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Errr…slight technical difficulties with youtube. If you click through the link at the bottom, Lawyersgunsandmoney has the audio, which is working.
To be honest the whole Oberlyn/Rains of Castamere thing struck me more, now that I’ve got a chance to think about it, as this is a song sung by people you should fear. It is a song that serves no other purpose than to play on the terrifying reputation of House Lannister. Rebellious lords become passive and kings rise and fall thanks to this song. And one of their more famous victims was the Targaryan/Martell family. Here is a victim of their 3rd most terrifying act and he is not afraid of them. Not. One. Bit.
Yep. Oberyn gives zero fucks. And what’s interesting is that they played it like Ellaria was used to this, that he triggers violently any time he hears that song.
Precisely. It symbolizes a key flaw in Twyin’s whole strategy; sometimes the response to brutality isn’t respect/fear but just hatred and righteous fury. Also LOVED your take on how Tywin finally gets the Valryian swords to mark the beginning of his dynasty…but he does so via theft and appropriation, which is what the Lannister name is now coming to symbolize-and it doesn’t speak well for their chances of surviving as a House.
I do like the show including that statue, since you just KNOW, that at some point someone’s going to, tear it down. It perfectly encapsulates what’s insufferable about Joffrey and the Lannister family, and it will make their inevitable downfall, (and the re-surgence of the Starks,) all the sweeter.
It’s amazing how people tear down statues of rulers who advocated terrible causes and led their country to ruin…. Just like the statue of Jefferson Davis which is still standing 150 years later.
Point taken. (Though statues of Stalin Hitler and Saddam did fall.) But I don’t think there’s going to be any racism based nostalgia here. Even if the statue does stay it will probably become a grim ironic joke in time like the unsinkable titanic.
Speaking of which, have you seen the DownWithTheKing thing on twitter?
It was also a fantastic way at establishing how dangerous/formidable Oberyn really is in person and his reputation by having him switch from Lord Byron-like sexual insinuations to humiliating a Lannister and displaying his prowess in a few seconds really.
It establishes his character extremely well- reminds me a bit of Han Solo (shooting first) dispatching Greedo in the first Star Wars film as an introduction to his character . .
Some people have criticized leading with the sexuality, but realistically, you don’t have much time in a given season to establish a character, so going for gusto is a smart move.
I’ve lost my ability to take that song seriously after one of the parodies of last season had Cersei remark that Westeros has only two songs: that one and “some bullshit about a bear”.
Night’s Watch: I was going to save this comment until the first Jon chapter in ACOK, but it’s relevant here, so: I’m more and more convinced that filming the Beyond the Wall stuff in Iceland was a huge mistake on the show’s part, in retrospect. Not only because I think the ‘look’ is kind of wrong, but they had mere hours a day to shoot any given scene, and I think it shows in the final product. The scenes set south of the Wall (or shot indoors) with the same characters are of suspiciously higher quality. I agree that Harrington’s Snow was much better here than he’s been in a while, especially. I also really like having Peter Vaughan as Aemon back. Not much of Sam and no Gilly, but we’ve got a ton of characters to service.
Meereen: Perfectly fine.
Arya/the Hound: I enjoy their dynamic. The Inn scene is lesser than the books because they’ve repositioned it so that it loses some of the climactic elements (in particular, the Hound isn’t dying), but it was nicely done. They did a decent job of replacing Arya repeating the Tickler’s lines with Polliver’s, though they don’t lend themselves to the situation quite as well.
1. Jaime’s Homecoming: As expected, he had a lot of scenes (though none with Tyrion this week, though admittedly there’s less of a pressing reason for it), and largely well-done. I’m a bit confused by how the Jaime/Cersei dynamic is being handled here, but I guess we’ll see. I liked the scene with Brienne because they had Jaime repeat some of the lame rationalizations about how Sansa is better off in King’s Landing that I’ve seen from some fans, and had Brienne shoot that down. The scenes with Joffrey and Tywin were good.
2. Meet the Dornish: I generally thought this was handled well, with Oberyn and Ellaria being well-cast and well-characterized. Plus, House Manwoody is in the house!
3. Sansa and Dontos: Somewhat awkwardly bringing up something that happened two years ago and hasn’t been referenced since. The first scene with Sansa, Shae and Tyrion was good. The show is still cutting Sansa’s good material and reducing her to an object, but at least they aren’t adding bad material at the same time like last season’s parade of awful comic relief moments, so…progress?
One good thing about how they’re handling Sansa-you can actually see here the transformation she’s making with her skin turning from porcelain, to ivory, to steel. This is a girl who by necessity is toughening up. And as awkwardly handled as the Dontos bit was, it DOES remind people that Sansa was the one who interfered and tried to show mercy when no one else would, re-iterating her compassion. And WORD about shooting down the idiotic argument that Sansa is better off in KL.
As for Jaime/Cersei, I think that gets to the key about Cersei that Jaime is only now starting to realize-her profound selfishness makes her completely incapable of understanding or even acknowledging anyone’s pain but her own. This is the season where Jaime’s going to have to face up to some hard truths about his sister/paramour.
Re: Dontos. It’s a bit awkward, but to be fair, they shot a bunch of stuff for Dontos and Sansa earlier and didn’t like it so cut it, and it is setting stuff up for the future.
From what the producers have said, they cut the Dontos stuff because they decided to do the season 3 plot with Littlefinger instead.
I heard that. But I also heard they didn’t like the footage they’d shot.
The footage stuff was just a rumour, as far as I know, nothing ever sourced to anybody’s statements. That was when people were speculating that Dontos would be cut entirely (which he might as well have been, really; the writers seem to have included him only so that he can die, but they’ve cut all the things that make his death shocking, since neither Sansa nor the audience know him at all or have any reason to care).
Hmmm…interesting thought about Iceland. Not sure I agree.
I must say that Iceland as a location sells the sheer COLD beyond the Wall very well, but that Siberia (and it’s native peoples) strikes me as a better model for the land of Westeros outside the Seven Kingdoms.
Since you brought up the various dick jokes about House Manwoody in the podcast, I thought I’d mention one that you didn’t. The skull motif of the their sigil seems to be a “boner” joke to me.
Maybe. Or maybe when you get into that frame of mind, everything looks like a dick joke. Since I know you read comics, I refer you to Giant Size Man-Thing #1.
That’s a guddun.
“Given the fluid sexualities on display here, I think “Two Swords” counts too.
This is what I liked in the episode:
– Kit Harrington. I always perceived him as a sub-par actor compared to the rest of the cast. In the first three seasons he did a decent job playing the sullen emo teen (or twenty-something), but never seemed like someone who could be elected LC of the Night’s Watch. Last night I believed he could be LC. Here’s hoping he can continue to “kill the boy so the man can live”.
– The bookending of the episode with Tywin melting the sword down and Arya killing the Lannister men (plus Oberyn). When the show opens, it looks like the war is done and it’s all about dividing the spoils. The parts with Oberyn and Arya did a great job of showing that while the big battles may be over, the war never ends, it just changes forms and combatants (in fact Oberyn is still fighting the last war). BTW Pedro Pascal looks to be yet another great casting choice.
– I know Arya gets a lot of love (everyone I watched GOT with was quick to boo Sansa and cheer Arya killing Polliver). I wonder how much of this is because she’s the only Stark to really get revenge (Robb’s victories are looking quite Pyrrhic at this point), and how much of it is because Massie Williams is an excellent actress and makes Arya easy to root for. It’s great that GOT points out how brutal (and cruel) she’s becoming. Sure the people she kills always seem to “deserve it”, but I find it hard to think of Arya purely as a “good guy”.
– Charles Dance. It’s going to be sad (at least on screen) when Tywin is killed off. Along with Massie Williams, I think he does the best job of bringing his character to life.
What I didn’t like
– Dany’s stuff. I realize her arc is set down by GRRM, but her storyline really feels like wheel spinning when you see it on the screen. I can’t imagine what people will be saying when next season starts and she’s still no closer to Westeros. The biggest beneficiary of the show going 7 seasons (and thereby massively shortening AFFC/ADWD) is going to be Emilia Clarke. I imagine she’ll conquer Mereen by mid-season, rule through early season 5 (when she flies off on Drogon) and then come back for the battle of Slaver’s bay which will be the climax of the season. Hopefully season 5 ends with her deciding to head to Westeros.
I wonder how much of this is because she’s the only Stark to really get revenge (Robb’s victories are looking quite Pyrrhic at this point), and how much of it is because Massie Williams is an excellent actress and makes Arya easy to root for.
As much as anything, I think it’s because she conforms largely to the contours of the plucky girl-action heroine, which, no matter the genre, has a built-in fanbase.
I agree. THough, even among show only fans, there’s some uneasiness about how violent and cold-blooded Arya’s getting. Essentially, Arya is the ultimate deconstruction of that plucky tomboy action heroine trope.
Some of the Unsullied also noted in the contrast between the two sisters that Sansa was the one who’d offered mercy by convincing Joffrey to spare Dontos’s life which I thought was a crucial detail.
I think it’s a bit of all of these things.
I had less of a problem with Dany’s stuff.
As for her Meereen plotline, I think this season ends with Dany I of ADWD – the shepherd with the bones. Season 5 – I think we see her flying off around Ep 6 or 7, and then either the Battle of Fire is the big battle of that season or happens early in Season 6.
Totally agree with you that Cersei was pregnant and Qyburn ended it. She simultaneously wants to hide it from Jamie and punish him for abandoning her by rubbing his face in it. And Jamie knows there’s something weird here, but he doesn’t want to know so he dances around rather than pushing through the social convention of “women’s issues.”
I thought the Thenns and their scarred-face cannibalism were a good addition. The wildlings have been just too damn accessible to the viewers. A very “Backwoods Massachusetts patriots in fur occasionally making some dubious moral calls while fighting for their very survival” kind of vibe.
I feel like the writers want us to better understand why John Snow’s decision to let Wildlings through the wall would be such a big deal to the people on the other side of the wall, and this really does it. (I also like that they otherized some white guys–they’re as strange as the Unsullied, and frankly more terrifying.)
I also think it adds to the world-building in a great way–everyone has their despicables, bad people using the rules of their society to profit through sadism. In the East, they have slavers. Westeros has Meryn Trant as well as Gregor Clegane and his bunch. The wildlings have the Thenns. And when outsiders choose to see just the despicables, it justifies a lot of “let them all burn” kind of thinking.
I think it makes for a far more interesting narrative going forward that when Jon Snow thinks of Wildlings he thinks of Tormund & Ygritte, but Allister Thorne thinks of Thenns–and they are BOTH right.
Another thing about Cersei being pregnant and ending it by “moon tea,” is that it sets up both revelations about Lysa’s history with LF, AND Cersei’s attempt to have Margaery arrested on charges of treason and adultery.
While I think it can also be hangover/DT-related, moon tea would be a way for Jaime to find out about Lancel, which given the absence of the Kettleblacks and Moon Boy is kind of a crucial detail.
Alternatively, it could be some sort of sleep aid b/c she’s having nightmares re Maggy the Frog’s prophecy. In the books, Qyburn is the one who tells Cersei that she can stop the prophecy from coming true by killing the ‘younger princess’ first, which sets up Cersei’s clumsy attempt to frame Margaery. The show has largely avoided prophecies, but I could see them using one in this situation.
I expect Jaime to find out about Lancel the same way he does in the books – via Tyrion. Tyrion already knows about Lancel in the show, and the stuff with his first wife and Jaime was setup in season 1 when Tyrion, Bronn and Shae play a drinking game.
That could also be the case – although they’ve been holding back on prophecies almost entirely on the show.
I agree with you, but I must admit that using the Thenns – as opposed to a Wildling group actually reported as getting up to that sort of thing – is the sort of minor, “It’s not what they’re trying to do but HOW they are attempting to do it” slip-up that we as fans of the novels and moderate obsessives have a RIGHT to grumble about (if only so we can comfort ourselves with the thought that even the ever-excellent GoT team can’t get EVERYTHING right).
(Cursed lack of Smileys … the end of that last sentence NEEDs a wink and a grin …).
I don’t have that much of a problem with it – the Thenns work as both complicating the narrative about the Wildlings and raising the stakes for Jon.
If I had to guess, I’d say Tormund ends up marrying Alys Karstark.
But won’t the Bears be disappointed by that?
I do hope the, “Tormund of the Many Names” Stannis-joke is thrown in at some point and that his numerous titles get enumerated at some point.
I would guess when he comes in to surrender.
I wouldn’t put it past that old Falstaff to wind up with a bride younger and more comely than he!
Please read Tormund ‘Will go into anything once, possibly more than once!’ Giantsbane for ‘Falstaff’.
Nice job on the video podcast but many (most of us/?) are you used to reading on our commutes. Could you please create a real podcast feed (using mp3 audio not mp4 video)?
Here are directions.
I don’t run the technical side of the podcast – but if you click through to the link on lawyersgunsandmoney, you should be able to find the rss feed for the mp3s.
I just had a thought. Oberyn tells the procurer who doesn’t want to be part of his party that something like “Everything Littlefinger has here is on offer.” IIRC, Oberyn also told Tyrion that he hadn’t been in King’s Landing since Raegar married Elia. LF came to KF after Robert’s Rebellion so the Red Viper is revealing that he’s got information sources in the city. How well know if LF outside of KL. Ned certainly didn’t know much or anything about him and he once fought a duel against Ned’s brother for Cat’s hand. Oberyn didn’t actually confirm that he’s got a full scale spy-ring in KL, but…
Arrgh. “How well know if LF outside of KL” should read “How well known is LF in KL?”
I’m predicting that Brienne hooks up with Gendry somehow to start her search for Arya (since she’s in KL before the PW, I don’t see what else she could get up to).
Going just from stills, interviews, and episode titles, here’s my prediction for that.
– Sansa’s disappearance will go ahead pretty much as in book.
– Jaime will send Brienne out, she’ll assume he means to bring her back for Tyrion, and then the big reveal that no, he means her to save his honor.
– Brienne meets Pod as per AFFC. They do their Don Quixote/Sancho Panzo thing.
– Brienne fights Rorge and Biter, and gets helped by Gendry.
– Gendry then brings her to Lady Stoneheart just as a Frey is being “tried” by Lady Stoneheart. Brienne is then brought forward, and the big reveal ends the season.
So her plot will progress much like the book, then. I thought since she’s in KL while Sansa is still accounted for wouldn’t give her much to do until after the PW. Curious as to how they plan to get Gendry back to the Riverlands. And I was kind of hoping Gendry and Brienne would have some fun bonding scenes.
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