Monthly Archives: May 2015

Game of Thrones: Season Five: The Gift (S5E7): Comments?

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Thoughts:

•    This was the worst episode I have seen in Season 5 thus far.

•    There were a bunch of things that I had been wondering how they would come to pass that did so finally, however I felt the way they were blocked and written they came off as feeling very uneventful to me (SEE the Bad).

•    I don’t like the way they are treating Sansa’s character, however the scene we saw with Theon is what I was expecting last episode after the wedding.  The subtext that was laid down after the wedding was that Sansa would have to endure brutal mistreatment every day after that and we got that. They showed her curled up in a ball in her bed; crying with bruises all over; locked up in her room.  This is all they needed to show at the end of S5E6 and I would have gotten it.  (Therefore the rape scene for me was still unnecessary last episode.)

•    The lack of clarity of Cersei’s intentions to the viewers either make her seem like a total idiot that does or doesn’t believe fate applies to her or someone willing to fight fate; playing their own game of manipulation and finds after the fact that regardless; fate is inevitable (SEE the Bad and also my post podcast comments for Season 5 Episode 6).

•    How can Cersei blindly empower the Faith Militant after her cousin is presented as a Sparrow and has brought up her indiscretions without any fear of divine retribution when it’s been said by High Sparrow ‘We are all equal in the eyes of the Seven’?

•    How can Cersei not fear her own incarceration (with her own track record of incest) after Queen Margaery (a more powerful figure than her) is incarcerated just for lying?

•    After being flung onto a dungeon floor how could Cersei be that blind and stupid to the uselessness of hurling a threat to the nun: ‘Look at me.  Look at my face. It’s the last thing you will see before you die.’

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Good:

•    Sansa planting the seeds of doubt in Ramsay’s mind about his inheritance.  She could have went a step further pointing out that she wasn’t aware that Jon Snow was a Lord Commander and she was proud of him; however lineage means nothing in the Men of The Night’s watch.  It’s purely based on deeds not blood. That would have been sticking it good to Ramsay.

•    Sansa grabs a weapon.

•    Lady Olenna’s scenes with the High Sparrow and Little Finger. He made her realize that the people have power over their rulers now.

•    ‘Whoever you are…sooner or later, you will come face to Face with something that cannot be controlled. The events that cannot be predicted or prevented…You cannot blame yourself for Fate.’ Either ironic words of one who wants to manipulate another who doesn’t believe in fate or someone who is toying with fate or one who believes in fate and is blind to how their actions influence fate. (SEE The bad)

•    Margaery’s scene with Cersei was great. I love how Margaery saw right through her and we get a better sense of Cersei trying to appear sympathetic while she gloats.

•    From the man with two Brains (Cersei being thrown into a cell) ’Into the mud scum queen!’

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Bad:

•    They keep trying to give Sansa’s power to Theon. We never had a scene where we saw Sansa watch Theon cry for her as she was being raped so then we know she thinks Theon Greyjoy is inside him somewhere.  Instead we have a desperate Sansa trying to convince Theon he is Theon and to help her.  Why after pushing Theon away for a couple of episodes is she now trusting and asking Theon to help her? He certainly didn’t help her when she was being raped on her wedding night so why would he act on her behalf now?

•    Dolorous Edd has commanded the Men of the Night’s Watch during the Wildling attack and is an ally of Jon Snow.  He would have made a more trusted person to watch over the Men of The Night’s Watch then Ser Alliser.  Ser Alliser may have the most experience; however he’s also the most tropic of choices.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Jon came back and Ser Alliser mutinied against Jon and Sam and Gilly were forced to flee (or he goes to the Citadel to learn to become a Maester) before that happens.

•    Melisandre said the real fight was at the wall and Stannis says winter can last for years, so why is he going after Winterfell and not staying at the Wall?  If he wins Winterfell he will be there for years before he can get back to the Wall right? I know Winterfell is relatively close to the Wall, however if Winter is that bad that may not be possible.

•    Cersei visits the High Sparrow without the King’s Guard?  What happened to the guards she had when she first visited the High Sparrow?

•    Which version of Cersei is supposed to be Cersei?
1.    She doesn’t believe in Fate (the witch’s prophecies) and thinks she’s clever and makes poor decisions that result in the opposite of what she wants (like reinstalling the Faith Militant that ends up throwing her in a dungeon) and ironically says wise things like ‘You cannot blame yourself for Fate’ to control Tommen (so he doesn’t wage war on the Faith Militant)?
2.    She does believe in Fate (the witch’s prophecies), but tries to get her way (by reinstalling the Faith Militant and when she can’t change things she resolves that as Fate (after the fact) and also arrogantly makes poor decisions?

•    There were a list of things that could have been done better that I have been waiting for that came off as uneventful in their delivery for me:

1.    Samwell’s loss of his virginity to Gilly. (Reward for his reckless bravery.)
2.    Cersei being thrown into a dungeon for indiscretions with Lancel without so much as a hearing beforehand.
3.    Brother Aemon’s final moments.  I thought he would reveal something important to the plot before passing. He always seemed to me to be someone who had secrets from the past that could be brought into the current story. I guess it was not to be…
4.    Bronn surviving the poisonous wound.  He was in danger mere minutes before he was humbled to allow for an antidote to be quickly thrown to him.  That was kind of an uneventful sexposition.
5.    Talk of sacrificing Shireen.  Conditions aren’t that desperate yet, so I was expecting Melisandre to bring this up later than sooner.

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Unknown:

•    Why is this episode called the Gift?  Is that were Stannis is with his men?

•    What was that Sansa grabbed while Ramsay wasn’t looking?

•    Why wasn’t Little Finger more upset about his business losses?

•    Why didn’t Stannis feed his men with the 40 lost horses?  He has done similar things in the past holding out in a siege.

•    Does Dario truly believe Hizdahr is the King of the Sons of Harpy?
•    Is Ser Jaime in a fancy jail cell while Bronn is incarcerated or does the ‘Prince recognizing his concern for his niece’ absolve him from wrong doing and that’s a normal room he’s been held in the palace?

•    How much has Lancel told the High Sparrow?  How much trouble is Cersei in now?  Is it for incest just with Lancel or is it incest with Ser Jaime and for producing children of incest with him?  Will she also get in trouble for drugging the King’s wine through Lancel?  How much can be proven in court of all of this? I don’t think they have DNA paternity testing in Westeros.

•    What is the relationship between Lancel and Baelish?  Baelish told Lady Olenna he had a handsome man for her that he also used with Cersei. If it is Lancel, I don’t understand how Baelish is able to control anything Lancel does at this point.  If anything Baelish has to walk lightly around Lancel.

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Game of Thrones: Season Five: Unbowed, Unbent and Unbroken(S5E6): Comments?

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Thoughts: Poor, Poor Sansa! This for me was one of the worst things I have had to sit through with this show…EVER. Is this intentionally meant (not only to torture Sansa and Theon, but also) as some sort of fourth wall torture of the audience as well by Ramsay Bolton and the show runners)? Alfie Allen playing Reek/Theon well captured how horrible Sansa’s rape scene was; as well as the vicious cruel nature of Ramsay Bolton (which I am already well acquainted with). His violently remorseful reaction to Sansa’s treatment gives me hope that Theon is still alive somewhere inside of that retched creature and he will do *something* to avenge Sansa in the future. (SEE the Unknown) Or does it? What exactly does Theon have to experience to snap him back into the man he once was? If this doesn’t change Theon then why was this necessary for the show to do? I already despise Ramsay and have wanted him dead for seasons and I want Sansa to persevere and have seen her suffer through a succession of humiliating manipulative psychos; one more isn’t adding anything for me. It makes sense that Lady Olenna would go to King’s Landing instead of Queen Margaery going to High Garden. I am just confused because it sounded like Queen Margaery told King Tommen she was going to High Garden.

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Good:

  • They finally conveyed Jeor’s death to Jorah.       I felt this brought Jorah closer to Tyrion.
  • It’s finally been explained that part of the Faceless Men’s orientation is to give up their hopes and dreams (and it appears their actual face.) It’s unclear how that’s accomplished, however it doesn’t sound good and it sounds permanent. Arya’s death list is part of her hopes and dreams so she would have to lose that and it doesn’t appear she’s ready to do that yet.
  • I love how Tyrion is still grounded with regards to magic and ruling and puts Jorah in his place. Although Dany has dragons he realizes that people are still flawed (regardless of magic they are still human) and she may not make a great ruler. Nor does her lineage guarantee she will be a good one either.
  • Sansa is firmly back as Sansa Stark (Bolton) the dye is washed out of her hair and she’s stopped running and has accepted her old identity (although she is struggling with the consequences.)
  • Best Lines: ‘We both peddle fantasies, Brother Lancel. Mine just happen to be entertaining’ and Lady Olenna’s ‘the famous Tart Queen Cersei’.
  • Little Finger’s dancing lines with Cersei “One’s choice of companion is a curious thing” (about her incest) and then Cersei’s lines about Lysa Arryn’s death and his newly found title as counselor of Lord Robin.

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Bad:

  • Sansa’s Wedding Night (SEE Thoughts). The way it was done assaults the audience as well as the characters IMO. It could have been done differently with the same emotional impact. They could have shown Sansa the next morning; trying to console herself to no one; all alone.
  • Myrcella’s rescue was weak sauce for me.  Wouldn’t the head of the guards who interrupted the attempt double abduction know who the Sand snakes were? Why would they have to introduce themselves? The head guard knows who Ellaria is. He should know who Prince Oberyn’s daughters were right? (I am sure they hung out there in the water gardens before.)
  • Turning on Roose using Sansa I expected. However, I am a bit surprised Cersei isn’t adamant about sending an army out to Winterfell (especially with having bounties out for Tyrion’s head.) Ser Kevan isn’t a coward. Why is she letting his belittling of her power get in the way of getting what she wants? She could use Tommen to order Ser Kevan back to King’s Landing and to then take a force up to Winterfell very easily to deal with Roose right? I found this inconsistent with her fierce vengeance for anyone causing Joffrey’s demise.
  • Tommen speaks up to his mother about her being at King’s Landing and then when his wife gets thrown in jail he doesn’t lift a finger to stop the Faith Militant?

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Unknown:

  • What exactly are Unbowed, Unbent and Unbroken?
  • How does Jaqen know Arya was lying or telling the truth?
  • Is the Faceless god tapped into life like the Three Eyed Raven is with a thousand eyes and one?
  • Are the columns and the faces in the great room of the Faceless Men alive?
  • What happens to the bodies to get them into the columns?
  • Do the waters of the Temple help transform the dying?
  • Is the same water used in the washing process?
  • Do the Faceless men give up something or become part of the faceless god in order to become someone else? Does washing the dead aid in Arya’s transformation? (Is it from external exposure to the same water as drank by the dying?)
  • Does Arya wish to become someone else instead of a Faceless Man or is that part of the process of becoming a Faceless Man (first to become someone else before becoming no one?)
  • What is the point of the game? Is it to be true to yourself so when you put on another’s identity, then it is seamless to the rest of the world? (I am speaking of the scene where the other girl tries to convince Arya she’s noble born from a Westerosi House.)
  • Is the show trying to show how inconsistent Cersei is about ruling? She’ll listen to Little Finger about not sending out a force to get Sansa and Roose Bolton, however she’ll throw the financing of the Crown into the toilet just to put Margaery in Jail?
  • Why didn’t Tommen lift a finger to stop the Faith Militant from incarcerating Queen Margaery? Who controls the King’s Guard? Cersei or Tommen?
  • How long will it be before there is a synod for Cersei, Jaime, Tommen and Myrcella?
  • Is Theon Greyjoy still in there somewhere or is he truly broken? Will he help Sansa get out of her situation?
  • Will anyone alert Little Finger about Ramsay’s treatment of Sansa? Will Sansa take matters into her own hands and ask for help from Brienne (the candle) or Little Finger (a raven or sympathetic Northerner acting as a messenger)?
  • Will Little Finger actually send troops to march on Winterfell? (I speculate if he does, he will wait until Stannis attacks and then send his army after the victor to secure Winterfell.)

Game of Thrones: Season Five: Kill The Boy (S5E5): Comments?

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Thoughts:

  • No! Master Aemon is dying!
  • Funny I thought once I saw the title of the show that they were speaking of Tommen 🙂
  • More interlacing between shots of earlier episodes and the current episode (Stannis pointing out Old Valyria and the Stonemen) and then Tyrion with Ser Jorah in Old Valyria being attacked by them. Dany with the comments on Drogon and him flying over Tyrion and Ser Jorah’s head in Old Valyria.
  • I thought Samwell already knew that Dragonstone Island had Dragonglass? Well, he knows now. The fact he relayed slaying the White Walkers with the Dragonglass to Stannis means to me:
  1. Stannis will survive the battle of Winterfell and possibly head up the Battle against the White Walkers.
  2. Jon Snow’s journey to Hardhome will be successful and he will return unharmed with the Wildlings and possibly head up the Battle against the White Walkers.
  3. Both Stannis and Jon combined forces will take down the White Walkers together.
  • I am guessing the Wildlings will be settling the Gift (area all along the Wall in the North) that they have been reaving in earlier seasons when Jon gets back with them. Those lands I don’t believe fall under Tommen’s rule; they are lands of the Men of the Night’s watch, so technically the Wildlings would not have to bend the knee to anyone to settle those lands.
  • There’s a rather short list of main characters with a lot of troops and knowledge of how to slay the White Walkers with Dragonglass and access to lots of Dragonglass. We know the Children cannot do that alone because there aren’t many of them. We also know that most men and armies in *all* the lands south of the Wall don’t even know the Children still exist (or the White Walkers for that matter.)

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Good:

  • Poor Ser Barristan! This sets up good fuel for consequences for Dany on the Nobles though.
  • I thought Dany’s treatment of the Nobles at Meereen was effective and marrying Hizdahr Zo Loraq will show interesting politics with the Slaves.
  • I loved Sansa’s words with the Boltons.
  • Jon’s scene with Tormund shows he has chutzpah.
  • Masters of Meereen begging for mercy in front of the Dragons.
  • I loved seeing Old Valyria. I really want to learn a lot more about it.       These are the most tangible elements to date (other than information here and there were about Valerian swords.)
  • I thought was funny when Maester Aemon said ‘A Targaryen alone in the World is a terrible thing’ and then Jon appears.       Did anyone else catch Maester Aemon touching Jon’s face? Perhaps he has his suspicions about Jon being Rhaegar’s son? (Don’t know how he would connect the dots though.)
  • Great line: ‘We can learn to live with the Wildlings or we can add them to the army of the dead.’
  • Sansa seeing Theon and then Ramsay asserting him be the best man at their wedding exposes in a way how horrible Ramsay can be.
  • Ramsay needling Roose about Walda’s weight and his concerns about his heir status with Roose (with reference to her pregnancy.)
  • Roose knowing Stannis is at the Wall. (I expected that.)

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Bad:

  • Brienne and Podrick scene was just repetitive.
  • Overall I felt this episode was more informational and setup more than any sort of story progress; buildup to the war on Winterfell.
  • There has been so much effort into building up and positioning for Jon Snow that I don’t fear for him not coming back from Hardhome (which is sort of bad because it deepens the direction of the narrative; making the journey to the White Walker on Man battle at the end of this thing more predictable then previous.) Someone has to have troops and Samwell’s knowledge (as well as a source of Dragonglass) to defeat the White Walkers and we know who all those people are and there are not many of them, so the directions this can go are seemingly few in number.
  • I don’t fear Stannis not coming back (and I should). Roose I think is more of a threat to Stannis then Brienne. I think he will be victorious in the coming battle.
  • What frustrates me is after sitting around and venting for four episodes Stannis has finally decided to go invade Winterfell. It was clear at the end of season four that he could have done so back then because he has enough troops. He comes off like a moping laggard with a huge ego (trying to get people to bend the knee to him instead of being a man of action like Robert.)  I know Stannis was waiting to see if he could get the Wildlings as an additional force to attack Winterfell, however as soon as he burned Mance at the stake it should have been apparent by the second episode of this season that he wasn’t going to get them and he should have marched on Winterfell.

    *Jon already said he couldn’t control or convince the Wildlings to help a king.
    *The force they captured wouldn’t bend the knee and the rest of the Wildlings whereabouts were unknown (we just learned they are hidden up in HardHome.)
    * Even if they did agree, how would Stannis control their warring capabilities for suitable strategy?
    * Jon still would have to Hardhome to get enough troops to protect the Wall anyway.

    Just my two cents, if Stannis was a tactful commander of forces he would have realized there just wasn’t enough time with winter coming to add the Wildlings.  I keep thinking of Napoleon marching on Moscow.

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Unknown:

  • Where the heck is Hardhome by Starrold’s Point?
  • Who will take over the Men of the Night’s Watch while Jon goes off with the Wildlings?
  • Who’s side is Myranda on? I think she’s starting to realize she can never marry Ramsay Bolton. Is she now on Sansa’s side (against the Boltons)?
  • Was the message about the Candle in the broken tower from Brienne or Myranda?
  • How fast is Ser Jorah’s Dragon Scale spreading? Is it slow or fast moving? Will he be able to cure his illness? Will he be able to do so before seeing Dany or after? Who can help him? Quaithe?
  • Was that Drogon flying overhead or another Dragon? The show opening clips did have that Dany clip where she says ‘No one has seen Drogon in weeks. For all I know, he’s flown half way around the world.’  I believe Old Valyria is not far from Meereen.
  • What impact will Dany’s future wedding to Hizdahr Zo Loraq have on her ruling decisions in Meereen? Won’t the slaves hate her more?
  • Can Samwell take over for Maester Aemon once he passes? He will probably need to go to school at the Citadel first right?
  • If the Wildlings settle the Gift (areas along the wall) will there be civil wars with the people who already live there? Especially since for thousands of years they fell victim (like Ollie’s parents) to the Thenns and other Wilding groups.

Game of Thrones: Season Five: Sons of Harpy (S5E4): Comments?

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Thoughts:

  • No! Grey Worm and Ser Barristan are dead! It looks like a blood bath is brewing in Meereen. (SEE Unknown)
  • Little Finger seems to think Stannis is going to attack Winterfell. Get to it Stannis! Stop moping about on the Wall (it’s like the doldrums on Dragonstone Island all over again!)
  • I felt that Stannis’ love for Shireen was the most I will see out of him. It’s clear a good portion of his love for her comes from the fact that she has his Baratheon blood coursing through her veins. (Even with how he searched the land to find a cure for her grayscale affliction) it still felt somewhat hollow to me. (Perhaps it was the way he sort of hugged her at the end of that speech.) He’s such an emotionless man, and perhaps I feel if he had to, he would even sacrifice her (since he was willing to murder his own brother and burn his relatives at the stake.)
  • Why do I think Mace Tyrell isn’t going to live much longer with Ser Meryn Trant guarding him? Was he sent away also so they could arrest Ser Loras? Then again may be he truly is protecting him because the crown really needs the Tyrells.
  • Myrcella doesn’t have long for this world. It would be fitting irony if she was killed just as Jaime and Bronn reached her.
  • Doesn’t Ellaria have more daughters with Prince Oberyn than three? Perhaps the others weren’t born from her and some other woman?

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Good (a lot of tiny little moments no big one in particular):

  • Dany and Ser Barristan talking about how her brother Rhaegar wanted to be amongst the people and pretended to be a minstrel and giving the profits to various people.
  • Everything Bronn said about Dorne women appears to be true. Wow! Ellaria’s daughters are fairly ruthless.
  • Melissandre uttering Ygritte’s phrase ‘You know nothing Jon Snow’. A nice last ditch effort to get Jon to believe in her power to convince him to join Stannis.

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Bad:

  • Even Tyrion knows (like I mentioned last week) if Ser Jorah was going to see Dany it’s his head (not Tyrion’s).       I suspect by now Dany knows Tyrion killed Tywin and there is a bounty out on his head. If not, I am sure Varys could vouch for Tyrion so I have never thought he was in any danger (or is). Dany needs people who know who her enemies are intimately to inflict the proper damage.
  • Tyrion certainly put together who Ser Jorah was quick enough and Ser Jorah didn’t react to any of that, which made it all repetitious for us viewers (no reminders necessary; just filler scenes for me.)
  • More Stannis related tantrums about what to do.       This time since he doesn’t get his way he has Melissandre flash some flesh to no affect. Please get on with it Stannis!

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Unknown:

  • Are Grey Worm and Barristan Selmy both dead? It looks like neither of them made it. What will Dany do to avenge their deaths with the Sons of Harpy? Will this change her methods of ruling?
  • Is Sansa falling for Little Finger? She does mention she will be married by the time he gets back (I took that as an acknowledgement that her virtue will be gone and no longer for him to potentially take?)
  • Will Little Finger send troops from the Eyrie to assist Stannis in overtaking Winterfell and secure the North?
  • Where are the Crownlands going to get the money to pay the Iron bank of Braavos? Will they be able to arrange better terms? I doubt it; not with Tommen as King. Mace already offered a loan to the crown and that is probably what will happen (which is why Cersei put him in that position. Right?) The crown will also owe the Tyrells as well as the Iron bank.
  • Who will keep the Faith Militant in check? Tommen? He better grow a pair; Fast!
  • Why is Bronn pushing Jaime to admit that he’s down there to get Myrcella because she is his daughter? Doesn’t he already know that Myrcella is Jaime’s daughter? Does Bronn sense Jaime helped free Tyrion?
  • Melissandre seems to be drawn to Jon Snow and Stannis made a point to tell his wife that Ned wouldn’t sleep with a tavern wench. So who is Jon Snow’s mother? Is Melissandre drawn to him by the blood by his father Ned Stark or his unknown Mother or both?
  • Since Jaime is the head of the King’s guard and is in Dorne, are half of them doing Tommen’s bidding and the other half Cersei’s? (Meryn Trant)
  • What happened to Ser Arys Oakheart who is supposed to be guarding Myrcella? He was nowhere to be found when Ellaria Sands was spying on her and Prince Trystane Martell in the water gardens a few episodes ago.
  • Does Cersei have her incest covered with the High Sparrow before she outted Ser Loras and helped reinstate the Faith Militant? If not, I can see the fate already of Tommen, Cersei, Myrcella and Ser Jaime.
  • It seems the Sparrows and their flocks already know that Tommen is an illegitimate heir and they don’t respect him. Will Tommen stand up for himself? Does he not have long for this world since he doesn’t have any chutzpah?
  • This is the second time I have seen on the show that Ned’s sister Lyanna has been brought up on the show. This time it’s Sansa lighting her funeral candle in the crypts and some words from Little Finger about her with Rhaegar. What is her significance (other than being Rhaegar’s folly)? Is she meant to tie together the Targaryan’s with the Stark’s somehow?
  • Will Sansa become the Wardeness of the North?       Bring on the Battle for Winterfell!
  • If Ser Barristan is gone, Dany may need Ser Jorah, so he may keep is head right?