually like being challenged against his authority. Especially when he already has all these bannermen that he's trying to keep in line and show he can be a leader despite his young age (in comparison to them), why on earth would he want to hear/know another person doubting and degrading him?

Because Robb isn't a tyrant and Ned teached him to listen to what people - even commoners - have to say. The fact that in the past he reacted doesn't mean that he doesn't accept to be questioned but that he knows when to impose himself and a girl who dares to speak her mind isn't a 'treat' he can't tolerate.

Talisa offered Robb a chance to get an external outlook on the situation, something he needed in that moment since, no matter how much confidence he showed before his bannermen, he was struggling with what being a King really meant and the purpose of that war. She asked him the right questions and with her objections made him face his own doubts and this, among other things, intrigued him.

Edited by Teardrops

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Mind you, I remain mildly confused how we can talk about anachronisms in a fantasy world.

I wasn't speaking and saying there were no sort of schools to learn at all in the medieval times. What I had meant by that was the fact they don't use the term college for Westeros, so why are we? It sounds kind of silly IMO to use that sort of term for a setting that already has other names for their places of learning. (Like the Citadel)

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Because Robb isn't a tyrant and Ned teached him to listen to what people - even commoners - have to say. The fact that in the past he reacted doesn't mean that he doesn't accept to be questioned but that he knows when to impose himself and a girl who dares to speak her mind isn't a 'treat' he can't tolerate.

Talisa offered Robb a chance to get an external outlook on the situation, something he needed in that moment since, no matter how much confidence he showed before his bannermen, he was struggling with what being a King really meant and the purpose of that war. She asked him the right questions and with her objections made him face his own doubts and this, among other things, intrigued him.

What's him not being a tyrant have to do with it? Someone can be a nice and good king but still not like the bitchy way she was back talking him. (And my perception was, the way Oona choose to use her tone of voice/etc, made it sound like her character was being a bitch about it.) She could have easily asked some questions without coming off like a snark and like she was trying to belittle him. But she didn't. I can understand if someone is genuinely curious and they're asking in a decent way, but I didn't see that as the case here. Not to mention in hindsight she acts like she knows everything, and then later on all of a sudden knows nothing. That makes no sense to me. So your going to act uppity and snobby while berating him yet later on basically admit you have no damn clue about wars? That just shows how little her opinion means and how the writers made her a complete idiot. The fact they had Robb fall for an idiot is funny to me.

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What's him not being a tyrant have to do with it? Someone can be a nice and good king but still not like the bitchy way she was back talking him. (And my perception was, the way Oona choose to use her tone of voice/etc, made it sound like her character was being a bitch about it.) She could have easily asked some questions without coming off like a snark and like she was trying to belittle him. But she didn't. I can understand if someone is genuinely curious and they're asking in a decent way, but I didn't see that as the case here. Not to mention in hindsight she acts like she knows everything, and then later on all of a sudden knows nothing. That makes no sense to me. So your going to act uppity and snobby while berating him yet later on basically admit you have no damn clue about wars? That just shows how little her opinion means and how the writers made her a complete idiot. The fact they had Robb fall for an idiot is funny to me.

Because you said that "As noble as he is, that's no justification for anyone to say he would actually like being challenged against his authority" and IMO a person who 'doesn't like to be challenged against his authority' is a tyrant. A noble and just man could not like the way someone address him but he would listen nonetheless and if what she/he said is right he would recognize it and appreciate it.

Robb could have been taken aback by her boldness but why should he have been annoyed by it? Not only he grew up in a home where strong and free-spirited women were accepted but they were sorrounded by dead and wounded men and they just finished to amputate a leg, I think he could understand her "bitchness" ( your perception not mine ) and if she forgot her manners a little. But even if her tone was too discourteous for you, she was giving him an external outlook (something he was interested in) and asking the right questions so there is nothing absurd if he liked the confrontation.

Talisa had a strong opinion about the silliness and wrongness of this kind of conflicts but she never claimed to be an 'expert in the art of war', so what's wrong with her saying that she doesn't know nothing about strategies or tactics?

Edited by Teardrops

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Talisa had a strong opinion about the silliness and wrongness of this kind of conflicts but she never claimed to be an 'expert in the art of war', so what's wrong with her saying that she doesn't know nothing about strategies or tactics?

I never said she claimed to be. But she certainly acted like she knew. Who's that stupid to act that strong willed and discourteous if they don't even have a clue what they're talking about? Because if that's the case they made her more dim witted than I thought. Basically she's blowing smoke out of her ass, acts like she knows things by questioning but then later on basically says 'oh I know nothing'. Okay, if she knew nothing then she shouldn't have been asking the sort of questions she was in the first place.

The fact of someone saying any guy or girl (in any world or context) would love being told that the revenge they want for their family is silly and stupid and their wrong for wanting justice is ridiculously funny. Yeah someone would really love being told their family values are wrong. Especially if they have every right to avenge their loved ones.

And what strong spirited women? Cat doesn't act as bitchy and stuck up as her. Only Arya is even semi close to the same personality as Talisa. Sansa doesn't act like that. Unless your just referring to the north in general like how Mormont women are. I just find it hilarious people think think ANYONE would like to be challenged. Sure Robb might like another outlook but I seriously doubt he would actually appreciate someone being rude.

Well I don't think it matters now anymore thankfully. At least that annoying character is dead and the Catelyn and Robb butchering is finally put to rest.

Edited by Winter In My Heart

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I never said she claimed to be. But she certainly acted like she knew. Who's that stupid to act that strong willed and discourteous if they don't even have a clue what they're talking about? Because if that's the case they made her more dim witted than I thought. Basically she's blowing smoke out of her ass, acts like she knows things by questioning but then later on basically says 'oh I know nothing'. Okay, if she knew nothing then she shouldn't have been asking the sort of questions she was in the first place.

She acted like she was against the war. She talked about how wrong it was. How injust it was and pointed out how much it cost to people like the man they just helped. When she said 'I don't know' Robb was talking about strategies. You know, you can be a 'pacifist' without being a tactician.

The fact of someone saying any guy or girl (in any world or context) would love being told that the revenge they want for their family is silly and stupid and their wrong for wanting justice is ridiculously funny. Yeah someone would really love being told their family values are wrong. Especially if they have every right to avenge their loved ones.

she said that making innocent people die is wrong not seeking revenge. She was criticizing the method not the reason.

And what strong spirited women? Cat doesn't act as bitchy and stuck up as her. Only Arya is even semi close to the same personality as Talisa. Sansa doesn't act like that. Unless your just referring to the north in general like how Mormont women are. I just find it hilarious people think think ANYONE would like to be challenged. Sure Robb might like another outlook but I seriously doubt he would actually appreciate someone being rude.

You saw her as bitchy. I saw her as strong, honest and direct (and then simple, sweet and caring). Something Robb would appreciate for the reasons I already stated.

You find hilarious that someone who isn't pretentious, arrogant, touchy and is willing to be challenged exist? Oh well, this say it all.

Well I don't think it matters now anymore thankfully. At least that annoying character is dead and the Catelyn and Robb butchering is finally put to rest.

Yeah, it doesn't matter anymore.That lovely character sadly is gone and I'm going to miss the wonderful job they did with Catelyn and Robb. ;)

I wonder who will be the next character (some) people will concentrate their need to criticize for the sake of it ...

Edited by Teardrops

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She acted like she was against the war. She talked about how wrong it was. How injust it was and pointed out how much it cost to people like the man they just helped. When she said 'I don't know' Robb was talking about strategies. You know, you can be a 'pacifist' without being a tactician.

she said that making innocent people die is wrong not seeking revenge. She was criticizing the method not the reason.

You saw her as bitchy. I saw her as strong, honest and direct (and then simple, sweet and caring). Something Robb would appreciate for the reasons I already stated.

You find hilarious that someone who isn't pretentious, arrogant, touchy and is willing to be challenged exist? Oh well, this say it all.

Yeah, it doesn't matter anymore.That lovely character sadly is gone and I'm going to miss the wonderful job they did with Catelyn and Robb. ;)

I wonder who will be the next character (some) people will concentrate their need to criticize for the sake of it ...

Again she is an idiot to say those things when the people he killed in the battle (where they met) where loyal to the enemy. Um, obviously if they engaged in real battle those people, even if they aren't good fighters, would be trying to kill him and his men. And none of the northerners are really that naive to not know the costs of war. Just look at everything that happened to Robb before and during the war. So what she was saying didn't really need to be said. It's kind of pointing out the obvious.

Like I just mentioned above, she said they're innocent, but those people his men killed where she was tending to men where going to try to kill them. They were loyal to the enemy, again it shows she's not smart. She could have said how wars are wrong, but to say them in a way that makes her look stupid I just don't get. That's just bad writing on the producers/writers part.

No I find it hilarious they made Robb fall for a bimbo. (And before you yell at me, someone can be good at something, like her being a nurse, but still be stupid.) That's all I'm gonna say about that.

Nope I said it right the first time. That bimbo is finally dead good riddance. (Obviously the way of death was brutal. So just to clear it up before you, or someone tries to jump down my throat, I'm not happy by the way she died, just that she's dead and finally gone.) And for anyone to think she actually made Robb and Cat better than their book counterpart.. Wow... Just wow.

Well speaking for myself I don't hate any other character like I do her. (Well obviously there's Joffrey but who doesn't hate him?) So I doubt there's anyone I'll hate. Dislike, I'm sure there will be, but no one will compare to that contrived/horribly written character the writers thought up.

Eta; The fact that you state her personality, it shows how contradictory she is. Being strong willed and blah, blah, blah one minute then 'caring' and 'sweet' the next shows the writers used her as a bigger plot device than Jeyne. They just threw in whatever personality they wanted for her that was needed at whatever given time despite the fact it would look odd shes all of a sudden submissive (or whatever word you want to use). They didn't even bother to give her much of a backstory either. The only thing we know is of her brother (which why did she leave him if she loved him soooo much?) and why she's against slavery. We don't really know anything beyond that. Horribly written plot device, I could have very well done without that. I'd rather see Joffrey or Theon torture on screen than that idiot (plus the actress really isn't all that good and has little range for emotions/facial expression/or anything)

Edited by Winter In My Heart

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