Monthly Archives: June 2015

Game of Thrones: Season Five: The Dance With Dragons (S5E9): Comments?

Thoughts:
Overall I hated this episode and I was bored by most of it. Perhaps this is because I am having White Walker withdrawals.
So many Wildlings (and a few Men of the Night’s Watch) have now witnessed and survived a White Walker/ Wight attack at Hardhome. I thought in this episode that was going to dominate conversations at the Wall and Castle Black about the threat from the North and affect the people (so they reach out to each other). Instead we get animosity laden silence as a convoy of Wildlings march through the tunnels; then through Castle Black to the Gift and Samwell commiserating with Jon as it was occurring.
We are then back into the political circles and maneuvering that has dominated the show for five seasons all over the globe. (So much for the White Walker King raising their dead comrades in front of them all, Right?)
The intrigue of not knowing much about the White Walkers is now eroding any care I have for the other storylines because these creatures’ only motive is destruction (of the other characters and storylines that have been going on for five years.) You would think this huge attack would be a great opportunity for the people of Westeros (and us) to learn more about the White Walkers and how they relate to the rest of Westeros. Perhaps if they start making these two factions meet with story more, the more I will care about the relevance of the characters and storylines in around Westeros to this bigger picture? As it stands now, I feel like I am being tossed between two separate types of TV vehicles: a Good versus Evil Fantasy Adventure versus a Medieval Political Drama.

The Bad:

*Story wise* almost everything for me was predictable. All these things require deliberately withheld established outcomes and we weren’t given any reflection from the participants to give them any more drama.

  • Ramsay is successful at his attack on Stannis (as intended to get Stannis desperate enough to sacrifice Shireen)(He wasn’t even on camera to get his reactions!!);
  • Jon moves the Wildlings to the Gift with only a serious look on his face and little dialog (as intended for the ultimate battle ahead);
  • Stannis finally makes his ultimate sacrifice to further his cause (as intended to help him defeat Roose at Winterfell)(Devoid of emotion or reaction. He wasn’t even present until she was burning);
  • Arya was bound to have a run in with Ser Meryn (as intended to kill him). (I have to admit Arya has no one to bounce her emotions off of so that getting her emotional read on Ser Meryn past vengeance is mine is hard to pull off.)
  • Ser Jorah is victorious in the arena (as intended from going back to his former slave owner);

*Drama wise* it left me feeling meh: There were three things where I felt anything:

  • Shireen being burned alive:

The only strong feelings I had were utter horror at listening to Shireen scream for help from her parents as she was being burn alive right in front of them. Stannis didn’t seem conflicted (which I thought he should be); just emotionally hollow. Selyse I would have thought would be into this and she was surprisingly against this. We were given no acknowledgement that the Lord of Light was pleased with the sacrifice either to give a bitterness to Stannis’ decision or remorse for his actions. So all I got was ‘horror of watching the burning alive of an innocent little girl.’

  • Prince Doran allowing Jaime to take Myrcella back to King’s Landing with Prince Trystane:

I was surprised by his mercy to Ellaria and the Sand Snakes. That whole storyline (starting with the Cobra with the necklace in its mouth) has been too simplistic for me. It’s pretty clear to me Ellaria was the one who sent the necklace to Cersei. If it was or wasn’t, I don’t care enough about the story to care. So all I got was ‘okay, the story shifts back to King’s Landing.’

  • The attack on Dany:

The Harpy attack was a surprise, however once I go back in my mind to the senselessness of Ser Jorah going to his former slave owner from the previous episode, it becomes contrived and I always knew Dany would be okay. ‘The Drogon scenes looked cool.’ That was about it.

The Good:

There were tiny moments that gave me some amusement or made me feel good:
  • Mace Tyrell attempting to sing (I am surprised Ser Meryn didn’t throw him overboard earlier if he was doing that at sea.) (Perhaps he will be working in the house band for the GOT equivalent of the Love Boat from now on?)
  • One One (The Giant) walking past the Men of the Night’s Watch
  • Ser Davos giving Shireen the Stag
  • Drogon roasting Harpies in the Arena
  • Dany flying away on Drogon
  • Bronn getting elbowed to the face by Prince Trystane by Proxy

The Unknown:

  • Is Rattle shirt a Wight at this point?
  • Are their Wight Giants somewhere?
  • What is it Stannis has gained by torching his daughter in front of his men? Their devotion or morale? (Aren’t they mercenaries?) Is he devastated by his actions? If anything, I think he’s now dead inside (hollow). His relationship with his daughter for me was the warmth and love in his character. What has the Lord of Light provided to him to warrant this decision as being destiny or worthy?
  • Who is the leader of the Harpies? Members seem to be in both the lower and upper classes.
  • Where is Varys?
  • Where were the guards in Stannis camp?       They didn’t have a fortress so one would assume there would be a line of perimeter guards securing their camp.
  • Will Arya kill the thin man this time? Will she have a chance?
  • Will she use the poison for Ser Meryn instead?
  • When will Jon talk to his men about what happened at Hardhome?
  • Will Ser Jaime be able to visit Cersei when he gets back to King’s Landing?
  • How will Ser Davos react to the sacrifice of Shireen? Will he desert Stannis?
  • How will Dany respond to the Sons of the Harpy attack?
  • Will she take her dragons out of the dungeon and keep them by her from now on?
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Game of Thrones: Season Five: Hardhome (S5E8): Comments?

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Thoughts:

This episode delivered big time!!

  • Boy, Tyrion could talk his way into getting anything he wants. I love how when he knew Ser Jorah was too much of a liability, he quickly figured out a way to get rid of Jorah without getting him killed; whilst preserving Dany’s integrity with her people and simultaneously drawing himself closer to being one of Dany’s trusted advisors and also giving him access to wine.
  • Wow!!! Cersei is in hot water!!! Fornication, Treason, Incest and the murder of King Robert! That could be basically everything she’s done wrong…However, I think the incest part is only with Lancel. I don’t think it includes relations and children with Jaime.

Here’s my logic on this:

S5E7, Lady Olenna told Baelish if ‘If my house should fall, I will have nothing to hide.’ Lady Margaery is part of that house, so I think this also goes for Margaery losing her crown as queen as well.

The whole point for why Joffrey was murdered was so Margaery could retain the crown later on by marrying Tommen and give House Tyrell power and heirs in the Crownlands.

This means Tommen has to stay legitimate and nothing can happen to him. Therefore he can’t be exposed as the child of Jaime and Cersei.

Therefore, Cersei cannot be exposed as having incest with Jaime.

If we follow Roberto’s theory (A Pod of Casts S5E7 The Gift Podcast) about Baelish blackmailing Lancel:

This means to me Baelish blackmailed Lancel into only admitting he had incest with Cersei or he would tell the High Sparrow additionally that Cersei had incest with Jaime and the King would become illegitimate which will bring shame and ruin over House Lannister and cost them the Throne and Stannis would end up being the rightful King. Kevan Lannister would also probably kill Lancel for doing that.

  • It appears then that the narrative revolves around what does the Faith of the Seven charge Margaery as punishment for perjury if she throws herself on Mother’s Mercy before a Trial?
  1. If it’s death then Tommen has to step and do something (as you guys said last podcast). However, he appears to be cowering behind closed doors with no appetite. That leaves Qyburn using the Mountain to crash through dungeon doors to rescue Margaery and Cersei like the Kool Aid Pitcher in the Kool Aid commercials. Or if Tommen gets some courage in his anger and despair, that leads to a battle between the crown and the Faith Militant.
  2. The other way this can go is Margaery will be released and still be Queen. Cersei ends up facing whatever the punishment is for incest with Lancel only and the regicide of Robert. Tommen remains in Power. Cersei goes along with this because nothing will happen to her legacy (son and daughter) or her brother. She may end using Trial by Combat to escape a court ruling and use Qyburn’s version of the Mountain as her proxy.

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The Good:

  • Tyrion has balls. Dany debated whether to execute him or not and he says if she chooses to allow him to live one day he would tell her why he killed his father, however he would need more wine then what they are drinking.
  • I loved the logic the Wildlings have with Jon Snow and vice versa. The Wildings are still frenemies to each other and now with Men the Night’s Watch.
  • Valyrian steel kills White Walkers! Awesome!!
  • This was the most intense, fast paced, muddy, gory battles I have ever witnessed on this show! I loved every bit of it!
  • The King of the White Walkers raising the dead in front of Jon Snow and the Wildlings was eerie powerful and reinforced Jon Snow’s line about the Wildings joining the Army of the Undead!!
  • Sansa now has something that Ramsay doesn’t know; that she knows her brothers are probably still alive! The longer she keeps that a secret, the longer Theon stays alive.

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The Bad:

For me most of the bad is with Cersei and the stuff happening at King’s Landing.

  • Cersei says to Qyburn of the High Sparrow ‘I made him. I rose him up from nothing’. If that is the case (and the High Sparrow only became powerful from Cersei and not by the populace around them) then this is simplistic soap opera type of writing for me. I am finding it hard to believe that Cersei would so quickly be able to give the High Sparrow and his flock more power than the City Watch and then allow for the Queen and then herself to end up in jail. It makes her look like an idiot who doesn’t know how to use her absolute power rather than delusional about the extent of her power and I think the show runners were going for delusional and failed.
  • In order for Cersei to be delusional in her assessment of her perceived power, as others have put it so brilliantly here, the show runners need to show the reality of the High Sparrow’s ascension to a place of power by helping the population of Westeros on his own; prior to his involvement with Cersei.
  •  We need to see people being in trouble and being assisted by the Sparrows (especially after Rob Stark’s assassination in the Riverlands at the end of Season Three.) Unfortunately we have never been provided more than one scene of them doing this over the past two seasons. One scene of the High Sparrow serving up soup to the poor in Season Five doesn’t cut it. We need the interactions and opinions in a number of scenes from the populace to establish his power over the populace; how disenfranchised they feel about their feudal fueled circumstances and to show what a moral, well intentioned man he is. If the Show runners had built up the ascension of the sparrows using the details provided by @Syrio would have brought out how delusional Cersei is being right now.
  • The stuff above would only help establish how powerful the High Sparrow is with the people, however it still doesn’t give us the extent of the power the Faith Militant have over the land which in turn better establishes how delusional Cersei is being. What we needed additional was a formal royal decree announcing the Faith Militant have more power than the City Watch, so it is established. Otherwise you are left saying, why doesn’t the City Watch or King’s Guard bust Cersei (or Queen Margaery) out of Jail?
  • Ser Kevan is now Hand of the King, so I think his logical his first order of business is to find this Royal Decree enacted by Cersei and discuss it’s redaction with the King.
  • Speaking of the King, I don’t understand why Tommen is so stupid and feels so powerless. Doesn’t he know the King’s orders reinstated the Faith Militant? If he knows this can’t he also decree an order that dismantles them as well? Again, this goes back to what the decree about the reinstatement of the Faith Militant actually allows.

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The Unknown:

  • What is the Mother’s Mercy for Ser Loras, Queen Margaery and Dowager Queen Cersei? The High Sparrow said the punishment depends upon the acts themselves and the degree of contrition. I would say Cersei has no contrition whatsoever so she stands the worst chance of fairing well (as far as the Mother’s Mercy goes). What if the woman she threatened in this episode and last represents the Mother’s mercy? Oh boy!!
  • What does Dany mean by She’s going to ‘Break the Wheel’? Does she mean eliminate King’s Landing or the Iron Throne? We have seen it in ashes a couple of times already. Once in Bran’s sights and another time when Dany saw it in the Tower of the Warlock.
  • Why does Jorah want to fight for Dany? What will that prove? What will it accomplish?
  • I suppose Ollie is an ally now to Samwell and Gilly?
  • Why did Theon/Reek tell Sansa he didn’t kill Bran and Rickon? Is it because he’s been broken by Ramsay in a way that makes him tell the truth and feel shame and deserving of punishment for killing those farm boys? The confession did provide Sansa with hope about her family and her situation. If Ramsay ever finds out won’t that lead to him being beaten or killed by Ramsay? I don’t think Sansa would ever tell Ramsay she knows her brothers are alive, however Reek might tell Ramsay he told Sansa the truth about the Stark boys right?
  • Will Sansa ever tell Baelish her brothers are still alive?
  • If the Snow’s so deep an army couldn’t get through (according to Lord Bolton), how is Stannis going to lay siege to Winterfell? Wouldn’t it be equally difficult for his army to attack Winterfell?
  • What precisely is Ramsay going to do with 20 men to Stannis?
  • How many Wildlings were at Hardhome before the battle? I believe Jon only was able to rescue 5K of them right?
  • How many Wildings are now amongst the dead and how many are at the Wall right now? There’s supposed to be 100K total. It’s unclear how many are currently at the Wall. Are there more Wildlings hidden in some other areas as well in the North? Shouldn’t there be more giants?
  • If Bran or Rickon are ever found alive how does affect Sansa’s value over Winterfell?
  • Where is Stannis getting his supplies from? Castle Black?
  • Will Lana (Arya) be successful at her first hit for the Many Faced God?

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I think the White Walker King wins this week’s Game of Thrones.