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Another 50 minutes, another 15 scene changes. The diverging plot lines and scattering characters of Game of Thrones continue to make the feel of this season more than a little frantic.

We start off with Jaime, or more accurately, with Jaime's severed hand. In any case, both hand and man are much the worse for their night among Roose Bolton's men. Weakened, and dispirited, the Kingslayer's only defender is his erstwhile captor, Brienne. Just a couple of days ago, these two were literally at eat other's throats, now they find themselves awkwardly bonding.

Down the road in King's Landing we catch up with the always interesting twosome of Tyrion and Varys. Tyrion is still more than a little fretful about his nose-chopping experience on the battlefield in which one if his supposed allies took a swing at his head, almost certainly on the orders of darling sister Cersei. He's looking for some evidence that will let him act. To Tyrion's surprise, rather than directly answering his questions, Varys tells the story of his castration.  To everyone's surprise (including readers of the books) Varys even produces the man who handled the knife. Varys reassures Tyrion that vengeance will come in time, which may comfort Tyrion, but honestly this scene made me think less of The Spider. It's just far too direct and unsubtle for the Varys we know, love, and don't trust as far as we could throw him.

And then we have to go inside to talk over the rest.

Long dogleg north to the tattered remnants of the Night's Watch expedition still hanging out at Craster's filthy encampment. Sam lovingly watches as Gilly delivers her baby—a boy child who definitely does not have a bright future.

Quick as whiplash, we're off to see Brandon dreaming of the tree-eyed crow, and then ...

Back to Varys. This time the master of whisperers is chatting with prostitute turned Littlefinger's right hand girl, Ros. After spending even more time extending the joke about squire Poderick Payne's bedroom prowess (note: this kind of thing really doesn't work in this choppy format) Ros gets around to warning Varys that Littlefinger is a threat to Sansa.

And now, golden King Joffrey being his charming self as he laughs over all the scenes of death, torture, and general misery that have played out in the High Sept. It raises the revolt-o-meter to 11, but Margaery once again continues to show that she knows exactly where every lever in Joffery's little mind is located. The Queen of Thornes and Queen regent Cersei trail behind, ostensively planning the upcoming wedding, but Cersei is mostly sweating bullets over Margaery's performance. Joffery has increasing treated mom like dirt, Margaery has the boy king eating out of her decolletage, and has Cersei noticed just how young, beautiful, and beloved of the people Margaery is? You betcha.

Way up north, north to Theon and his rescuer. The mysterious benefactor claims to be of the Iron Islands, and tells a touching tale of watching Theon's departure as a child. He draws Theon out as he supposedly brings the would-be Price of Winterfell closer to safety.  Theon confesses that the bodies hanging from the walls of Winterfell were not those of the Starks, but two handy orphans. Thank you Theon and ... here's your reward, back to the rack for more torture. Have fun.

A quick visit to the Jaime pity party (okay, he has reasons) where it falls to Brienne to go beyond protecting Jaime and push him to live with his loss.

Back to King's Landing where it's Cersei's turn to go running to papa for some fatherly reassurance. Gee, how did that turn out for Tyrion? It doesn't go much better for Cersei. Complaining about everything from Margaery's control of Joffery to her second place role in a man's world, the nicest thing Tywin says in reply is that Cersei is not as smart as she thinks she is.  

Now it's time for a visit between Varys and the Queen of Thrones in this very Varys heavy episode. Not that I'm complaining. The dialog between these two master manipulators is by far the best of the night, maybe of the season. Dame Diana Rigg has the role of acid-tongue queen absolutely nailed, and if anyone gives her a hard time, I expect she could still deliver a quick karate chop.

Margaery and Sansa. Sansa and Margaery. The contrast between the former queen to be and Joffery's new match could not be greater. Sansa is ... poor Sansa. Margery is so smart, so damn good, that its impossible not to like her even as you know she's manipulating people. In this case, she's offering to wed Sansa to her brother Loras. It's an idea sure to thrill Sansa. Poor Sansa.

From the two lovely ladies next to warm water, we zip back to snow and darkness as the Night's Watch conducts a grim funeral. Suspicions of Craster are growing among the men, and why not? Craster really is a daughter raping bastard. Mormont losses control of his starving, frightened men, but the bloodletting doesn't end with Craster. When the Lord Commander tries to take the situation in hand, he gets a knife in the back. The situation boils into crow-on-crow chaos while Sam escapes with Gilly and the baby. It's shocking, sure, but lacks a lot of the punch it had in the book. One, the men of the Night's Watch in this group have no impact as characters outside of Sam and Mormont, they're all just scruffy guys in dark clothing, and deprived of actually seeing the battle against the wights, we don't have all the sympathy we should have when these guys start to panic.

Anyway, it's time for Arya. A little Arya can make any week better. Unfortunately, a little Arya is all we get.  The brotherhood leads Arya to their cavern headquarters, where we finally meet Beric Dondarion, the lightning lord. Arya levels murder charges against the Hound, setting up a fight for next week.

And finally we're off to Astapor, where Dani prepares to deliver a dragon in exchange for her slave army. She first surprises the traders by speaking old Valyrian (how much time has Emilia Clarke had to devote to speaking in tongues?). Perhaps the slave dealers realize that all those insults they tried to slip past Dani were not so funny after all. If so, they don't get to think about it long before they are both parboiled by dragonfire and speared by their own former slaves.  

Seriously, who thought handing over every trained mercenary in town was a good idea?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:15 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've finally decided (4+ / 0-)

    ... that Varys is my favorite character.  I've always adored subtle, crafty characters I know are so much smarter than I'll ever be, and hope Varys continues to play this role.  

    Dany's ploy with the dragon was disappointingly obvious, although the coup de grace was delivered with satisfying special effects.  Ending an episode with flapping dragon wings is never a bad idea.

    I'm happy I haven't read the books (having no time to do so), and will enjoy the series to its end.  I'll get around to the books someday, probably when the series has receded a bit into memory so they'll be fresh delights.

    If you want to cut Social Security, you're not a real Democrat.

    by Dallasdoc on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 06:29:18 PM PDT

  •  What is the attraction? (5+ / 0-)

    What is the attraction with the "Game of Thrones?"

    My daughter visits one weekend every couple of months and when she's here, everything stops when Game of Thrones is on the teevee.

    I watched one episode and that was it.  It seems to be nothing but an excuse to show blood, gore, and nekkid women.

    I'm re-reading "The Sound and the Fury" for the umpteenth time . . . it'll be around long after Thrones is not even a footnote.

    •  I'm usually into this kind of thing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, elmo

      But I just can't keep up with the plot. I watched the first two shows and then I quit. Yes, I will admit it is too complicated for me.

      •  Hey Brooklyn (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wwjjd, SuWho, Orinoco, jakedog42

        I hated the first two or three episodes, but I stuck with it and now I am hooked.  The funny thing is I held out watching it for so long because I thought it was a cheap LOTR knockoff and medieval fantasy isn't really my cup of tea, but I have to admit, aside from Mad Men, it's my favorite show.

        •  My daughter tells me this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          No Exit

          Because I was turned off by the first couple episodes, too. I think I'd rather read the books if I'm going to get into it at all.

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:41:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read the books (10+ / 0-)

            But one caveat: if you think the shows are gory, you may not appreciate the books sometimes. GRRM doesn't write them watered down.

            That said, I read all the books that are out and have re-read them, though not since the shows started, and then I got Charles to read them all, too, between season one and season two. I had a hell of a hard time not saying anything except "never trust a Lannister" until after he'd read them himself.

            Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

            Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

            by Kitsap River on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:57:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm really not afraid of gore (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tommymet

              written or on film, in fact I'm an action movie junky. I think I will read them. Elebenty billion people can't be all wrong :)

              "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

              by high uintas on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:16:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not the gore so much as the damage (4+ / 0-)

                There are scenes in the books - and readers, you know one of them I'm thinking of - where I could barely stand to read - if there were a way to read while hiding my eyes, as I  would do in a scary movie, I would have done it.  George is not kind to his characters - and the damage is very disturbing to contemplate.  Which I guess means pretty good writing.

                •  I was hooked on them (0+ / 0-)

                  long ago, when he actually started the series...:)  I reread them each time a new one came out--and then I stopped because I swear, I've read that one scene as many times as I can bear in one lifetime.  If he ever finishes, maybe I'll read them one last time--but I don't know if I'm strong enough.

                  I think "if there were a way to read while hiding my eyes" describes that scene perfectly.

                  "Teachers are the enemies of ignorance. If the teachers win, Rush and his allies lose." Stolen from Sidnora, 12/15/12 with thanks!

                  by kmoore61 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:37:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Are you referring to the wedding? (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't get mad. I get stabby!" - Fat Tony D'Amico

                  by sizzzzlerz on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:11:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Ha! "Never Trust A Lannister" (4+ / 0-)

              Has become a well used phrase around our house.

              If I had my way, I would repeal the 2nd Amendment. Since I can't have my way, I support a ban on all assault weapons. Now!

              by Tchrldy on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 03:45:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I second "just read'em" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas

            Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

            by No Exit on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:00:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hardly a LOTR knockoff (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trumpeter, Caipirinha

          I found Game of Thrones to be deeper and more interestingly complicated than LOTR. Plenty of grey area among the black and white (good and evil). Heavily character driven and the main characters aren't one dimensional. I found LOTR hard to get through, but I breeze through GoT.

          The way I described GoT to a friend that hates fantasy was to take modern day politics, put it in a medieval setting that isn't our world, but is 'real' like our world was in those times. Then add a dash of 'magic' that is the fantasy aspect of it and there you have it. She was hooked on the first episode.

          I found that friends that don't like the black and white, good vs. evil fantasy stuff you'll get in the oldies but goodies like LOTR and Star Wars end up liking stuff like GoT better BECAUSE of the complicated story. Saying an orc is bad because he's just bad didn't go over well with these friends. But we all can see why you can never trust a Lannister.

      •  It's easier to follow the show (7+ / 0-)

        if you binge-watch, at least the first few episodes.  The major players will distinguish themselves and it'll all start making much more sense.

      •  that's cause it's all politics (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, milton333, caul

        and who has the energy to watch a fictional show about politics after spending every day all day follow the kabuki that is US politics?

        now, have you tried out Justified?  there's a show that i imagine you would love.

      •  Secret: You don't have to keep up with the plot. (7+ / 0-)

        You don't even have to keep up with all the characters - just a few of the main ones, that is - not all 287 or howevermany are credited in Season 3, or the thousand or so extras assembled to create that army of startlingly obeiscant geldeds.

        As for the attraction Old Red seeks, aren't "blood, gore and nekkid women" sufficient? What, you want honor, integrity, Good Guys? Those are few and far between. And thank goodness, or we'd start getting soft. Just when Winter is Coming.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:25:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you read the books first, the storylines, which (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        loblolly, trumpeter

        are complex with a multitude of characters, would be a lot less confusing to you.

        It's what I did. Read the first four all in one go in the summer of 2011.

        Give it a try, they're available for ebook readers like Kindle, I know I still see them on the bestseller lists on Amazon.com every week.


        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:51:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Read the synopses on the HBO site (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caipirinha

        it'll straighten it all out and make it more enjoyable to watch

    •  Never say "this book is a flash in the pan" (8+ / 0-)

      They said the same thing with the Sound and the Fury once upon a time.

      A reviewer once referred to Grapes of Wrath as "pulp garbage"

      In the end, the reason why these work is because they do create people who are in love with a story or an idea; and what stands the test of time is hard to know.

      But I rarely dismiss anything so quickly.  ;)  A hundred years from now, we might find that Harry Potter series replaces all of the love the Narnia books that existed when I was a kid, and is viewed by many in the same way Tolkien is, and GRR is viewed as the kind of writer that Steinbeck is now  ;)

      You never know.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:33:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Game of Thrones is storytelling (9+ / 0-)

      not literature.

      Dismissing it because it doesn't 'measure up' to literature is unfair, and a bit snobbish. The political intrigue tends to dominate over the sex and the gore, but that might not be everyone's cup of tea.

    •  It's mostly about politics! (12+ / 0-)

      And thus in the wheelhouse of this site's readers...

      It's a fantasy re-telling of the Wars of the Roses, with major and minor houses all contending either for the throne or to be close to the holder of the throne...while in the distant North monsters beyond telling gather, but (most) everyone south is too busy playing the Game of Thrones to notice.  

      (Although not intended by the author, that's oddly reminiscent of how most political leaders aren't paying near enough attention to the threat of global climate change - they're more interested in their own personal advancement.)

      •  True, except (0+ / 0-)

        that I don't recall the end of the Ward of the Roses being a deposed British monarch riding in at the head of a horde of screaming Mongols, and yet I see Daenerys doing that.

        That said (and you should have seen the look George gave me when I mentioned it) I'm waiting for the musical version.

        I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

        by trumpeter on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:15:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not a deposed Brit Monarch (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trumpeter

          But a nasty bastard with no legitimate claim, at the head of troops composed mercenaries and traitors, who came to usurp the throne from the legitimate monarch. Said bastard proclaims himself king before the battle, and then marries another claimant from a bastard line to appease the populace.

          The only good thing the Tudor line produced was Elizabeth I.

        •  Two problems (0+ / 0-)

          One, Daenerys isn't a deposed monarch, she's just the heir of one.

          Two, she hasn't ridden the horde anywhere yet, and, in this series especially, you shouldn't make assumptions about what you think will happen.

          "No children have ever meddled with the Republican Party and lived to tell about it." - Sideshow Bob

          by ThinkerT on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 09:49:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe it works better if you read the books first (0+ / 0-)

      I really enjoyed the books, but they do jump from character to character, changing point of view every chapter. A series of cliffhanger chapters with individual story arcs all woven together by the overall story arc.

      Maybe the television version is just a super cos play multi-player RPG. Does your daughter like the Renaissance Faire?

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:44:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am a fan of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, nominalize, mbayrob, caul

      The blood, gore, and nekkid women.

    •  I felt the same way initially. (7+ / 0-)

      Then I binge watched seasons one and two in about three episode chunks and I was hooked. Game of Thrones is awesome. "Why did I wait till the end of season two to watch this?" The wait for season three was rough...lol.

      Political intrigue, familial conflict, world changing events, actual subplots that pay off in unexpected ways (that make other broadcast TV shows seem like small potatoes), excellent acting, great characters, etc. No perfect heroes, no perfect villains.

      It's a show that has a little bit of everything.

      And it's a story with no singular protagonist whose eyes we're forced to see the world through. You want to see the world through Varys' eyes? Or Arya? Or Cersei? Or (shudder) Jeoffry? You can have it your way. Any character can be a protagonist or antagonist.

      Also, the production values. It's like watching a movie in my living room. The details into the costumes, the sets, the ersatz languages, the cinematography...it's all quite beautiful. It's ambitious and fantastic.

      This is my favorite show on television, and I'm extremely picky about what I watch.

      The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

      by cybrestrike on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:16:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "It seems to be nothing but an excuse... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, tommymet, trumpeter

      ...to show blood, gore, and nekkid women."

      you say that like it's a bad thing ;-)

      United we bargain. Divided we beg.

      by mellowjohn on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 04:19:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Few things: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Raven in Philly

      1)  It's a matter of taste.
      2)  The books are much deeper than the TV series.
      3)  The more speculative fiction you read, the better it is.  George's world building is very nuanced (if very bloody).
      4)  There is some philosophy deeply hidden in the pages.  Some of that doesn't come across on the screen as well.

      But yeah, it's not for everyone.  It is complex and twisted and pretty deep.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 09:40:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Y' never know what'll make the Front Page. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:23:32 PM PDT

  •  Uh-huh. nt (0+ / 0-)

    The Great Awakening Is Afire! Think outside the box.

    by franklyn on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:26:43 PM PDT

  •  Dany is BAD ASS!!! (5+ / 0-)

    Great ending this week.  I cannot wait to see Joffrey wet himself when she shows up with dragons and 8,000 rather dedicated soldiers.

    The Meek Shall Inherit NOTHING -- Frank Zappa

    by LickBush on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:33:55 PM PDT

  •  I'm enjoying the show but,umm... (8+ / 0-)

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:34:01 PM PDT

  •  It's a small thing, but I can't help myself (5+ / 0-)

    It's "Dany," not "Dani," when you want to refer to Daenerys by her nickname.

    And that last scene just kicked so much ass!

  •  GOT books got my wife to get me Julius Caesar (4+ / 0-)

    in translation, of course,

    She went to Boston Girl'd Latin, so she had to translate it and read it ... then she got me some Tacitus and some Plutarch --

    it made me have even MORE contempt for the political naifs pissing their diapers against the lying fascists -

    it's all about self serving, stealing aristocracies.

    We got blackberrys and I-Pads and Power Point and we ain't got magic and we ain't got dragons and we ain't got blood in the streets or Cicero's hands nailed to the Senate's doors by Marc Antony ...

    and ALL got blood sucking parasitic elites who care about themselves, first, last, and always.

    I'm on reading #3, since I have no memory outside work anymore ;)

    the story is dense enough, and my day job takes enough out of me - the first reading was skim skim skim what next what next what next, the 2nd reading was slower - this time is a few pages a night and nighty night!

    we don't have cable or dsl, so, we're buying the DVDs as they come out. I love this show.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:38:50 PM PDT

  •  Show keeps getting better (5+ / 0-)

    And I like how they are departing from the books.  It is a must obviously, but I like the pacing this season.

    The sequester is the new Republican immigration reform plan. Make things so bad here in the US that no one will want to live here.

    by Mote Dai on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:45:01 PM PDT

    •  I like the departure too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mote Dai, caul

      Most notably, the departure isn't so much in the storyline, but in the perspective.  Each chapter in the books is told from the perspective of one character, and only a handful of characters get chapters.  (Well, a relative handful).  So we actually only hear about a lot of things second-hand.  Like anything with Robb and his wife--- Robb hasn't had any chapters in the books so far, so we really only see him when he has dialogue with his father, mother, or siblings, who have had chapters.  His marriage came straight out of the blue, but we never got to see any romance develop (and certainly no sexy descriptions!).

      Same with anything between Joffrey and Margaery-- we only get Cersei's description.  While I find it masterful the way Martin manages to paint things with the perspective of the point-of-view, I really really find it painful to be inside Cersei's head.  Exactly the kind of person I hate to be around, much less in the mind of (She would have fit right in on FOX News if it existed).

      So there's a lot of new views of old stuff, and some interesting details filling in.  

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:12:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're misreading Cersei (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        loblolly

        She is a woman in a medieval-era Man's world, and she has and will do whatever it takes to keep the reins of power wound round her pale, delicate smooth-skinned hands.

        Lie.
        Cheat.
        Steal.
        Murder.

        Anything.

        It doesn't make her stupid or foolish (which is what I'm assuming you mean by your remark about Fox News). It makes her determined.

        Of course, she's also completely self-centered and egotistical, but she was raised to be exactly that. So in a certain way, she's a total success.

        Until Joffrey is no longer sitting upon the Iron Throne as King. Then things are going to get really interesting for Cersei.


        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:03:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  by Fox News I meant something different (5+ / 0-)

          Willing to do what it takes is a feature of every character in this book.  That's not what bothers me.  What I mean is that Cersei is paranoid, delusional, self-centered, self-serving, and sadistically manipulative in a blunt and obvious way that fools no one (i.e., not the way Littlefinger or Varys are).  But since she has so much power, via her father and her son, people have to acquiesce, which she wrongly interprets as having pulled one over on people.  As Tyrion is wont to point out every time reality bites her in the ass.

          Her decisions are driven by impulses of petty revenge rather than to serve an actual strategy, and she prefers the cheap thrill of humiliating people (Sansa, Tyrion, Margaery, etc) over doing anything particularly useful or wise.  Despite this, she's always ready with a rationalization or excuse in case anyone calls her out on her bullshit.  If she put half as much effort into doing what's right (even relative to this universe) instead of making excuses for her impulses, she'd have far more success.  She's just like nearly every conservative jackass out there, especially those in the media, especially those on Fox News--- right down to the blonde hair.

          And in the books, it's painful to read her chapters because we have her perspective, so we SEE the way that she just sees the world differently, we live her narcissistic paranoia, and we have to follow her "thought processes".  It's masterfully written, but I hate her so.  

          Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

          by nominalize on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:30:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Completely Agree. (0+ / 0-)

            As stated below, Tywin is right in that she's not nearly as smart as she thinks she is. To some extent she IS doing what only a woman in this society can do, but the difference is exactly as you've pointed out. Majaery is a better example thus far in the show of what it takes to be a woman in a position to take political power in the only way they can and you can see that she probably has learned this not just because she's smart, but because her grandmother (love Diana Rigg!) appears to be a professional at it. I was very pleased to see Tywin kind of put Cersi in her place in this past episode. He pretty much summed up what a lot of the viewers were thinking. And Joffrey is a direct result of Cersi's actions in terms of being a mother, I think. The kid probably already had sociopathic proclivities, but her teachings combined with his misogynistic attitude mutated into something terrible.

        •  You say "stupid" as if it's mutually exclusive (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul, loblolly, trumpeter

          While the line is not from the book, Tywin (and Tyrion) are right -- she really isn't as smart as she thinks she is.

          Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

          by mbayrob on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 12:38:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is on the front page and very spoilery (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, caul, Caipirinha

    just a heads up

    also, i LOVE the books and the show!!

  •  I've gotten hooked (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, caul

    just started watching this season,love the soap opera of power.  Yes, Tyrion is fascinating; Margaery is full of scary promise of betrayals to come; I can't get enough of Dany's steely soul cloaked in a Viking-like princess beauty. And Arya, can't wait to see more of her so I can figure out why I wish I could be carrying a sword beside her. As if I really needed to be watching more tv.....

    We want you to terminate the GOP's command. With extreme prejudice. (from "Utopia Soon")

    by oddmike on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:08:22 PM PDT

  •  GOT is just plain fun (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul

    entertainment. It's well written and produced. Binge watching is the way to do it. I am doing that now with Justified, another great show. Boyd Crowder is so damn funny.

    " these are questions for wise men with skinny arms " Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo

    by ursofakingwetoded on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:35:10 PM PDT

  •  The Hound (5+ / 0-)

    Rory McCann, starring as the huge, scarred, scary Sandor Clegane, gives a great speech defending himself as he's brought before the outlaw brothers.  Admits killing a kid but (Correctly) denies its murder, since he was the Prince's sworn sword and doing the Prince's bidding.  

    The books are outstanding, for anyone who has not read them, and I've a theory part of the reason for GRRM's delay in finishing the last installment was his (understandable) depression over Dubya Bush and his administration follies.  

    •  He is a staunch liberal so maybe you're right n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul
    •  He's also been working on his other series (0+ / 0-)

      Wild Cards, which I was hooked on in the late 80s and the 1990s.  He's revived the series recently and I for one am supremely happy he did.

      Is it courageous to propose tax cuts but not identify a single tax expenditure to rein in? Is it courageous to target your deepest cuts on the poorest Americans, who vote in lower numbers and provide little in campaign contributions?

      by caul on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 06:22:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  George is (0+ / 0-)

      a very methodical writer, and won't put out something until he is satisfied with it.  That is the reason for how long it takes, or so he said last year at Comic-Con.

      His political frustrations he just takes out on his characters.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:27:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

        I heard he admitted that he got caught up with the trappings of fame (convention appearances and the like) and kept putting off finishing the last book.

        "No children have ever meddled with the Republican Party and lived to tell about it." - Sideshow Bob

        by ThinkerT on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 09:52:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  he talked about (0+ / 0-)

          getting caught up in the planning of the TV show, and the advantages of the money appended to that for a while, which slowed things down a bit, but which also nudged him forward, as he needs to finish the books before the show catches up.

          But he also said he never stopped writing, just slowed down to figure things out.

          He also had some publisher issues.  He was working on Storm of Swords when his deadline hit, and he wasn't done, so he clipped the more finished chapters, polished them a bit and sent them on, then set to finishing the others (which became Dance with Dragons), while outlining the next book.  That's why SoS and DwD don't include all of the major characters.

          And he tends to put things off until he knows in his head what will happen, and sometimes he isn't satisfied, so he waits until it congeals.

          Being a writer is not as simple as the media makes it out to be.  :)

          I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

          by trumpeter on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:17:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm very frustrated by Martin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, JohnnySacks

    He is endlessly prolific in his invention of compelling characters and interesting cultures.   He is capable of getting a reader to really care about a character.

    The fact that he invariably mutilates and kills them before their dramatic promise bears fruit almost amounts to reader abuse. Yeah, the Dark Ages sucked.  I'm sure his point is that life isn't fair and even the good guys come to bad ends, but he doesn't even make good dramatic use of his good guys before getting rid of them.

    We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

    by bmcphail on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:21:21 PM PDT

    •  A case in point: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, Portlaw, caul

      ........spoiler below............

      the season one buildup of Ned Stark, followed by his summary jerk from the stage, is the template Martin follows almost without exception throughout the series.    

      We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

      by bmcphail on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:25:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hate to break it to you, but.. (0+ / 0-)

        Ned Stark was a "viewpoint" character, not a main character, and lovely little Sansa is the reason he's dead. If we're mapping fiction to reality, Ned Stark = Richard, Duke of York, father of Edward IV.

        The true "stars" are the Stark children -- and what happens to the wolf pups gives a pointer to those children's fates.

        A word of warning -- NEVER take for granted that a viewpoint character will make it to the end of this series...NEVER.  

    •  you missed the entire point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, bmcphail, trumpeter

      If you think he continually kills off main characters, then you've completely misunderstood who are the main characters.  If a main character is defined as someone who gets a chapter from their point of view, then the only main character to permanently die in the first 5 books is Ned Stark.  The dynamic might be slightly different in the TV show, but that is still the underlying message.

      •  A main character (0+ / 0-)

        Is one who exists for some dramatic purpose important to the larger work.  I question the necessity of having so many dozens of characters who are given "main character" treatment but who are subsequently shuffled offstage without enduring effect on the larger story.  It's a weakness of the works and is irritating besides.

        We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

        by bmcphail on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:00:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have to disagree. (0+ / 0-)

          The main characters in his tale are the Stark kids, the Lannister kids, Dany, and a very few others.  The others you seem to be referring to are only seen as 'major' because George wont let them remain 1- dimensional.

          I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

          by trumpeter on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:30:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Then The Rest Keep Circling (0+ / 0-)

      In and out of the spotlight in what's looking like a perpetual loop with tiny incremental plot developments (with questionable purpose) at each cycle.  I like the books, don't get me wrong, but I'm wondering if they're doomed to fizzling out before the finale (if there even actually is any finale planned)

  •  Thane of Groans n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul
  •  I've greatly enjoyed the books and the show. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul

    One big difference I've noticed between the 5 books I've read and the almost 3 seasons of the show I've seen is that the books seem to have an obsession with food verging on what I consider to be "food porn", frequent very graphic descriptions of feasts and sometimes everyday meals in graphic detail. I don't detect the same  interest in food on the tv show.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 02:04:59 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the litterary insight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rented Mule, caul

    Please keep it up.

    How many episodes until Joffrey's wedding? I'm getting tired of waiting.

  •  Waiting for the next book in the series! (0+ / 0-)

    Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

    by loblolly on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:13:28 AM PDT

  •  Grilled, not parboiled, but maybe char-broiled (0+ / 0-)

    The dragon flamed the slave trader. He was not put in a pot and boiled.

  •  You might think you're saving spoilers for over (0+ / 0-)

    the fold, but in reality, there's lots of us who are going to be catching up in the distant future.  It's not broadcast TV.

    That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

    by Inland on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:47:58 AM PDT

  •  Dani's surprise (spoilers) (0+ / 0-)

    From an audience viewpoint, yes, Dani's little twist ending was predictable (I actually predicted it at the end of the prior episode - no way she would actually give up one of her dragons, and certainly not to a douche like the slave master), but in GOT world, it was less so. The slavers sell off chunks of Unsullied to kings and warlords all the time, and what all of them have in common is that they're amoral power-seekers who will, sooner or later, want more Unsullied. Turning on Slaves-R-Us, in that context, is like a coke addict taking a torch to the coca fields. Not something the growers would expect. Selling every slave in town? Payday! Don't worry, we'll have more in a week.

    That's why Dani keeps surprising everyone - of all the contenders in GOT, she's the only one that seems to have an actual core - she knows herself, what lines she will and won't cross, and deftly head-fakes everyone else who assumes she doesn't. Even Jorah and Barristan still don't quite get that the "little girl" is craftier and more grounded than they give her credit for.

    It's actually what makes her my second-favorite pick for the throne, after Tyrion Lannister (and yes, I know that would never happen), and the two are much alike - both underdogs denigrated by their relatives who surprise everyone by outhinking their opponents, while have the kind of real character and compassion that only comes from hard knocks. It's why they both excel at the Game, while, say, Cersei - who sees herself as a player worthy of her dad's confidence - is actually pretty suck at it.

    "We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. We are monkeys with money and guns." - Tom Waits

    by Jaxpagan on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 08:46:59 AM PDT

  •  Not as good as The Walking Dead but still plenty (0+ / 0-)

    ...interesting. They could take a page from TWD as kill-off a few beloved characters to reward viewers patience.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 09:36:02 AM PDT

  •  My two cents: (0+ / 0-)

    Regarding comments about Varys... I love Varys. I find him interesting. I can agree to some extent about the issue of him taking the guy who cut him, as that whole scene was rather direct for him. But at the same time, I find that it might add a dimension to him that I hadn't considered before in that he's still human and prone to make mistakes like being direct. Yet at the same time, I saw it as a bit of a trust he was putting in Tyrion by not just telling him the story of how he was cut, but showing that he has this prisoner too.

    As for love to hate characters: Littlefinger. That bastard creeps me out and I completely agree with Varys' summation of him. I think Varys is the only one that actually understands how dangerous Littlefinger is, save for maybe Tyrion now.

  •  Some observations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradise50, nomandates

    Those wishing to see how Joffrey reacts to Dany's arrival in Westeros with her army and dragons will be disappointed.

    Keep in mind the series' (of books) title is "Song of Ice and Fire," which should be a major clue as to the final decisive battle—which will not be for a mere iron throne. When you have a young lass with fire breathing dragons and an army of White Walkers who only can succumb to fire…need I say more?

    Martin's use of Point of View chapters is a very successful literary device: it enable us to be present and experience scenes we would only hear about second hand. Davos, the former pirate, for example, is our eyes and ears in King Stanis's court, offering our only clear view of Mellesandra. And he provides a vivid experience of the Green Fire defense against the invading ships, from someone on the receiving end.

    But being a point of view character is no guarantee that a character will survive. We have already seen that to be true for Ned, and if we are to believe the last scene of book five, another narrator bites the dust (although Martin is known for cliff hanger switches).

    •  ...I love game of Thrones... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates

      ...but if you read the books, you know it all already...

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

      by paradise50 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:12:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  12 Seasons? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates

      Storm of Swords, book three, was considered too long for one season on HBO; so it will be concluded next season. Book four and five are just as long, so four more seasons for them. Book six and seven haven't been published yet (possibly not written yet), but Martin seems to get more expansive as he ages. My guess is the HBO run of GOT will span 12 seasons. I don't see how the young cast can keep from aging.

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