Thoughts on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 8, “No One”

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Writing this right before I board, so thoughts are a little brief this week! Thoughts below the cut, as per usual:

Well, if you haven’t gotten your bets in about Lady Stoneheart showing up this season, I think you’ve missed your window, because I think the bookie’s odds are going to change.

Riverrun:

  • I feel kind of mixed about all of this. I really liked the Brienne and Jaime interactions, Jaime’s scene with Edmure was excellent, but…
  • Having the Blackfish refuse to leave and die offscreen is a huge letdown, diminishes the importance of Brienne’s mission, and seems grounded in a failure to understand this character and his relationship with Edmure. The Blackfish of the books wouldn’t refuse Edmure entrance and force a confrontation with his own men, and Edmure wouldn’t order him arrested – he specifically let him escape!
  • More conspicuous mentions of Catelyn Stark and the Red Wedding.

Riverlands:

  • Really did not expect how this one resolved. I figured that the Hound would get some bloody revenge, that’s perfectly fine (although I could have done without the weird homophobic humor scene before he murders everyone), but I didn’t expect him to join the Brotherhood Without Banners.
  • On the other hand, it was great to see Beric and Thoros not being monsters, and the idea that the BWB are going to the North to fight the Others is really quite intriguing.

King’s Landing:

  • Apart from the Mountain ripping a dude’s head off, this also felt like marking time, stretching out more time until we finally get Cersei’s trial.
  • On the other hand, I thought the twist of banning trials by combat was an interesting one.
  • No idea what Qyburn’s spying will reveal.

Braavos:

  • Especially with the way that Arya’s wound got reset during the chase, I feel like this entire episode was padding to draw out the confrontation we knew was coming where Arya would kill the Waif with Needle.
  • As a result, I think I wasn’t in the right mood when she talked with Jaqen H’ghar about her identity and her plans to go home – that should have been a triumphant moment, but I found myself annoyed that it took so long to get here.

Meereen:

  • Given a lot of the discourse online about Tyrion’s treaty being the sane and reasonable solution, I really liked seeing it blow up in his face. No peace with slaveholders.
  • Varys to King’s Landing to kill Kevan?
  • Dany coming back to Meereen is one way to answer that question.
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82 thoughts on “Thoughts on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 8, “No One”

  1. Bbq_HaX0r says:

    LSH = Lady StoneHOUND? I think the Hound might fulfill the role of LSH with the BwB. Thoughts?

    • AWargDownMemoryLane says:

      I doubt they will go that direction. An interesting idea, but only to those who want to see an LSH type character in the show. If it’s not Catelyn being brought back to life then they may as well not do it. The Hound is already vengeful and hence what would be the purpose of making him an undead force of vengeance when he’s already quite effective and entertaining in his current form?

    • I don’t think so. But I think he’ll see LSH being awoken.

      • beto2702 says:

        Isn’t too late for that already? I mean isn’t Cat’s body only bones now?

        I personally don’t know how to feel, I have lost hope but having Beric around is awesome too. I was left wanting to see more of him in the books.

        Kudos to the production btw, Thoros appearance was leaked but they kept Beric under wraps.

  2. Ser Biffy Clegane says:

    I felt like Tyrion’s treaty being a complete failure makes his Meereen scenes fairly pointless in retrospect. It also justifies Dany’s probable fire and blood turn more than I think is really necessary.

    If Tyrion had revealed that he had used the truce time to prepare as much as possible, it could have gotten them to the same place without making him look like a drunken pompous ass on a par with Mace Tyrell. Like the Bravos and Dorne plotlines, it feels like the site was wasting my time whenever it showed Tyrion in Meereen.

    I am actually offended by the Aria plotline. Last week, it felt like they have been wasting my time, but now they’re insulting my intelligence as well.

    Ending trial by combat is an interesting return that makes the High Sparrow look like the Martin Luther of Westeros, but is there any possibility that the Crown would allow trials to be solely decided by Septons?

    I did like seeing Sandor, Thoros, and Beric together, though, and Jaime, Brienne and Pod were all great.

    • That’s something that happens a lot this season – plots that seem a lot like spinning wheels. My god, the amount of screentime given to Tyrion, Grey Worm, Missandei scenes which accomplish nothing!

      As for the Crown, they already gave the Faith Militant the right to re-arm, so why not?

      • Ser Biffy Clegane says:

        The re-arming is more in line with the “Twin Pillars” model; the Faith and the Gentry are both armed, so there’s a balance of power. If the trial of seven had, say, a mix of Gentry and clerics, I’d buy it more.

        • I don’t see the contradiction, particularly. After all, in the books, Cersei gave the HS both the right to judge and the right to arm, and both were for plot-specific reasons.

      • When show-only folks ask me about later seasons (including the current) compared to the books I usually say something along the lines of:

        “I’m fine with changes but the show increasingly has plotlines that just end with no justification of the time spent when perfectly fantastic plotlines were available straight from the books. And many of those original stories would’ve been no more challenging to cast/film/CGI/whatever.”

  3. Tywin of the Hill says:

    1.”No idea what Qyburn’s spying will reveal.”
    Two words: Wildfire 😉
    2. I’m not going to lie. When I saw Dondarrion, my jaw almost hit the floor. But I loved it, specially knowing that the BwB had not become the Brave Companions.
    3. Arya kills the Waif and suddenly she’s no one? What the hell, Jaqen.
    4. “Varys to King’s Landing to kill Kevan?”
    Since Kevan has been a glorified extra who’s been unable to reconcile the Crown, the Tyrells and the Faith, I don’t think so.

    • John says:

      I think the key point about power in King’s Landing at the moment is that it’s actually Tommen, not Kevan, who’s making the key decisions. What difference would murdering Kevan make?

      • Steven Xue says:

        I guess Tommen will be killed off instead. My guess is once Tommen is dead Cersei is going to really lose her shit and burn down King’s Landing. Hence the HOTU vision Dany saw.

    • 1. That does seem to be the dominant interpretation, but it doesn’t feel like it follows in the scene in question.

      2. Yeah, I really liked that too.

      3. God, that made no sense.

      4. The only alternative is going to Dorne, I guess.

  4. kylelitke says:

    I half wonder if they’re trolling the fans now. They’ve been casually dropping Catelyn’s name a lot this season, and then this episode went even farther in that, which really made me think they were finally going to do Stoneheart…and then the Hound finds Beric still alive, and they hang the “bad” Brotherhood guys, and that sort of seems to close the door in Stoneheart.

    I liked the Riverlands stuff but so far it seems really useless. Brienne went south but didn’t do anything and is now just going to go back north with nothing new. Jaime went to Riverrun and didn’t advance as a character at all. It was all enjoyable stuff (although I didn’t like the Blackfish’s depiction this episode) but it feels like the writers had nothing for Brienne and Jaime to do and decided to just kill time for a little bit while trolling book readers with the possibility of Stoneheart. There’s still a couple episodes so it’s definitely possible something happens. I just don’t see what changes about the plot if Jaime stays in KL and Brienne stays with Sansa.

    I also am a bit concerned with the Jaime/Cersei stuff. The book has been setting up the break for a long time, but in the show, Jaime is still firmly pro Cersei with time running out in the show. I’m concerned the eventual break is going to feel really sudden and random. Hopefully I’m wrong about that, though.

    • Brett says:

      Without Lady Stoneheart (or even just the BWB revenge on the Freys), this is all starting to feel like the Dornish Arc: just a way to get Jaime out of King’s Landing so Cersei is alone while ticking off some plot point.

      I’m concerned the eventual break is going to feel really sudden and random. Hopefully I’m wrong about that, though.

      I think they’re just going to nix the break altogether. Have Jaime ride home to King’s Landing, re-unite with Cersei, and then they do a suicide pact while King’s Landing burns down around them from the wildfire caches.

    • Bbq_HaX0r says:

      I thought last night was a bit of a heel turn for Jaime, or at least that’s how I interpretted it. Tell me what you think:

      Jaime was getting dumped on for the past three episodes about his honor. The conversation with Edmure had him confront how people view him. He was trying to resolve the whole situation and come out loved and with his honor. Instead he just kind of said screw it and pulled a Tywin. He threatened to just destroy the Tully’s and go full Castamere, honor be damned. He stopped trying to make everyone else happy and like him and just do what he wanted.

      I don’t think he is abandoning Cersei, not yet. Maybe her blowing up KL (or threatening too) will be that break. A replay of the Mad King’s “burn them all.” That might cause the break and fulfill the valonqar prophesy.

    • I don’t think that closes the door at all. If anything it’s the reverse: Beric saying I’m alive for a purpose was practically shouting LSH is coming.

      Yeah, the Riverlands stuff is ending on a strange note…if it is ending.

      • beto2702 says:

        but then whats the point of going north? LSH only cares about murder.

      • Keith B says:

        But … she hasn’t been dead three days, as in the books. She’s now been dead for months. Sandor and Arya had a lot of adventures after the Red Wedding, then Sandor had the fight with Brienne and was left for dead, then Brother Ray found him and nursed him back to health, and he’s completely healed. That has to be many months. How can they revive LSH after all this time? That’s why I believe Beric means she’s not coming back.

        Oh, well. It’s television, so it doesn’t have to make sense.

      • Sean C. says:

        I don’t think that closes the door at all. If anything it’s the reverse: Beric saying I’m alive for a purpose was practically shouting LSH is coming.

        It’s now been three years since the Red Wedding. Catelyn’s corpse would be a skeleton.

      • kylelitke says:

        The only reason I’m holding out hope is someone needs to deal with the Freys. I thought they’d make it Arya, but it seems like she’s headed to Winterfell.

        To be honest, Beric talking about a purpose just seems to me to be an excuse to gather more characters to the fight with the White Walkers, especially mentioning the North. I hope I’m wrong, as I’ve been looking forward to the possibility of seeing Stoneheart, but we’ll see.

    • I’m keeping faith with the Jamie plot (hope they don’t let me down!) I feel Edmure’s questions about “How to you live with yourself” very telling. Jamie’s answer was basically “Love of Cersei”, I feel the fact that the question bothered him so much shows that he’s no longer certain. But how can he admit that to himself? If he admits he no longer loves Cersei and maybe even (I’m a hopeless romantic!) loves Brienne’s his justification is stripped away. He will have to try to sleep at night knowing he pushed a little boy out of a window etc. not for love but for nothing, for a mistake, for a weak love. He’s not ready yet so almost protests too much about how much he loves Cersei to convince himself. I think he’s getting closer to the ‘truth’ though. I hope I’m right and that he grows a pair soon as I agree they are stringing it out rather.

  5. artihcus022 says:

    I feel conflicted about the Sparrows ending Trial by Combat…because as obvious the arguments against it are, the larger point is that it’s still way fairer as a legal system than anything Westeros can offer, including the Westeros Inquisition of 7 Septons which is basically a jury-packing scheme that even FDR would think is too much.

    I don’t see how Stoneheart can be in the show now, if Lord Beric is still alive. And yeah, good job to the show for avoiding its worst habits and backing away from giving the BWB the Show!Dorne treatment.

    I think Cersei and Qyburn are discussing Wildfire. The rumor being much more than they initially succeeded can’t be anything else, especially since Cersei treats it as a silver lining.

    • John says:

      Indeed, FDR’s entirely constitutional “court packing” scheme was so egregious that it makes sense to compare it to horrifying medieval procedures and imply that maybe trial by combat is fairer.

    • It doesn’t really work within context – if anything the Sparrows would say that we’re changing TBC to Trial of the Seven.

      Beric’s alive to die and bring LSH back, as I discuss above.

  6. winnief says:

    I think Qyborn’s found out about the wildfire caches beneath KL.

    Agree Arya’s storyline has been a drag so thank the Old Gods and the New she’s going home.

    LOVE the Brotherhood and Hound going North. LOVE IT!!!

    One reason I love it though is because honestly since HardHome I really don’t care about any of the storylines except what’s happening up North. Except maybe for seeing Walder Frey get his and Jaime *finally* having his eyes opened about Cersei. Am panting for next week!

  7. gbajithedeceiver says:

    Given both StageCersei’s vow to avenge Joffrey the transition from the Red Keep to Mereen, I’m pretty sure Qyburn has discovered the location of “the most famous dwarf in the world.”

    Agree that the Blackfish deserved much better, and that the whole House of Black and White arc rivals last season’s Dorne for pointlessness.

    Kings Landing is Varys’s most likely destination, but Arya’s speculation about “where all the maps stop” has me ready for anything.

  8. Keith B says:

    Arya’s theatre troupe story started out well, better than the book in my opinion. But at the end it just fell apart into incoherence. If joining the acting group had been a way of getting her to Westeros it could have been a great story, but the show decided we needed more corpses instead. If the FM decided she needed to be killed for disobeying orders, why should they change their mind just because the first assassin they sent failed?

    The show drained the Riverlands story of all the significance it had in the books. In the books it had everything to do with developing Jaime’s and Brienne’s characters, but the show had already moved them beyond that point. For Brienne it was just another snipe hunt, accomplishing nothing. And the Blackfish, after reading Sansa’s letter and remarking how much she is like her mother, doesn’t even want to stay alive long enough to see her? In a show that has so many story lines going on that they can’t do justice to any of them, they should have just left out the Riverlands plot.

    I think Tyrion was right to try to make peace. He had to stop the bleeding before he could accomplish anything else. He failed because good intentions always fail in the WOIAF. It’s a law of nature. By the way, he was a military genius in King’s Landing, but in Meereen all his military ability has mysteriously vanished, and he’s dependent on Grey Worm to lead the defense. Sad.

    I don’t know why so many fans like Lady Stoneheart. It’s the one part of GRRM’s books that I really detested. Maybe the show will still find a way to bring her back, but with Beric still “alive” it looks doubtful.

    Most likely Tommen won’t last much longer. He’s no longer an ineffectual figurehead. He’s now a menace.

    My guess (I see other commenters have the same guess) is that the rumor Qyburn was tracking down involved the wildfire. If so, the High Sparrow may have a surprise coming.

    • Jason Hallett says:

      In defence of Stoneheart, I feel the story needs one of its main characters to lose EVERYTHING — to suffer existential defeat — to make the existential victories of the others sweeter. When Theon rescues Jeyne, Aeron refuses to give in to Euron, Arya reclaims her identity, Sansa “make[s] them love [her]”, etc., those moments mean more when we have an example of someone who couldn’t resist the abyss.

      Stoneheart is a betrayal of what Cat stood for in life, not because of some magical whammy that scrambled her brains, but because that betrayal is a direct response to the way her life ended, as our host will get into in his CBC analysis in the next year or two. I suppose zombification isn’t strictly necessary for this character work to be done, but I’m at a loss to see how, other than a resurrection, you’d bring Cat’s existential defeat to the fore. (Plus, making the heroes’ mom a walking corpse is definitely consistent with Martin’s metal-album-cover style.)

      • LSH is one of the more thematically important characters in the entire series, a living manifestation of Nemesis, but also a meditation on the ultimate emptiness of revenge.

    • Jim B says:

      “If the FM decided she needed to be killed for disobeying orders, why should they change their mind just because the first assassin they sent failed?”

      Well, technically Arya was marked for death not for “disobeying orders,” but for depriving their god of “a” death. As Jaquen said, one way or another, another face will hang on the wall — the Waif’s death satisfies the debt, so Arya is off the hook. Just as Jaquen demanded that Arya name three people to “make up” for the three lives she saved.

      I can’t say that this philosophy makes any damn sense to me, and I’m not sure how much of it is supposed to. Did Jaquen truly have to offer Arya three murders, or did he make that up because he sensed she was a potential recruit? Could Arya have just decided to kill the other actress instead of Lady Crake? What do you have to do to “hire” the Faceless Men? And is a customer/worshipper assignment required, or do they permit members to act as Arya did in killing on her own initiative?

      Not that these things are much clearer in the books, mind you. And maybe that’s deliberate — perhaps GRRM prefers to keep the Faceless Men weird and inscrutable.

      • Keith B says:

        Yup. We know very little about the rules of the FM, except that they don’t make a lick of sense. If what the Many-Faced God requires is “a death”, the Waif should kill either Arya or Lady Crane, but not both. And if Arya meets the requirement by killing the Waif, instead of vice-versa, doesn’t that mean that if you hire the FM and the intended victim manages to kill the assassin, you’re just SOL? Imagine if these guys were delivering pizza. As long as somebody gets the pizza, the Many-Cheese God considers the delivery made. Not a good way to stay in business.

    • Yeah, the end of the Braavos thing is so unnecessarily drawn out. You could have gone straight from Arya being stabbed in Episode (7?) to her duel with the Waif and her final confrontation with Jaqen.

      Yeah, I don’t quite get why they ended the Riverlands plot that way.

      • Tywin of the Hill says:

        Well, the Riverlands plot hasn’t ended yet. The trailer shows a Lannister-Frey party we haven’t seen yet 😉 😉

  9. Brett says:

    So much for Lady Stoneheart, and possibly even for the whole “Freys get slaughtered at Riverrun by BWB” storyline. Unless they’re pulling a fake death with the Blackfish, that ended really anti-climactically. Everything about it felt slightly off – the whole thing with Brienne going in first, the Blackfish’s characterization, the overly long conversation where Jaime makes his threat to Edmure after they have a diversion to talk about morality, etc.

    On the other hand, definitely seems like we might get the Burning of King’s Landing. Qyburn’s little aside was probably about the wildfire caches.

    I’m glad Arya killed the Waif with Needle, but it still felt like a big wasted opportunity. All of that assassin training, and it came down to “she kills her in seconds in a dark room”? I guess I was hoping Arya would actually set a better trap, or use some of those skills beyond blind-fighting.

    Apart from the Mountain ripping a dude’s head off, this also felt like marking time, stretching out more time until we finally get Cersei’s trial.

    It’s felt like that all season, and in other story arcs as well. The pacing in this season feels off, although that could just be that the show has no real surprises and everyone knows it’s just marking time before Daenerys heads west, Bastard Bowl happens, and the Others come south.

    Given a lot of the discourse online about Tyrion’s treaty being the sane and reasonable solution, I really liked seeing it blow up in his face. No peace with slaveholders.

    Same here, although that segment ended weird. What was with that sudden, rapid cut away from Daenerys? There was no time for it to sink in.

  10. Redfish says:

    I thought that the rumors his little birds had found were wild fire also. But I remember the promo at beginning of season that showed the little birds gang stabbing someone. The high sparrow has a deviant attraction for children?
    Spring the trap cersei

  11. David Hunt says:

    I don’t know exactly what GRRM has planned for Cercei’s trial in the Books, but I’m dead certain it isn’t having Tommen revoking the right of Trial by Combat. Tommen is just a figurehead of great lords in the books and there’s no way whoever ends up in charge of Tommen would let the right to Trial by Combat be taken away from them. It’s far too important a protection for the nobility against show trials like the one Lysa had planned for Tyrion. I don’t think that even Cercei would get rid it for some sort of immediate gain. She probably wouldn’t predict the massive rebellion that it would kick off, but I can’t see her being willing to give up the right anyway. Plus, she’s got a massive incentive for the right to be in place right now. Still, even when she was framing Margarey, she worked to rig who Margarey could name as champion instead of working to deny the right entirely. Did she actually learn something from Tywin, namely that an immediate cause Robert’s Rebellion was the execution of Rickard Stark without access to Trial by Combat?

  12. beto2702 says:

    I have two possible scenarios in my mind. Either…

    1. The show doesn’t want Dany and Varys to (yet) for whatever reason they are planning.

    or

    2. Is important for the books too that Vary and Dany do not meet at this point.

    The whole situation seemed like a weird thing only done to have a few Tyrion/Varys conversations… still, it seems like Varys didn’t need to be there at all.

    • John says:

      Meereen’s pretty much been a total waste of time this whole season.

      • beto2702 says:

        Yeah, I want to be optimist. Maybe there is a point to the whole Tyrion/Missandei/Grey Worm dirnking games that I have not seen yet. They are giving them too much time… could it be leading to something?

    • Yeah, it did feel like this and last season, they had Varys there because Conleth Hill works well with Peter Dinklage and they didn’t want to bring Roger Allam back.

      • Sean C. says:

        Allam was doing a play for much of Season 5’s filming, so he wouldn’t have been available regardless. But in any event, once you’ve dropped the Aegon plot, Illyrio is pointless anyway; makes sense to just use Varys, since he’s such a different character in the show.

  13. Grant says:

    Did we see Blackfish’s body? If not then it’s possible that Edmure’s supposed to have faked his death, though that would run into a lot of problems since the Lannisters would insist on confirming it.

    • David Hunt says:

      If the Blackfish’s death was faked, I don’t see how Edmure could have been part of it. He walks in, goes to the battlements, and orders that arms be laid down and the Blackfish arrested. It’s entirely possible that the Tully men Edmure sent conspired with Bryndyn to fake his death, though. There are problems with that as the Blackfish’s face is well known to Edmure and Jaime was face to face with him just a day earlier. People are going to want to see a body and where are they going to come up with a body of the correct build and apparent age even if they mutilate the face? Or maybe that problem is just ignored due to some sort of interaction with the LIttlefinger teleportation matrix.

    • It’s weirdly handled regardless. Killing him off-screen is anti-climactic, but having him escape when he’s just explicitly refused to do so is a complete 180.

  14. Jim B says:

    This felt like one too many “slow” episodes in a row.

    I think the Riverrun story started well but ended in a debacle. It could have been a nice little piece that smartly questions the morality of the “we shall fight on against the enemy, no matter the odds” attitude, with Edmure as a man nobly choosing his duty to protect his people over his duty to protect his family’s property, and the Blackfish sensibly presenting the other side of the argument but being overruled. Instead, Edmure is depicted as a man who caves to save his own skin, and the Blackfish is a shown to be a stubborn fool eager to throw his life away senselessly.

    • Not just caves, gives up his uncle and basically has him killed.

      • Jim B says:

        True. Edmure gives the order for his uncle to be put in chains before he’s even given a chance to agree to lay down his arms now that the castle has been surrendered. It’s hard to see this as anything other than Edmure selling out his uncle just to save his own skin.

        Which I guess is a story you can tell — not every member of the “good” families needs to be brave and noble, etc. — but it’s unfortunate that Edmure is the one to get saddled with that role. I’ve always felt that his introduction is really unfortunate: he’s depicted as an embarrassment because he’s not a good shot with a bow (at least, not at that particular moment). Sam Tarly isn’t a shining example of martial prowess, but at least he was shown as having some compensating character traits; to have Edmure be a wimp and a coward too just feels like gilding the lily.

        • Tywin of the Hill says:

          It’s more complicated than “saving his own skin”. Edmure knows he’s dealing with the Kingslayer, Tywin Lannister’s own son. He knows that his only hope of saving the lifes of his son, his garrison and his uncle is keeping him happy. If something doesn’t go according to plan, if the Blackfish kills any Lannister soldier, if Jaime suddenly changes his mind, they can all die. He can’t take any risks.

          • Jim B says:

            Well, I agree that Edmure could have been shown as making the hard decision to sacrifice pride and honor in order to save lives. And I guess you can still interpret it that way. But the way it was depicted leaves me with the distinct impression that Edmure was motivated more by self-interest than by a desire to save his soldiers.

            After all, surely Edmure could have negotiated safe conduct, or whatever deal he got himself, for the Blackfish. Or at least tried. Instead, as soon as he orders arms laid down, he gives the order for his uncle to be arrested, with no opportunity to peacefully accept the surrender. So the terms appear to be: Edmure is freed, the Blackfish gets chained up (or, as it turns out, killed).

  15. Ethan says:

    Jaime’ character arc, or complete lack thereof, is a truly baffling writing decision, especially as they seemingly lampshaded his utterly unsympathetic character with Edmure’s speech this episode. He started the series as the guy you’re meant to hate, then became sympathetic through character development, then reverted to exactly the same unlikable character as he was…but now we’re supposed to find him sympathetic? Why would we? His exceptionalist solipsism is evidently wrong and, unlike the book, utterly unleavened by any sense of doubt or introspection.

  16. David Hunt says:

    Steven, it occurs to me that you are likely in the air as I write this, so please allow me to say “welcome home” for when you read this. I hope that your trip across the Pond has wonderful.

  17. Steven Xue says:

    With the attack on Meereen. Do you think its odd that Varys was unaware (or at least didn’t warn) Tyrion about it? Varys with his large network of spies is pretty much omniscient yet its strangely enough he of all people didn’t get any report of the other Slave Cities mustering for war. Unless of course he knew already but decided to bail on Tyrion, if the Slave Cities were going to attack Meereen there’s no way he would be out of the loop.

  18. Fabrimuch says:

    With Stoneheart probably out of the picture, there goes my last hope of something I like happening this season.

    I can’t wait for TWOW to come out so I can finally read this story thebway it’s meant to go.

    • Captain Splendid says:

      Yeah, despite the show often sinking to Walking Dead levels of stupidity and boredom, I’m grateful it’s so different. It’ll make reading the books that much more enjoyable.

  19. John G says:

    It was really aggravating to see progressive publications (cough, cough Slate) praise Tyrion’s Andrew Johnson strategy as the “moral” one. Glad that blew up in his face and shows how bad Civil War education is in the US.

      • Ser Biffy Clegane says:

        I think a lot of people, including me, are pretty heavily influenced by The Meereenese Blot’s articles on this. By having the Harpy kill Hizdahr and attach without provocation, B&W seem to be stacking the deck in favor of saying Dany simply needs to execute the Masters root and branch, but maybe they’ll do another swerve.

        As for Tyrion, I guess the question is whether his truce was smart or not. Is he Tyson’s son, or Mace’s?

        Without dragons or a larger army, slavery in the other cities was a fact Tyrion didn’t have the power to change, and because the slavers broke the pact, he didn’t even put Dany in the tricky situation of whether to honor the deal.

        So ultimately, Tyrion gave the slavers nothing they didn’t already have and got several weeks of peace. If he had ulanticipated the betrayal and used that time to prepare, he would have come across as a useful advisor rather than a drunken loon.

  20. Haplo-6 says:

    As I watched the episode again, I still can’t stomach (see what I did there?) the severity of wounds they assigned to Arya. Until recently, wounds of that nature were mortal. I mean, her innards are cut… very little in Braavos makes sense.

  21. Ser Biffy Clegane says:

    Did anyone else wonder whether Jaime was going to imprison the Tully soldiers, disarm and free them, or execute them? Having the troops march in to the Rains of Castamere had me really wondering, but then they didn’t show us.

    I’m hoping the show deals with that next episode – it would tell us a lot about Jaime to know whether he preferred the prisoners freed, transferred to Crown custody, out just didn’t give a hoot. (He promised Edmure an apartment at Casterly Rock – is be interested to know if he pays up.)

  22. Ser Biffy Clegane says:

    Hmm, I could see the show giving Lady Stoneheart’s plot to *Arya* – the Hound isn’t likely to take orders from zombie Catelyn, but I could see him and the BWB following Arya on a roaring rampage of revenge, and it would give Maisie some good character moments and something to do.

  23. djinn says:

    Is knowing that Bran and Rickons are alive did any diference? To anyone?

    So Brienne was supporting Renly’s treason against Ned’s King(Stannis), helped Catelyn commit treason(release Jaime) against Robb, tried to kill the protector(Sandor) of Arya, killed the King(Stannis) that helped Jon, choose venguence for Renly over her duty to Sansa and now offers to give whats left of the Starks heirloom(Ice) to the Lannisters! Is she trying to match Roose in a ”screw the Starks” contest?

    Is Varys=Daenaerys?

  24. wat barleycorn says:

    Qyburn has found the wildfire caches buried under the city.

    Cersei is going to quite deliberately blow up King’s Landing, quite possibly with Tommen in it. She’ll (unknowingly) undo the one good thing Jamie has done with his life.

    And the valonqar will rue all the things he has done for love when the object of his affections proves as monstrous as the mad king…

    • Jim B says:

      Unless Jamie is there to stop her, and once again faces the choice of having to kill someone he’s supposed to protect in order to save thousands of others from a fiery death.

      In some ways, it would be coming full circle for him. With Aerys, he chose the greater good over his personal obligations, and was so reviled for it (partly because of his own petulant refusal to explain himself, mind you) that he decided to revel in the role of “the man with shit for honor” and behave selfishly for the next 10-15 years. Lately he’s finally admitted to himself that he does care about his legacy and about doing the right thing — but does he care enough to be willing to kill the person he loves most in the world?

  25. Tom says:

    I think the Braavos story is underrated. You can argue, how much time is needed to show Arya become a FM, but her killing the Waif is much more FM than just killing someone. After she desides to quit the job she goes catching Needle, hides it right at the point where she’s going to kill the Waif. She then goes to find a passage (in two days) and lingers in the city. Isn’t she afraid of being killed by the best killers in the world? She gets stabbed and jumps effortlessely in the water. She get’s out and drips blood all over the place and walks through all the people to see. She hides in a place, where a regular killer would expect her to hide, if she is wounded. And, by the way, she knows the actress will be killed (which is neccessary to appease the MFG) by the Waif – and she doesn’t have to do it/she fullfilled the original order! She escapes, runs, escapes, jumps into a market, where they are selling oranges. If you rewatch the scene you will find a bloodorange, dripping red, in a clos-up. For me this indicates it was all intended. She marks the way to her hiding place and….
    Since everything was planned, the stabbing was planned as well. No real or really bad wounds (protection), no real blood.
    The scene with Jaqen wants to show us that the FM had a plan with Arya right from the black cells. And now: mission completed. Arya goes home with the abilities of a FM. Why? We will hopefully see.
    For me the Braavos story is good, if you don’t follow my arguments it’s too long.

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