Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 4

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In lieu of the podcast, where RL issues are still causing issues, I thought I’d cross-post some thoughts I shared on the Tumblr site:

Castle Black:

– Loved pretty much everything here. Jon and Sansa’s reunion was incredibly heartwarming, it was great to see Sansa being the political mind behind Jon’s warrior.

– Brienne being a dick to Davos and Melisandre wasn’t cool. Tormund trying to seduce her with his sensual eating habits was amazing.

– I like that we really got a sense from this episode where the Northern plot is going, and a sense of narrative momentum. Good.

The Vale:

– teenaged Robin Arryn is bigger, but just as nuts.

– watching Littlefinger run rings around Bronze Yohn Royce was the most impressive he’s been in seasons.

Meereen:

– Well, I feel more vindicated on my Meereen-is-Reconstruction argument now. Good to see Missandei and Grey Worm having political opinions on slavery and pushing back against Tyrion’s privileged bullshit while Tyrion still had a general point. Still would have worked better if Meereen was actually being besieged.

Vaes Dothrak:

– oy vey. Daario and Jorah’s scenes were painfully bad.

– this show is making threats of rape against Dany cliched and trite, and that’s fucked up.

– final sequence would have worked a lot better with a 40 foot dragon towering behind Dany.

King’s Landing:

– as with Castle Black, definitely got a good sense of narrative momentum, with Cersei burying the hatchet with the Queen of Thorns and planning to take out the High Septon.

– Jonathan Pryce is an amazing actor as always, but I feel like his scene with Margaery was lacking in motivation for him. What is he trying to get from Margaery? Just informing on her brother? Not enough to justify this much screen time.

Pyke:

– well done, and a very unexpected and heartfelt end to that scene.

Winterfell:

– no scenes in Winterfell again? Weird.

– joking aside, this shit is also getting cliched. We know Ramsay’s evil, you have shown us this over and over again to the point where it’s not interesting any more.

– can’t wait to see what GRRM has in mind for Osha that isn’t this.

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119 thoughts on “Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 4

  1. David Hunt says:

    I got the impression that D&D think that Dany is just generally immune to fire as she duplicated that Walk Out of the Fire miracle that came from the bloodmagic that hatched the dragons. Do you think that they don’t know about GRRM stating loudly and explicitly that she’s not immune to fire, don’t care. I don’t think this was another blood magic miracle even though they were explicitly alluding to it.

    • beto2702 says:

      I think her terminator moment there works for TV. I believe D&D are not going to take a lot of time explaining blood magic either way, so “fireproof” is simpler to understand for the wider audiences.

    • In the show she’s fireproof, a perfectly reasonable simplification for a different medium.

    • Given that D&D forgot that Sam’s a POV character…I wouldn’t be surprised.

      • Chinoiserie says:

        You honesty have never made a mistake ever when discussing the books accidentally? Benioff said in a recent Goldman Sach video interview that he has red the books 12 times, I would imagine he knows…

        • 12 times?! Really?! If he’s really said that and he’s not lying, then he must be an extremely shallow reader with really poor reading comprehension and memory. Going by his writing, it seems like he’s only read a two page summary of Feast and Dance.

          It also seems like he hasn’t rewatched his own show at all, seeing how many inconsistencies there are between seasons, and that and Weiss completely forgot a scene from season 2 they wrote themselves (they were talking in Inside the Episode last season that “when we first saw Stannis, in season 2, he was burning infidels” – no, he was burning statues of the Seven, in both book and show).

          • Ser Biffy Clegane says:

            They probably meant when they had him burn Alister Florent, although 1) that want there first time we saw Stannis and 2) burning Alister for heresy was a show invention. I’m more mad about the second thing – making Stannis religious and Davos atheist weakened both characters.

            Hopefully, they’re saving “pray harder” for Jon along with the Crofters’ Village. It’s a shame for Stannis to lose his best moments, but with luck, someone will get them.

          • Ser Biffy Clegane says:

            Grr. “That wasn’t the first time we saw Stannis”

            … is what I meant to say.

          • beto2702 says:

            This seems like D&D nitpicking just for the sake of it. Really? Are we going to crucify D&D now for something that was just thrown phrase and not that important. What does it matter that they said infidels or statues? They did both and it doesn’t really impact their argument in that context.

            That could have been just an expression, and I don’t doubt that they have read the books plenty of times. There are some easter eggs here and there for book readers, but they are making a show for a wider audience and with a limited screen time. Just let the show be its thing and the books something else. IMO, if we are going to criticize the show it should be because “they did something that didn’t work out” and not because “they did something differently to the books”.

            It seems to me like now we are just criticizing them just because the “Books are always better, the show ruins everything” old argument.

          • Oh, spare me. The show is absolutely terrible in itsef. And it’s terrible because D&D are bad writers, who have gotten it into their heads that they are better writers than Martin, so they’ve turned the show into their own crackfic instead of an adaptation. And lo and behold, the more they diverge from the books, the worse the show becomes! I wonder why that is! Endless essays and analyses have been written about all the plot holes, illogical actions that characters do for no good reason (just because D&D want to shove them into certain situations for shock value or fanservice), inconsistent characterizations and offensive stereotypes they use. It boggles my mind that anyone is arguing that the show is good at this point, when it doesn’t even pass the basic standards of decent writing. The Dorne storyline and the Northern storyline in seasons 5 and 6, from the insane and nonsensical Sansa Marriage Strike to Ramsay being inexplicably supported by the Northern lords, are some of the worst garbage TV has ever produced, but the other storylines don’t pass the basic level of scrutiny in terms of making sense.

            I would really love for the show to be completely disassociated from the books, because I don’t want people who haven’t read the books to think they are similar to the garbage that the show is. But the showrunners and the media keep using Martin’s name to try to justify their crap (as they did with their anti Stannis revenge fic – I’m not a Stannis fan, but that level of character assassination is ridiculous) or when Dormer talks as if her character sexually abusing Tommen is something that was written in the books so the showrunners just had no choice, when in fact there’s no Marg/Tommen sex in the books, or any time when they try to justify some absurd, shock value plot with “but bad things happen in the books, too!” (because context doesn’t matter, right). They could have tried to sell their own original fantasy show to HBO, why didn’t they? If they had read the books more than once, they must be the world’s shallowest readers, because they have done their best to turn every thematic point on its head and make character arcs the opposites of what they are in the books.

          • beto2702 says:

            Not saying that the show hasn’t done bad choices, because it had, but doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the good parts because some things are diferentes to the books.

            Some choices don’t make dense, but they hace actually improved some things for TV (if you think you can adapt faithfully aFoC and aDwD in 10 hours of TV y say give it a try)

            Some of your points are valid but some others are just attacking for the sale of it. Come on, we all know Tommen is a diferentes age in TV, anyone can understand why they changed things there, and Margeary has given us Better scenes in TV than in the books.

            I admit it, I love the books series, and I love this show too. It’s flaws and changes from the books doesn’t mean it has no value for me. I will be there watching, every week and seems like you will be too. Intriguing how you willingly stay up to date with such a piece of “garbage”.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      GRRM stated that Targaryen’s are not immune. Regarding Dany he said “probably not”. I do not think this is teh case but she could be if she is Azor Ahai, not because she is Targaryen.
      And regardless of everything D&D have discussed every storyline for each character in detail, they would know what Dany can and can not do, they would just make changes.

      I like that she saved herself, never saw it coming, I as expecting Drogon to show up.

  2. Steven Xue says:

    It does seem to be the best episode this season so far. Besides Jon and Sansa’s reunion, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Tyrion getting a chance to flex his diplomatic muscles. Although even with all his skills at diplomacy, I really can’t imagine those delegates taking his proposal at face value. I mean Dany’s side isn’t in a position to deny their cities the right to practice slavery in the first place, and she’s nowhere in the city which makes the threat of her dragons moot. Yet despite all that he’s asking them nicely to abolish it in seven years. Yeah that’s so not going to happen.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just offered them peace on the condition that Meereen remains a slavery free zone while everywhere outside of its boundaries don’t have to apply to its same standards? If he didn’t add in the ridiculous demand of ‘accepting freedom’ in seven years, I’m sure the Wise Masters would be more than willing to stop funding the terrorist cells.

    • beto2702 says:

      There is really going to be a “difference of opinions” with Tyrion once Dany returns, but Dany needs him. I mean, she is an awesome conqueror but as a ruler she needs Tyrion. She needs a lot of lessons on diplomacy and compromise.

    • The slavers will probably cut off the SotH for a short time figuring it gives them time to consolidate their power and undermine Mereen’s freed pop especially if Dany doesn’t come back. In reality Tyrion can eliminate the SotH and get ready to strike out knowing the Slavers won’t keep their word for long. Tyrion is relying on the slavers underestimating him to give him time to work.

    • Dany’s side still has an army of several thousand Unsulllied, so there’s that.

  3. Haplo-6 says:

    Well, I suppose any hope that the show was actually going to develop a “the North Remembers” plot down the road died along with the loyalty of the Umbers to the Starks. It really is a shame, as three books and four seasons of the show have the Starks get kicked down. But then we see that Ned’s honor and the Stark’s commitment to good governance over centuries pays off when they need the most help from the other houses and clans of the North. Who really would side with the Boltons at this point? It makes no sense.

    • winnief says:

      That’s my one real problem too. Honor and loyalty aside, you’d think all the Northern houses would unite against the Boltons out of sheer self preservation if nothing else. Ramsay is WAY too far gone to rule and anyone with an IQ over 70 can see it. When Sansa said that as long as the Flayed Man hangs over WF ‘we’ll never be safe,’ she didn’t just mean her and Jon but EVERYBODY in the North. No hope of defeating the White Walkers until the Starks retake WF.

      And yeah Sansa is definitely now the politician to Jon’s warrior and I LOVE it. Admit it Steve….even YOU must be thinking she’s probably the YMBQ at this point!

      • Crystal says:

        Sansa is SO the YMBQ. I’m glad she’s finally coming in to her own on the show.

        Ramsay might take a lesson from Aerys, and, earlier, Rhaenyra – even an absolute ruler can’t just go full-goose-bozo crazy and kill everyone in sight without repercussions. I hope we get some kind of “Oh Crap!” closeup from Ramsay before the end (which I hope is “Sansa feeds him to his dogs”).

      • Nope. YMBQ is heading for King’s Landing, Sansa’s heading for Winterfell.

    • They’ve set it up so all the Northern Families besides the Umbers, Karstarks, and Manderleys are for the Starks. We may get Manderley stuff yet.

    • Ser Biffy Clegane says:

      I don’t know what to make of the Smalljon yet. On the one hand, that whole business of not swearing fealty has some common elements with Manderly’s elaborate guest right activities – if this is a plot, it’s set up so that Smalljon doesn’t have to foreswear himself, and in a way that Ramsay could spot if he respected the old ways more, which is the great thing about Manderley in Winterfell. On the other hand, delivering Rickon into Ramsay’s hands is nuts.

      I’m waiting to see an explanation – maybe there’s some extraordinary political reason Ramsay can’t immediately start torturing Rickon, or maybe Rickon ordered the plan to prevent his vassals from being flayed.

    • No, there’s going to be that – hence Sansa’s line about “You’re the son of the last true Warden of the North. Northern families are loyal. They’ll fight for you if you ask.” They’re just stacking the deck atm, and for some reason decided that the Umbers should be on the bad guy side.

      • Rufus Leek says:

        I wouldn’t write off the show Umbers yet. Even in the books, Hother is ostensibly cooperating with Roose as of the end of book 5. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Umbers backstab the Boltons once the Vale troops show up.

  4. Kim says:

    “– this show is making threats of rape against Dany cliched and trite, and that’s fucked up.”

    This show is making threats of rape cliched and trite, and that’s fucked up.

    This show is making rape cliched and trite, and that’s fucked up.

    I’m startled to find that I’d be into some more Brienne-Tormund stuff.

    • Brienne and Tormund were amazing.

      • It was probably just for comedy relief at the Wall, but its fun to think about a possible relationship. One thing in their favor is that a warrior woman is a positive in Wildling culture where is seen as an embarrassment in Westerosi culture.

        • “One thing in their favor is that a warrior woman is a positive in Wildling culture where is seen as an embarrassment in Westerosi culture.”

          In the books, yes. In the show, however? How many wildling women warriors have we seen on the show? Just Ygritte, and a season later, when she was gone, Karsi. Lone Smurfettes in the sea of warrior men. We saw a lot of wildlings, especially at the battle for Castle Black and at Hardhome, and other than those two, all were men. They didn’t even bother casting any female extras. There also hasn’t been any mention of spearwives, no indication that there are a lot of female warriors among the wildlings, no female leaders like Harma Dogshead leading Mance’s van, no spearwives that Jon gives a castle to live in at the Wall, no spearwives saving Jon’s sister at Winterfell (instead, Theon suddenly becomes manly man action hero and kills people), even no Dalla or Val. The female presence among the wildling has been all but obliterated, other than Ygritte, who had to be female since she was Jon’s love interest, and Karsi, who (as the showrunners explained) was initially supposed to be male, but then they made her female because of the storyline with the zombie kids (because apparently, that would only work with a mother, and not a father). For that matter, the show has hardly shown any positive aspects of wildling cultures in general.

          You really need to project book knowledge and the book world to the show in order to see Tormund’s interest in Brienne in that light. But there is no indication in the show that wildlings have a different attitude towards women than the mainstream Westerosi, or that they especially value warrior women, or that there are more of them among the wildlings. (And for that matter, the problems and bullying book Brienne faced by her peers – rather than just enemies as the people who capture her and Jaime – have also been largely glossed over in the show.) But if I am just to look at the show itself, it just seems like a joke about how Tormund, who once talked about screwing a bear, likes tall, big women, har har.

          • Jim B says:

            Well, there’s also Osha. But given how little bad-assery she showed in her attempt to take out Ramsay, perhaps that’s just another point in your favor.

          • beto2702 says:

            I would defer, maybe they haven’t made an emphasis on it as strong as in the books, but it is clear from the show that wildlings respect women at least a bit more than the rest of westeros.

            Spearwives is something I miss, but it is a TV show with limited time, I understand they didn’t have time for the whole “only-women-garrison at one castle in the wall” or for the “Arya” spearwife rescuing party. Personally I don’t blame them for that, I do think that they could have gone with more women as extras in battles though.

            Dalla was really not that important in the books, her baby was. Val hasn’t done much to require screen time, but I always imagined that she would be more important down the line. I guess, that either the baby/Val plotline is not going anywhere in the books either, or is not crucial for D&D’s endgame, which I will give my opinion about once I know what that endgame is.

            Ygritte was well done, and I think she mentioned once or twice about women in the wilding culture.

            Now Karsi, I really don’t care how or why she was created. I only know that her character was amazing and well done. I consider myself satisfied with the exchange Karsi vs Dalla/Val, she works better for the show.

            Hardhome episode was crazy. One of the things the show did better than the books.

          • Why didn’t they hire female extras instead of just male extras to play wildlings during battle? That wouldn’t have required any additional money or screentime.

            Karsi was great until she couldn’t kill dead zombie children to protect herself and go back to her own living children, which doesn’t make sense. But the showrunners thought it made sense – for a woman/mother. But not for a man/father.

          • beto2702 says:

            I already said I don’t know why they didn’t hire female extras. It would have been better.

            About Karsi, why it doesn’t make sense that she was shocked in her place there? I think it does make sense for a mother to not be able to. Where did they producers said it did make sense for a father? I don’t remember seeing a father killing those zombie kids.

  5. Jack says:

    Omniscient supervillain Ramsay is incredibly tiresome and I can’t imagine anyone bit on him dying anywhere outside the penultimate episode (Battle of Winterfell?) regardless of how many times the director showed Osha staring lasers into the dagger

  6. karldickman says:

    Daenerys is fireproof. It is known.

    • Show Daenerys is officially Aerys 2.0 now. She was already established in season 5 as as a volatile person obsessed with fire and an incompetent ruler who makes irrational decisions and randomly kills people and needs a Targaryen to help her sort out her mess, and now she’s also someone who burns everything around her when she feels surrounded by enemies, hoping she won’t get burned in the process. She’s also Viserys 2.0, showing open contempt for the Dothraki and their culture but insisting they follow her anyway, because she’s a Targ and really special.

      • Haplo-6 says:

        I very much like Daenerys rejection of moral relativism when she spurns much of Dothraki culture, as well as slavery in Slaver’s Bay. For me, those are not her missteps when it comes to governance, but actual signs of a visionary leader.

        • Yes, burning people’s sacred temples is a sure way to gain their loyalty. Truly a mark of a visionary leader.
          (Remember how the show made that look like a really bad thing whe Stannis and Mel were burning the statues of the Seven? )
          And burning their sacred temple and then emerging uscathed from the fire will surely make them adore you… rather than, say, think you’re the Devil or something.

          Remember also that times when one of the obvious differences between Dany and Viserys was that she was making an effort to get to know them and their culture and intergrating in it, even though she naturally detests some, particularly troubling aspects of it, and has tried to change those aspects and stop slavery and rape, while not rejecting the Dothraki culture as a whole – unlike Viserys who just treated them as savages worthy of contempt, but expected them to show him deference anyway because he’s a “dragon”?
          I guess it’s high time we recognize Viserys as the visionary he was. Dany’s way of thinking at the time was clearly far behind his.

          • beto2702 says:

            At least Dany didn’t spill blood in the temple. 😛

          • Haplo-6 says:

            The Dothraki’s view of women is objectively horrible, despite their assertion it’s their cultural norm. Moral relativism blows. Her view, that women deserve autonomy and respect within the culture, will certainly not gain her loyalty from every Dothraki, but to some (like the freed slaves) it will. Change and progress is difficult for most, particularly those that have benefited by oppressing others.

            Dany integrated a great deal to the Dothraki, to the point of her being morally supportive of slaughter, rape and enslavement. Geez, the one thing I thought Dany has done right, and the one thing I thought was against criticism, was her stance on women’s equality and her rejection of slavery.

            So a bunch of vile, pro-enslaving, pro-raping, city burning, torture-loving Dothrakis get burned, making the world a better place, and possibly leading to a cultural change in the Dothraki culture… now perhaps the other imprisoned former khaleesis can take up an active leadership role in their culture.

          • I’m the last person who’s ever defend moral relativism. But this is not it. Unless it was a temple to the God of Rape or temple to the God of Subjugation of Women, I don’t see how burning it was necessary and likely to get her followers among the Dothraki?

            Westerosi view of women is also objectively terrible. So, I guess the first thing Dany should do when she gets to King’s Landing is burn the Great Sept.

            Steven likes to compare Slaver’s Bay to antebellum South. They had slavery and objectively terrible views about black people. I guess, if some foreigner from a non-Christian country came to the American South to try to fight against slavery, they should have burned all the churches…

            This “empowering moment” was terribly written. In the books, the Dosh Khaleen are a political and religious authority, and even the mightiest khals have to subject to the decisions of the women of the Dosh Khaleen. But no, they had to strip the Dothraki women of any power, make the Dothraki culture completely one-dimensional (and inconsistent)m so a white woman would come and show these stupid brown women how to be free and empowered. If all they needed was someone to start the fire burn all the khals, who conveniently like to all get in one temple, why didn’t the Dothraki women do it? They were outside, all the khals were inside, and it’s not like they’re especially attached to Dany to worry about her? I guess they were just too stupid, so Dany had to show them the way.

          • beto2702 says:

            I agree with Dany not being the perfect visionary/curlture understanding people at this moment, but she is far from being the villain.

            Just need to insist in 2 points.

            1. I didn’t see this like Dany killing the khals just because she couldn’t understand their culture and because they were her enemies. It was more like killing these particular persons who have been threating her since she met them. Right before she burned them they threatened her once more. I got the feeling, after her discussion with that other khalessi, that she was doing it not only for herself. Killing these people avoided them from making another innocent girl go through that again. Also, she did offer them peace, it was obvious they would never have agreed but I believe Dany wouldn’t have hurt them if they had.

            2. The Dosh Khaleen are respected once they reach Vaes Dothrak, but the temple is in no way a holy place which shouldn’t be touched. You seem to forget that it is the symbol of women being taken as wives by force and then condemned to a life of seclusion after their khals die, by force also. That temple gave them a place in society, but never a choice and always as a slave. First of their khals, later of the dothraki in general as a culture. I don’t say that there aren’t women happy there with that position, but I doubt all of them are okay with it. Again, remember that other khalessi in the episode, she would always be trapped if Dany hadn’t done what she did.

            About see her as a savior? a devil? Maybe some of them do see her as a devil, others a savior, maybe some see her as both. (Savior with dark weapons? A Devil fighting other evil forces?) I think their reaction was valid. Your complains are based in “the temple was holy to them, so they should see her as a devil”, well in my last point I said why the dosh khaleen might not worship that temple so much.

    • My comment above was supposed to read “a volatile person obsessed with fire and an incompetent ruler who makes irrational decisions and randomly kills people and needs a Lannister to help her sort out her mess”. Damn the lack of edit function.

      • Haplo-6 says:

        Pretty sure we’re discussing the show, and oh-have they made a mess of many things, that I will not argue. However, in the show, this “church” is where they held the Dosh Khaleen, who lamented how horrible their sentence was. In the show, this is where the men held her “trial” to see if she would submit. In the show, she has a nifty immunity to fire, she uses it, and some bad dudes get burned up. It seems clear, in the show, that the Unburnt title/power of hers (and her dragons) are going to get her out of many a jam.

        Now, Dany is a Targ with fair skin, but she’s not some foreigner, she’s a khaleesi, a member of the Dothraki herself.

  7. beto2702 says:

    Are we going to see a lot of Brienne/Tormund romance in the following weeks? Because I wouldn’t be against it. Let the #Briennmund fanfiction flood the Internet!

    • poorquentyn says:

      Tormund/Maege forever! Canon ships, y’all.

    • Well, since Jaime/Cersei is clearly the OTP on the show, they had to pair off Brienne, so she wouldn’t be getting in the way of the OTP.

      • beto2702 says:

        There is no way she’s getting in the way at the moment, she’s all the way at the wall. Also, I think the Jaime/Cersei will disappear eventually in the show.

        In the book they can do the gradual “Cersei is mean to Jaime”, in the show I think they will go for a single deal-breaker event.

        Also, I wasn’t aware that Brienne/Jaime was an official couple in the books. I mean, it could happen, but at the moments there are more important bonds between them than love.

        There is also the fact that both of them could end up dying.

    • I’m predicting a lot of 9 1/2 weeks-style fics.

  8. beto2702 says:

    About the rape threats to Dany, I can deal with it. I mean these are practically the same characters who threatened to rape her before, I expected them to act similar to how they have acted since episode 1. Also, Dany showed them that those were just threats, at the end she won.

    I disagree with Steve about the dragon though. At first I wanted Drogon there, but kind of liked that, questions of permanent fireproof aside, she dealt with this all by herself.

    And yes, Ramsay is getting a bit boring and his fate kind of predictable.

    .

    • Jim B says:

      Agreed about Dany — having the dragons save the day would have been too easy.

      • Whereas being fireproof isn’t.

        • Jim B says:

          “Being fireproof” isn’t a plan by itself. Dany had to figure out that there was a way to use that ability to take charge of the Dothraki (or, failing that, to at least create a hell of a lot of chaos). She had to reject Jorah and Daario’s escape plan, realize that there would be all those braziers burning in an awfully flammable temple, arrange for Jorah and Daario to bar the doors, and then time her move right so that nobody’s close enough to grab her when she starts shoving the braziers over.

          It’s not exactly the D-Day invasion, but it requires more nerve and ingenuity than just saying “dracrys.”

          • Are you saying that what she did in Astapor did not require a lot of planning and a huge risk – but that she rather just had to say “Dracaerys”?! Seriously?

          • Jim B says:

            Bunny — no, I’m not saying that at all. I wasn’t referring specifically to Astapor, my point is that having her dragons show up in Vaes Dothrak would make things pretty easy.

            I was fine with how the Astapor thing went down. But that was a different situation, because her dragons were smaller then, and the masters had something (control of the Unsullied) that she wanted/needed to scheme to get. The dragons are a lot bigger and more fearsome now; just having one show up would immediately throw the balance of power into Dany’s hands, without her having to scheme or do anything.

            But even if you think the two situations are comparable, so what? You’re the one who’s complaining about one but not the other. If you think I’m being simplistic in referring to a dragon-based solution to her problems as “just saying dracyrs,” it’s no more simplistic than you reducing her actions in Vaes Dothrak as “being fireproof.”

    • Here’s my thing about the dragon, is that I expect it to be a big part of her story in TWOW, because of:

      “As the western sky turned the color of a blood bruise, she heard the sound of approaching horses. Dany rose, wiped her hands on her ragged undertunic, and went to stand beside her dragon.
      That was how Khal Jhaqo found her, when half a hundred mounted warriors emerged from the drifting smoke.”

      • Wat Barleycorn says:

        Agree–Drogon as an instrument of Dany’s power works in TWOW in a way it wouldn’t in the show, because in the books she faced down and (kinda sorta) tamed Drogon. He’s her weapon. An unreliable, disobedient, imperfect weapon, but he’s hers.

        In the show, Drogo is her savior-hero, whisking her away from certain death for…I don’t really know why. Dragon mommy love? So, I think that although they probably cut out Drogon for budgetary reasons, I prefer the Fireproof Dany’s one weird trick triumph over the Dothraki. I think it reminded us that she’s a resourceful hero character all on her own.

  9. beto2702 says:

    I want to raise the point of Vaes Dothrak. In the books the situation is quite different, since the dothraki find Dany with Drogon. One can expect that Drogon is not going to let Dany be taken away to Vaes Dothrak that easily.

    So, I have been thinking that in the books the whole trip to Vaes Dothrak was not going to happen. She wins the dothraki then and there, just where we left her. However, this episode made me change my mind. I mean, that last scene with the dosh khaleen kneeling to her was featured in the visions of the HotU, didn’t it? If it was one might think that it is going to happen in the books too.

    • Crystal says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Khal-b-que all the way down: Drogon crisps Jhaqo and Co. out on the Dothraki sea, Dany takes over that khalasar and they ride for Vaes Dothrak, where Drogon burns down some more buildings and ‘cues any doubters, the Dosh Khaleen have to dive into a river to escape the flames, they crawl out and acclaim Dany the Khal of Khals.

    • You are right, the Dosh Khaleen will kneel.

      I think the main difference between the book and the show in this regard is Dany is not going to Vaes Dothrak as a potential slave.

  10. AWargDownMemoryLane says:

    A lot to like, but it doesn’t rescue the less than stellar points.

    The Bad:
    Daario and Jorah’s dialogue wasn’t great, the greyscale reveal was clumsy and Daario seemed surprisingly unconcerned. Show-Daario continues to disappoint. Their plan, the little of it there was, made sense in the setting but it was ultimately pointless when they really had no part to actually play in Dany’s escape.
    Dany’s burning of the Dosh Kaleen temple was over-blown and seemed ridiculous. The scene would have benefitted greatly from Drogon to start the fire and also, as noted by Steven. She’s generally fire-proof in the show it would seem and hence it felt cheap. I was not impressed with how it was handled at all. The cinematography of the outside of the burning temple was vivid and eye-catching, but again it would have been even better (I would argue the most awesome spectacle on TV ever, let alone GoT) with Drogon being present to provide some otherworldly epic-ness to the scene.
    Ramsey is evil you say? I’m shocked and appalled…*groan* Okay D&D, I get it. I’m pretty numb to this kind of thing from him now. What a waste of Osha too!! I would have preferred the Umbers killed Osha off-screen than to bring her back only to watch Ramsey do it.

    The Good:
    The Wall, the Vale, Meereen, King’s Landing and Pyke were all done well IMHO. At the Wall, Sansa and Jon reuniting melted my cold, shriveled heart and Brienne’s presence is something to look out for here. Davos nearly got the awful truth too about Shireen, but Melisandre’s got a pass for now. The pink letter was about as good an adaptation I would expect of it with the story changes etc etc etc.
    Littlefinger being as sneaky and passive-aggressive as I’ve seen him in a while is excellent to see. Robin being back is good to see too.
    The Greyjoy story line needs more screentime!!!!! The snippets we’ve got are great and I need more.
    Plot movements In KL are very much welcome and the movements here are interesting, consider me intrigued.

  11. Will Rogers says:

    “Jonathan Pryce is an amazing actor as always, but I feel like his scene with Margaery was lacking in motivation for him. What is he trying to get from Margaery?”

    Honestly, at this point I feel that the High Sparrow is just trying to give people legitimate advice and they keep mistaking it for attempts at manipulation.

    • Jim B says:

      I don’t know about advice, necessarily, but I do think the High Sparrow is basically telling everyone the truth. He’s not a phony who quotes the scripture just to get power or money or women or whatever other base desires others might have. He is really a True Believer, and that is, and ought to be, really fucking scary.

      His scene with Margarery is just a standard bit of witnessing. “I was a sinner, and then I found faith, and it set me free.” Change “the Stranger” to “Jesus” and you can hear the same kind of story on every street corner.

      • Jim B says:

        I should add: him being a True Believer is scary not because someone with faith is scary, but someone with a huge amount of power, guided only by his own reckoning of what the gods want, definitely is.

        • Haplo-6 says:

          And the HS seems to have incredible power, as he’s holding Marg on charges of…? The show has been totally unclear on what her crimes are, besides being a sister to Loras. They talk of sin, but then the HS talks about how everyone has sin. I suppose it’s a way for the show to keep her separate from Tommen, while giving the HS some screen time.

          • Ser Biffy Clegane says:

            I think Margaret’s only crime is false witness, and that she’s in prison because she won’t confess. (Presumably because that would mean testifying against Loras).

            Assuming that the High Sparrow isn’t corrupt, their punishment probably wouldn’t be too great – Olivar seems to have gotten off reasonably easily – so she’s essentially staying in jail to protect the family name.

            I take it that Loras couldn’t just immediately demand a trial by combat?

          • Her crime is perjury.

      • I could see that, but if the plan is to get Margaery to convert and become his woman on the inside of the power structure, that has not been communicated well.

        • Jim B says:

          I don’t think that’s his plan. I don’t think he HAS a plan, other than “win more souls for the Seven.” He can’t NOT talk about his conversion narrative. You might as well ask what Tyrion’s plan is when he pours himself a cup of wine.

          The High Sparrow isn’t just another schemer. He’s no dummy, of course: he figured out how to take over the Faith, exploit Cersei’s obsessions to win new power for the Faith, and how to use it. But I don’t think he’s seeking power for power’s sake. He’s not another Littlefinger, or even a Varys.

          Every now and then, the TV show Survivor casts somebody who’s a true weirdo, who cares more about “the experience” or “building a society” or whatever, and isn’t scheming on how to win the game. It drives the other contestants nuts, because they can’t figure out his or her agenda — there isn’t one.

  12. Warwick the Wild says:

    >watching Littlefinger run rings around Bronze Yohn Royce was the most impressive he’s been in seasons.

    To be honest, I actually thought this was kind of dumb. Insulting and then threatening Yohn Royce on his own land and within reach of Royce men men seems liable to backfire horribly. What is Baelish going to do if Royce just has him arrested or killed? It’s already been established that the lords of the Vale think Baelish is a walking turd, so I doubt anyone but Robert Arryn (a minor) would be standing up for him.

    • Crystal says:

      I agree – and the thing is, the Vale lords aren’t laughing LF off as a harmless little man the way Tyrion and others in KL have. He’s come swooping in, married their revered Lord Arryn’s widow, and taken over. He’s deeply affronted most of the Vale Lords, especially Bronze Yohn, and I’m sure they’d welcome the chance to squish him flat.

      And with the Alayne chapter from TWOW, we can’t even be sure that Lyn Corbray is on his side (as Sansa herself intuited). Robert Arryn is afraid of LF, so I don’t think he’d stand up for him. Nope, not a lot of friends in the Vale…

      • Warwick the Wild says:

        >the Vale lords aren’t laughing LF off as a harmless little man the way Tyrion and others in KL have

        I think this is liable to be his downfall in the novels. He (along with Varys, incidentally) relies heavily on masquerading as an obsequious bureaucrat to disguise his influence. And for good reason: he had little in the way of direct power. If Ned Stark or the Lannisters had decided to punt him out a window, I don’t know that there would have been much he could do about it.

        Now that he’s stepped into a role of more formal power, he can’t pretend to be harmless, and I’m not sure how much loyalty he really commands.

    • Jim B says:

      Not to mention, we’ve now see three instances this season of people openly murdering their liege lord and suffering no repercussions whatsoever — Doran Martell, Roose Bolton, and Balon Greyjoy. (Ok, there were apparently no eyewitnesses to the Greyjoy one, but surely somebody in the castle saw Euron show up the night Balon fell and can put two and two together.)

    • But in the Vale, all Baelish needs is Robert Arryn. The honor code is the Achilles heel of the Vale nobility.

  13. mikenreich says:

    I actually thought it was quite clever of them to not have Drogo come and save the day. It shows that Dany is capable of accomplishing her goals all on her own, with her magic and with her confidence and command. The books and the show are different things, clearly Dany has permanent fire immunity in the show, which she may not have in the books.

    Ah well.

    • beto2702 says:

      Agree, some people give bad points to the show just because “it is not like things go in the books.” Fireproof Khalessi works for TV, and that ending looked great.

      Yeah, Drogon might have made the scene epic, but I do like the “Khalessi is capable of this in her own” thing too.

      • You know that all the women in Dosh Khaleen are khaleesis? It’s a bit odd to refer to her by her title in that context.
        Though, the characters on the show seemed to forget that as well, like that one khal who said who wanted to know “what a khaleesi tastes like”. So he’s not married? Because otherwise, he should already know?

        • beto2702 says:

          Yes I know, do the fact that there are other khalessis erases her title as Khalessi? I don’t see anything wrong with the phrase : “Khalessi is capable of this in her own”

          About the other part… well those are threats, mockery, expressions. I think he knows too. The show hasn’t forgotten this, there were other khalessis in the episode too, and they were referred as such, remember?

  14. John W says:

    We know the show and book have deviated, but we also know that GRRM has given the show runners an outline of what’s supposed to happen, so I wonder how much of what’s happening in the show will make it to the book?

    • s.t. says:

      Probably not too much beyond the broad strokes. Season 5 departed so much from the books despite having two books’ worth of material to go with. Plus, the show runners already gave us a taste of how they adapt unpublished material, with Shireen’s burning. Something along that line will very likely come to pass in the books, but the logistics, to say nothing of the thematic and emotional impact, will almost certainly be completely different.

    • beto2702 says:

      My guesses:

      What will be the same:

      -Jon back. The ritual might be different, *cough* sacrificing Shireen *cough*
      -Dany in Vaes Dothrak. She has to go, even if she wins the dothraki earlier. The vision of the dosh kaleen in the HotU is still there.
      -LF putting the Vale behind Sansa/North
      -Tyrion coming up with a compromise to help with Mereen problem
      -Tower of Joy/Bran

      What will surely be different

      -I’m betting on Roose killing Ramsay instead of the other way around.
      -Rickon with the Boltons / SHaggydog dying offscreen
      -The Umbers betrayal
      -Dorne, Loras, Victarion/Asha… and all what has changed already.

      Who knows:

      -Sansa going to the North. It might happen
      -#Briennmund, One can hope… hahaha

      • John W says:

        Yeah Breinnmund needs to stay.

      • thatrabidpotato says:

        Briennemund is so much better than Jaime/Brienne. Pls make this a thing, GRRM.

      • Lann says:

        I dont think Dany will go back to Meereen in the books but she probably will in the show what with teleportation being available. Anyway it looks like Ser Barristan will have dealt with the Yunkish forces fairly decisively in the books. The Volantene fleet remains a threat and that is where Tyrion’s negotiation skill may come in handy. But they will recieve a message to meet up with Dany in Volantis itself (or what remains of it).

        • beto2702 says:

          Oh and don’t forget Victarion or he will thrpw you overboard.

        • Chinoiserie says:

          Complaining about teleportation is so strange considering that we do not know how much time passed in the show, it is more than in the books since Sansa said that she was in King’s Landing for years, but there are barely any references to time in general. Beyond that the books do not have the storylines happen in order and I do not think the show has either. Jon was dead one night in the premier but Jaime had sailed to King’s Landing and Cersei’s hair had grown so the storylines were not moving with the same speed.

          I think that Dany will go to Meereen in the books but it will be after Battle of Fire and she will only stay very briefly. But she needs the Ironborn and Volananese ships for her army. However she should be able to move fast herself with a dragons both in the books and the show when she can control Drogon. I do not know excactly how fast a dragon can travel but it seemed rather fast in Dance. I do not think she will be always chained to her army while being a dragonrider.

      • Shireen is not getting sacrificed to bring Jon back – R’hlloric resurrection does not require human sacrifice. That will happen later, at Winterfell.

        Tyrion isn’t coming up with a compromise – Meereen’s going to be settled by the Battle of Fire.

        But otherwise agreed.

    • Jim B says:

      It’s not looking good for certain fan theories about the Pink Letter. Of course, the origin could end up being different in the books, but right now the simplest solution — Ramsay really did write the damn thing — is looking good.

    • I think it’s a big picture/little picture thing.

      Is Jon being brought back? Yes. Is he going to be the one fighting the Battle of Ice? No. But they just lift out Stannis and lift in Jon.

      Is Dany going to Vaes Dothrak? Yes. Is she going without her dragon? No, but they can save some CGI money this way.

      And so on.

  15. JadeOwl says:

    Speaking of the High Sparrow… how plausible is his backstory from the show?

    Would a medieval shoemaker catering to the nobility be able to afford the kind of lifestyle that he described?

    • Well, shoemaker is an odd choice (draper, tailor, gold or silversmith would be more likely), but a prosperous artisan who made himself into a master craftsman and then essentially into a merchant is something that happened.

  16. While I’m happy Dany is in a position of power again, it seemed redundant, and agreed on the rape threats. They may have been trying to do a elemental princess comparison with Sansa (ice) and Dany (fire) since the former had similar threats in the show’s Pink Letter.

    I never in my life expected to see a happy family reunion on Game of Thrones, and we had four (mostly brother and sister ones) though in various stages of joy: Sansa and Jon, Petyr and Robin, Loras and Margaery, and Theon and Yara/Asha. I did feel bad for Theon though. I understand Yara feeling justified at ripping into him, but the shit he went through can’t even be explained.

  17. Evette says:

    Jon seems to have come back from the dead with a sense of humor. And/or he is channeling Robb. I was struck by how much he looked like Robb–the leather armor, the shorter hair, and it seemed Kit was carrying himself a little differently. Sansa deferred to the Alpha Wolf, but strongly made her opinions known. The fireplace scene between them was some of D and D’s better writing. Well acted.
    Brienne and Tormund…..not sure she knows what to do with/believes that a man is actually attracted to her. This could be fun!

  18. Jim B says:

    “Brienne being a dick to Davos and Melisandre wasn’t cool.”

    I don’t see why. As she said, Brienne personally witnessed her king get murdered by black magic at Stannis’s instigation. If she has two brain cells to rub together, she’s probably figured out that Melisandre is the one responsible. And while we know Davos is cool, all Brienne knows about him is that he was Stannis’s Hand and confidant.

    I think Brienne showed remarkable restraint, actually — given her feelings on the matter. (Personally, I think Renly was a shit who shouldn’t be missed.)

  19. Andrea says:

    Dany recites her titles to anyone who will listen but then when when she emerges from the fire and everyone bows down to her, she is completely silent? Usually I think that the whole “mother of dragons, unburnt, etc.” is over the top but here I felt like it was a missed opportunity.

  20. Ser Biffy Clegane says:

    Show Danerys has an iron will, and B&W apparently see her as a social revolutionary, but they’ve left out some of what makes book Danerys so interesting.

    She’s not as innovative on the show, or as good at synthesizing the advice she gets, and I miss her courtly banter with Hizdar and XXD, which really showed off how smart she was.

  21. beto2702 says:

    I know there was no Bran this episode. Still, I am waiting for your theories in time travel in the series. It seems like it is going to be an important plot in both TV and books. (If Bran contacting Ned was important enough for D&D it is surely a key part of the endgame)

    Could we get one of those… “Bran affects the time and doing so he makes every event to happen the way it did” cycle? Or something else? Could GRRM go as far as altering time and building a different future through Bran? It doesn’t seem likely.

  22. Sean C. says:

    Twas a very good episode, on the whole. The stuff at the Wall is obviously the strongest material, followed by Vaes Dothrak, but things were pretty solid across the board except for the Vale scene. That whole plot is just incredibly stupid.

  23. Tyrion’s ‘compensate the slave-owners’ plan didn’t strike me as inherently doomed – though I think I may be alone in that. It’s how the British did it after all, and it worked for them – though of course there was a massive, popular campaign for abolition that gave the government a certain amount of leverage over the slave owners, which isn’t particularly the case here.

    Which isn’t to say the plan is moral, or likely to leave anyone involved feeling particularly good about themselves – no one should have to be bribed into behaving decently – but it does have the advantage of working. (People SHOULD be willing to go to war to end slavery – but they almost never are).

    I had thought this form of slavery was based on the Roman form – where ANYONE could end up as a slave, through simple bad luck… But the language used by the slavers seems to dehumanise the enslaved in ways that seem more reminiscent of slavery in the Americas (I mean the Caribbean as well as the South).

  24. Chinoiserie says:

    I am still hoping a Meereenese siege, that has been my prediction all along even though they might run into budget issues or just want to speed up the plot. But now we had the confirmation that Astapor, Yunkai and Volantis are acting against Meereen and Tyrion has showed weaknesses with negotiating, we have been repeated numerous times that masters only undertand blood in the show.

  25. Fabrimuch says:

    So what is Show!Littlefinger’s plan exactly? He stole Sansa from the Lannisters only to sell her to Ramsay, destroying her faith in him in the process, and now that she’s managed to escape on her own his plan is to go attack the Boltons and rescue her from her brother Jon, with whom she feels safe and happy?

    I don’t get it. Is he trying to piss off every great house and eliminate any potential allies he might have had or something? Is making enemies of every named character in the book somehow a part of his plan to sow chaos and then limb it like a ladder? What the hell are D&D trying to do with this character?????

    Also, I agree with you Steven, I can’t wait to see what will happen to Osha that isn’t this bullshit.

  26. […] This whole bit with Dany winning over the Dothraki on the back of a giant damn Drogon dragon is exactly what I wanted out of Episode 4. […]

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