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Last week I was thumped about the head and shoulders for spreading spoilers across the front page—said spoilers consisting of a single scene. So be it known: I'm about to discuss a scene. From the show. That already aired.

But not the first scene.

Instead I'm going straight to the Say-Yes-To-The-Dress scene, the scene in which our Sansa (poor Sansa) perches at fountain's edge and speaks coyly with the only person in all of King's Landing who can match her clumsy word for clumsy word in awkward conversation, Ser Loras Tyrell. At first Loras can only exchange a broken sentence or two, but as they move into discussing the wedding, Loras waxes eloquent about his dream wedding. And of course Loras has a dream wedding. In all of Game of Thrones, there is no character who is more of a walking, talking, teary-eyed stereotype than Loras Tyrell. It doesn't bother me that the relationship between Loras and Renly was made more obvious (not to say graphic) than in the books. It does bother me that Loras, who comes across as charming and as cagey as the rest of his family on the page, seems so much less on the screen. It's not that he's a "sword swallower" as his grandmother so charmingly puts it. It's that he's a dolt. It's that we so rarely get reminded that Loras is supposed to be quite skilled with both an actual sword and with politics. There's a lot of humor in the scene with Sansa, but not so much that I wouldn't prefer a Loras who could navigate King's Landing with a little more aplomb.

However, that's not the major sin of this scene. In detailing his Barbie Dream Wedding Gown, Loras is quite specific about the design including that the dress should have "French sleeves." Um, what kind of sleeves?  Surely you meant to say Dornish silk, or Myrish lace, or ... What is this "French" of which you speak?

(Update Several viewers with better ears than mine believe that he said "fringed" sleeves. So... nevermind. You're off the hook this time, Loras.)

Anyway, come on in and read the spoilers.

We start off the week in the north, where Sam, Gilly, and the baby are still limping away from the disaster at Craster's. Sam continues to be incompetent, which is just about the only point to this scene, but we do take a moment to admire an obsidian blade. Ooo, shiny.

Just down the road a bit, Bran and company are still working their way north. Osha and Meera are both determined to show that they are the real tough outdoors-girl of this group, and that the other is just a pretender. The back and forth gets heated enough that Bran has to step in and tell them to cool it. Drowsy brother Jojen has a seizure and reveals that he dreamed of Jon Snow "on the wrong side of the wall." Which doesn't tell us much, but maybe it'll get this crew moving a little quicker.

Speaking of Jon, it's wall climbing time. The group of wildlings lash on their cunningly made crampons and sharpen up their ice axes for an assault on the sheer eight hundred foot ice face. Ygritte takes this moment to first kid Jon Snow about his sexual inexperience, and then far more shockingly, reveals that she knows that Jon is still true to the Night's Watch. It's just that she expects him to be equally true to her. How exactly Jon is to pull this off isn't explained, and Jon doesn't seem to have much of a clue. Of course he loves Ygritte. Who wouldn't love Ygritte? But keeping your firey wildling woman isn't exactly in the Night's Watch rulebook. Good thing there's all that Huge Threat of Screaming Death just ahead to take his mind off this conundrum. The climb up the wall, mostly shot from an overhead angle designed to aggravate the acrophobia of even the world's most fearless climber, goes slowly upward one painful swing of the ax after another. After a goodly collection of heart-pounding near misses, we get something that isn't a miss. More than halfway up the face, a crack suddenly propagates across the ice and a huge slab falls away, taking with it most of the wildling crew. Jon and Ygritte are left dangling and Orell, the wildling above them on the rope, moves quickly to cut their line. Fortunately, Jon manages to snag his ax into the ice just in time and he and Ygritte finish their struggle to the top where they can stare daggers at Orell before taking a dreamy look off the Wall to the south (where Westeros has never looked quite so much like a matte painting dragged from David O. Selznick's garage).

Way down along the Kingsroad, Arya is still hanging around with the Brotherhood learning to shoot and waiting for her ransom to be arranged, when who should ride in but Stannis' priestess pal, Melisandre. Hey, so this is where she went! The red priestess is surprised to learn that red priest Thoros has managed to raise Beric Dondarion from death six times. Melisandre says it's a power that drunken old Thoros shouldn't have, which you can probably read as "hey, why can't I do that?" Thoros seems to be the only person in the Seven Kingdoms with this ability, which makes his backstory of lost faith even more touching. It's a good story, and filling in Thoros's background is almost worth this long trip from Dragonstone to the Riverlands, but Melisandre is there for another purpose. Despite the talk of "brotherhood," Thoros and company don't hesitate to turn over blacksmith (and King Robert's bastard son), Gendry, for a fat sack of gold. Melisandre tells Gendry that he has an important role to play in the future of the kingdom, but somehow being taken away in chains never seems like a good thing. The only one brave enough to challenge the red priestess is Westeros' very own roaring mouse, Arya. Instead of being angry, Melisandre sees something strange in Arya and predicts they'll meet again. In the meantime, I wouldn't be surpised if Arya adds the priestess to her morning roll call of "people I want to kill."

And now to our mystery location, where Theon Greyjoy gets to enjoy the fruits of his betrayal, bad planning, bad leadership, poor decision making, and general weaseltude in the form of really, really painful torture. This week, that torture is both physical and mental ... but mostly physical. I'm betting Theon is thinking that doing what Robb wanted in the first place seems like a much better idea now.

And speaking of Robb, the King in the North is negotiating with two sons of Walder Frey. Lord Frey isn't exactly thrilled that Robb reneged on his wedding vows, but considering the situation his demands are more or less reasonable: an apology and Caitlin's brother Edmure, now the Lord of Riverrun, to marry one of his daughters. As usual, Edmure's thoughts don't wander far from his own desires, but he finally seems to realize that losing the war would be a bad thing, and that marrying a Frey girl he hasn't seen might be preferable to being skewered by Lannisters. So, another wedding in the mix.

One of the things that Walder Frey wants is Harrenhall, which is currently held by Roose Bolton.  Bolton is still playing host to Brienne and Jaime.  Brienne (who looks pretty uncomfortable in an elaborate dress) still has a bit of that buddy-cop movie vibe going with Jaime, and when the two of them realize that they're to be separated, they protest. Bolton gets the Delicious Pause of the Week Award as he tells Jaime that he should know "about overplaying your ... position." Rim shot. In any case, Bolton orders Jaime off to King's Landing, while Brienne is to be held for her role in setting the Kingslayer free.

And finally, that scene in King's Landing.

Watching Loras and Sansa (poor Sansa) from the window, Tyrion and Cersei contemplate the actual marital arrangements ahead. Tyrion notes that Sansa may be getting the worst of the deal, but that Loras will come to know "a deep and singular misery" in his marriage to Cersei. Which certainly seems true no matter how you read that sentence. Poor Loras. Cersei seems honestly less concerned about her personal predicament, but about how the Tyrells seem ready to sleep their way into control of the kingdom. The one point of agreement shared by these mismatched siblings: they both just want brother Jaime to come home. Climbing down from the tower, Tyrion breaks the change in wedding plans to Sansa (and to Shae). The scene is chopped short, but it seems a good deal kinder than the treatment that Sansa got in the books, in which Tyrion's coming up the aisle was a surprise.

Cross town, papa Tywin is securing his new made arrangements with the actual co-regent of the kingdom, the Queen of Thornes. Dame Diana Rigg continues to do her best Diana Rigg plays Katherine Hepburn plays Elanor of Aquitaine plays the Queen of Thornes, and it continues to work wonderfully. Poked about Loras' proclivities, her thorniness pushes right back at the widely rumored (and true) talk of incest between Cersei and Jaime. This is the one thing that gets a rise out of Tywin, since this is really the game in a nutshell. Everyone can suspect that Joffrey isn't the rightful heir to the prickly metal throne, but it's another thing to know. Over the course of the conversation, Lady Olenna delivers the three best lines of the week providing not just her frank admission about her grandson, but she also gets to inform Tywin that Cersei is too old to be a bride saying "trust me, I'm an expert," and delivers her verdict on Tywin's brutal negotiations with "it's so rare to meet a man who lives up to his reputation."

Standing next to the world's most uncomfortable chair, Littlefinger and Varys begin what at first looks like just another in their many sparring contests, but this time the verbal fireworks turn dark. Pitch dark. Littlefinger reveals that he's aware that his assistant Ros has been providing information to Varys. Make that former assistant. In what has to be the week's most shocking scene, we see that Joffrey has used Ros for target practice using the same crossbow that Margaery was handling last week. I wonder if even the redoubtable queen-to-be would do if she knew. In any case, those book readers who complained that Ros had too large a role in the show can stop worrying. No more Ros.

The result of this scene is that Littlefinger comes off a good deal harsher than in the book. A good deal less subtle. And Varys looks a good deal more vulnerable.

Sansa sniffles as she watches Littlefinger's ship clear the harbor, realizing that she's lost not just her marriage to Loras, but her chance to escape the city.

In this case, maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Originally posted to Devil's Tower on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Having read the books, (15+ / 0-)

    watching the series is like watching molasses drip—in cool weather. So is waiting for the next book.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:01:52 PM PDT

  •  Not French, (10+ / 0-)

    but "fringed."

    Scene was wrong, though, and completely made up.

    "What everyone wants is a job and some hope."--RFK

    by For Dean in Dixie on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:02:58 PM PDT

  •  Having not read the books, (8+ / 0-)

    I'm finding the constant jumping around more irritating this year than in the previous seasons.  Maybe because some of the story lines -- mainly the ones with the strongest female characters -- seem far more interesting than other, darker and more tedious scenes.  

    The most interesting scenes to me this week were the confrontations between Arya and Melisandre, with its intimations of future excitements; and of course the meeting between Tywin and Lady Olenna.  The Sam and Theon story lines seem eminently cuttable, for instance, and I wonder if they're there to control the budget, which might otherwise balloon even further.

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

    by Dallasdoc on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:06:08 PM PDT

  •  We're watching the second season. (8+ / 0-)

    We don't have cable, so don't see HBO.

    We've read the books--will George EVER finish the series?

    So, we know the storyline and like it; well written, great dialogue in the books, good character development.

    But it's DARK.

    And by dark I don't mean the writing, I mean the productions. Don't these guys have any money for lights on the set?

    OK, I know a dark meme on the screen fits with the vibe of the story. But these are so dark, so dimly lighted, that we're having problems actually figuring out what's happening.

    Scene after scene is nothing but totally black background with a few guys in armor prancing  around.

    Lighten up!

    When atlatls are outlawed, only outlaws will have atlatls.

    by wheeldog on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:06:09 PM PDT

    •  He'll finish the books (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat, Portlaw, lyvwyr101, Seneca Doane

      He works at his own pace, but he'll finish them. I have the feeling that Martin is an utter perfectionist, which would explain the 5-6 year gaps between books.

      •  He's getting a bit long in the tooth (7+ / 0-)

        so he needs to step it up a bit. I, too, am long in the tooth and would like to read the whole set before I step off the mortal plane.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:45:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Odds Against (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Portlaw, lyvwyr101, lonemorriscodem

          I've been following the series very closely since "96.  On his blog, Martin laments having to devote so much time to these books, noting he'd like to work on other projects, and has been having health issues.  He's a slow thoughtful writer, so even under the best of circumstances working as hard as he might they'd be coming out slowly.  Most somewhat educated guess is that he's found so many interesting plot lines the books have expanded enormously.  I think he'd have been better served by finishing the beginning storyline about the wolf pups found in the snow and then writing many of the other stories as side novellas or novels but I'm unsure if that would have worked and I think the books are great.

          Anyone thinking they should chide GRRM about working too slowly:  I'd suggest not.  He's well, well aware of the issue.   About two years ago, he posted that his wife constantly reminds him; that he posted that he received  numerous complaints about the slow pace, including several folk pointing out they will likely die before the series ends.  Its now almost 20 years since it started.  Also, GRRM's friend Robert Jordan died before completing his Wheel of Time series.  

          On a somewhat good note, he's written that he's told David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who are coordinating the the HBO  series, how the main story lines end.  On a bad note, IMO Benioff and Weiss are taking more and more liberties with the book's story lines.  Some work (after all, the small screen is a different medium and they have budget constraints) some are to me pretty annoying as they change the character threads. For example, in the books Loras Tyrell is the youngest of three brothers and the HBO series has decided to remove the older two brothers (minor characters but who drive some of the Tyrell family dynamics) completely.  

          •  "every time you bitch about how slow (3+ / 0-)

            George is  writing the next book, he kills off another Stark"

            Or something like that - I believe it was Neil Gaiman, or another fantasy writer friend of Martin's who said that a few years ago.  Also "George RR Martin is not your bitch."  That was Gaiman, I'm pretty sure.

            Seriously, I cannot imagine how oppressive it must be for any writer of an epic series like this to wake up every day and know that this "THING" is waiting for you to keep writing it, and the fans are breathing down your neck, and now, the TV production adds even more pressure.  I think of Conan Doyle trying to just kill off Sherlock Holmes because he couldn't stand it any more.  I salute Martin for sticking with it - it's his creative vision, he doesn't owe any of  us anything.  Of course I hope he finishes it - and hey, all you people implying he's a decrepit old guy, he's in his early  60's, for cripes' sake (as am I) so don't dig his grave just yet.

          •  He managed to crank out the first 3 books (0+ / 0-)

            in less than 5 years - 1996 for A Game of Thrones, 1998 for A Clash of Kings and 2000 for A Storm of Swords.  

            Most consider those books better than Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, even though we waited longer for the two last books.

            However, he also had a problem with the last two books because he was supposedly starting to write book 4 with a five year gap after the close of A Storm of Swords - so, we'd pick up with Bran, Arya, etc all being aged five years.

            Once he was into it, though, he realized that the five year gap wouldn't work for everybody and trashed the whole idea and started over again.  Then, ran into more problems and decided to split the books between characters.

            So, that's my long-winded way of saying that he's hopefully worked out the problems he had with books 4 and 5 and will crank out the last two (or three?) books a bit quicker than he did the last two.  He's done it before, so he can do it again.

            "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

            by newjeffct on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:22:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  A couple of thoughts on the last two episodes: (8+ / 0-)

    One, regarding the...erm..."oral servicing" of Ygritte:

    This happens before she bathes.  This is a dirty, primitive, Iron Age woman who's probably been walking around in those furs for weeks if not months between baths.  So...eww.  

    Second, funny coincidence: I've been working on a space diary about Saturn's icy moon Tethys, and there's a Cassini image that reminded me of the ice wall:

    Limb Crop

    Knowing the future is easy: Today's trivia becomes tomorrow's sacrament, and vice-versa.

    by Troubadour on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:27:01 PM PDT

    •  For all practical purposes, they are aliens (5+ / 0-)

      ....on a world without venereal disease or TB or leprosy or the plague or any of the other maladies that were famous landmark events of the real middle ages.

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:54:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They have a sense of smell, don't they? (6+ / 0-)

        Knowing the future is easy: Today's trivia becomes tomorrow's sacrament, and vice-versa.

        by Troubadour on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:02:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As Napolean Wrote To Josephine (6+ / 0-)
          "I will return to Paris tomorrow evening. Don't wash."
          But yeah, I would have done the bath thing first because they would have both smelled like ass.

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:08:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  you get used to it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          until a 100 years ago, people took baths once a week
          if they were well off

          •  How would Jon Snow be used to it? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            1.  He's a virgin.
            2.  He's from south of the wall where people bathe more.
            3.  He's been walking around in frigid weather where nothing smells like anything but Too Cold.
            4.  Then he walks into this warm hot spring place where Ygritte takes off her clothes, that she's probably been wearing for months without washing them, and all the body odors would waft out.

            Knowing the future is easy: Today's trivia becomes tomorrow's sacrament, and vice-versa.

            by Troubadour on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:58:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Prior to the Environmental movement, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lonemorriscodem, Seneca Doane

              All large cities stank like heck.

              Between 1900 and 1950, there were terrible smogs from
              Cars, Industry, water pollution,,,,

              If you want to see 1945 Glasgow, Cleveland, London, Stuttgart,  all you have to do is spend a month in Beijing,
              shenzen, jakarta, New Delhi,,,,,

              Between 1650 and 1900, all large cities smelled like horse crap.  With Horses a primary motive power source, the streets were littered in horse crap.  And until the sanitary water movement, most cities had open sewers with people chucking human waste otu windows.  

              Really, try imagining that set of smells.

              If you can't imagine, it take a trip through the slums of calcutta, manila, rio de janero, new delhi, heck try visiting a refugee camp in somalia, or syria, gaza,,,,

              Then, most people didn't bathe very often.  Rich folks bathed once a week, and you didn't launder clothes very often. There were no vacuum cleaners, there were no good scrubbing chemicals.  With fires the principal heating and cooking source, buildings stank of smoke.

              Then there was no refrigeration, so foods oftentimes were a little rotted, or soaked in vinegar, or salt to preserve them.
              so your taste buds and nose were used to rotting,foods or smells.

              So,  with that level of smell as background,
              can you really imagine, one womans crotch smells that bad?

              that's the that,

              Dude, i lived in Glasgow, cold, wet, damp, i couldn't imagine what it was like during the industrial age or pre car, pre rail until I went to india.  Just add those smells, and ive been in alleys where the trash smelled like ammonia so thick my eyes were tearing up.  

              I don't know where you've been or where you've travelled, but, visit the third world and the developing world.

              you will learn a lot.

    •  That was cheesy as hell (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The entire scene, I mean.  What were you thinking, you gutter-minded kossacks! ;)

      And the "thing you did with your tongue" dialogue afterwards... gag me with a spoon already.  

      I have to add that it's a myth that medieval folk went around festering in filth. It's true that taking full baths in one's house was rare until the advent of running water, but that was only due to sheer logistics of hauling a tub's worth of water and heating it. Cleanliness was not rare--- people in the country bathed in creeks and rivers, and people in the city had public baths.  When nothing was available, people did at least scrubbed their bits and cleaned their face and hands.  

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

      by nominalize on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:32:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      frozen beaver has no stank.

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

      by ursofakingwetoded on Tue May 07, 2013 at 05:11:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was joking about that with my buddies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:55:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pheremones (0+ / 0-)

      They has them.

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."

                                                             -- Saul Alinsky

      by Seneca Doane on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:21:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're half-right about Loras. (8+ / 0-)

    In the books, he is an extremely capable knight, confident, even cocky, and well-spoken, but is not at all the political animal that his sister and grandmother are. And while the books usually only hint at Loras' sexuality, Jaime Lannister is rather blunt about it on one or two occasions.

    Some other problems seem to be TV-driven, as is the case with Gendry, who may become a semi-royal burnt offering; in the books, another Baratheon bastard played this part, and he's apparently been written out of the script. Same with Tywin's threat to appoint Loras to the Kings Guard and deprive the Tyrells of a male heir--in the books, Loras had 2 older brothers (one of whom was to be the one to wed Sansa Stark), so this threat would make no sense. Some compression is understandable--we certainly have more than enough characters to keep track of as it is--but it leads to questions like, "How the hell did Melisandre even know Gendry existed, let alone who his father was and where to find him, given that the Brotherhood goes to great pains to avoid being found by anyone?" And if HBO's answer is just to shrug its shoulders and mutter something about magic, it seems more like laziness.

  •  Are there any spoilers rules? (5+ / 0-)

    It's fine either way. I just haven't read the books, and I'm kinda new to DKos and do not want to get spoiled (again).

    I'm actually avoiding reading the diary or comments while asking this, so apologies if it's written in 72 point bold font somewhere. I have found GoT fans to be generally more forgiving than the average bear when it comes to these such annoyances.

    •  Generally yes, but there have been exceptions. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, lyvwyr101

      I think it's safe but...I have read the books and might not notice some bit that would irk someone who hadn't.

      "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

      by sceptical observer on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:55:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)

        I must admit, I'm susceptible to having my feathers slightly ruffled by unnecessary spoilerish comments.

        Like, for example, when a reader simply cannot resist the urge to jump in and quash a debate as wrong or irrelevant. It's spoilerish because they're confirming that a plot line will not happen, and it's being a grinch because debating is half the fun.

        Anyway, this week's episode...

        I agree with people here and elsewhere about how little we learned in this week's episode, but I think there were some really interesting moments that I just can't dismiss as filler.

        -Sam's knife - When the guy on the screen reminds everyone of literally the specific moment when he acquired a mysterious item in the course of casually dismissing its significance to an unaware party, it usually never amounts to much of anything.

        -It makes me sad to see Arya becoming so angry. It seems like every episode, she grows more and more angry with the terrible world in which she lives. I worry about the path that she may take.

        -Theon's torturer had a strange moment (given the situation) following Theon's apparently correct guess about his location and the identity of his captor.

        He paused for a moment, and then said something to the effect of "Aha! You didn't ask if I was lying!", or something. It was like he was sad because he had to stop, and then as a result of some great epiphany, he was allowed to continue justifying the torture of his victim. It appeared to be a moment of true happiness. Cold shivers.

        Also, it doesn't seem completely impossible that the Kingslayer has shifted course toward something more noble.

        •  Good surmises. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Puddytat, lyvwyr101

          "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

          by sceptical observer on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:48:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wasn't Arya always pretty angry? (4+ / 0-)

          I remember even as early as the trip down from Winterfell, once Joffrey got the butcher boy in trouble...  and probably even before that.

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

          by nominalize on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:36:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's true (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lyvwyr101, barbwires, Seneca Doane

            From the first time we met Arya, it seems she's struggled to make sense of things that were wrong, but that she could not change.

            It's interesting that you mention the butcher's boy because I think that's where her path began. Like two episodes ago, in the Hound's trial by battle, at one point she screamed out "Kill him!" That surprised me. I know that she hates the Hound, and I think I understand wishing death upon him for killing her friend. It's hard to speculate because I've never been there.

            But screaming "Kill him" in the heat of the fight taking place right in front of her seemed like more than just anger. To me, it felt like bloodlust.

    •  Though I've read the books (6+ / 0-)

      I try to never hint at something in the books that hasn't yet been on screen. I do talk about the difference between the books and show, but try not to explore how that may affect future episodes. No matter how hard that can be.

      •  I must disagree. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm sorry, but based just on this diary, I have to disagree. I think you're exploring future episodes more than you realize. Let me give examples.

        but we do take a moment to admire an obsidian blade. Ooo, shiny.
        This seems clearly intended to suggest the significance of Sam's knife. If I had to guess, you're winking to other people who have read the book - people who also got to enjoy an uncontaminated reveal.

        As to tallking about the differences between the books and the show, I think you reveal more than you're realizing. For instance, here:

        The result of this scene is that Littlefinger comes off a good deal harsher than in the book. A good deal less subtle. And Varys looks a good deal more vulnerable.
        Confined to this one particular scene, this doesn't tell much.

        The problem is that, although subtle differences have been noted between the books and show, the destinies of the characters remain unchanged.

        So, when you say "Varys looks a good deal more vulnerable," it implies that Varys' may prevail in future dealings where his future is uncertain. Normally that in itself wouldn't matter, but here's the catch - you have read the books and you know the future.

        Finally, this line:

        In this case, maybe that's not such a bad thing.
        Was that intended to be anything but a spoiler?
        •  Well... (5+ / 0-)

          When there's a scene in which the only thing that happens is we look at a knife, I think even the most casual observer is likely to get the point. (Pun intended)

          And when we've just seen that the woman Littlefinger was treating as his assistant was casually and cruelly discarded, it doesn't seem like a poor suggestion that Sansa is better off keeping her distance.

          Not sharing spoilers doesn't require that I treat the scenes as if they didn't happen.

  •  What's up with that repellant torture scene? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, lyvwyr101, Leftcandid

    Think it went on a little long? I ended up fast forwarding through it. In general, I thought last night's episode was one of the weakest, with barely any plot advancement.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:52:54 PM PDT

    •  Waste Of Time Better Used For Gratuitous Nudity nt (5+ / 0-)

      No wait, nudity is never gratuitous....except for "About Schmidt"......

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:06:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Being the 6th episode of the season (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rabel, lyvwyr101

      I sensed it was more of a "put everyone in their place for the build up to the season finale" kind of episode. Setting the board, so to speak.

      Hopefully there will be some bigger advances next week. And dragons.

      30, m, MI-14. Make Rick Snyder a one-term nerd.

      by Silvan Elf on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:16:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, that was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      gratuitous. and with little information provided. what was the point?

      •  Well, it confirmed that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the guy torturing Theon is a dark, twisted, mf.  Also, we don't know who he even is, who his lord is (assuming he himself isn't the local lord), or which king he's actually fighting for.  I suppose it's Robb, but at this point I don't know if anything he says is true.

        And also, we know that Theon is right and royally screwed.  I can't imagine we'll see much more of this, now that we can pretty much see the endgame.  The question of course is: Now that the torturer knows that Bran and Rickon are actually alive, what will happen to them?

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

        by nominalize on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:40:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  All those Theon scenes are a waste of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, shmuelman, newjeffct

      limited screen time. I can't help but think someone in charge in this production enjoys torture, or assumes the audience wants it, either of which is disgusting. Theon has no part to play in moving the plot along at all until the last book (so far) which is a long ways off from where the tv show is now.

      •  so you are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OceanDiver, lyvwyr101

        surprised that fans of these books are into brutality???

        and by fans, i include the producers.


        •  There's war, and low tech violence, which means (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lyvwyr101, shmuelman

          people get mangled and slaughtered, sure. It's a very dark story. But even in its own universe there's a point to the violence meaning moving the story along. I've read all the books, and that's how it's handled there. Even implying cruel actions, which can be scarier (like Cersi's Dr Mengele).

          So you may be right about the producers. And SOME of the fans.

          •  i've read and reread the books (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OceanDiver, lyvwyr101

            but not as a fan

            it is a horrible addiction and martin is a very creepy man who i never, ever want to be around.

            the violence towards women especially is in the books is very, very sick and his readership is into that violence for sure. the work appeals to a certain kind of adolescent male who wants to dominate women.  that some of them are out and out into torture is obvious.  

            i've been on the boards too, so i have a good idea of what they have to say.

            but knowing what happens to theon is necessary to the story later on and we can't do the flashback in his mind on screen.  that said, they are definitely dragging the torture on in a  titillating way and i have seen people on the boards who already have posted they could watch those scenes all night.

            •  I'm a fan and I am NOT into brutality (5+ / 0-)

              I'm a woman in my early 60's, and while I flinch at a lot of the brutality in the books, especially towards women, I see it as consistent with the world Martin has created.  Take a look at The Tudors if you want to see what brutality really looked like in  actual history - Martin is simply echoing what humans have done to each other over the ages.

              As to your assertion that Martin is "creepy" - well, I read his blog, and I've seen a couple of interviews with him, and he doesn't strike me as creepy at all.  He's a staunch liberal, politically, loves and talks about his wife quite often, and just generally seems like someone I'd definitely enjoy meeting and getting to know.

              You're maligning a lot of people you know nothing about when you say the fans of the books are adolescent males who are into torture.  Seriously.  That's nuts.

              •  not at all (0+ / 0-)

                i have a good handle concerning how diverse that group is and i have a good handle concerning what is really going on in the books and i plan a diary on it.

                i admit i am addicted; that doesn't mean i have to deny what these narratives are doing.

                i don't care a whit what his stated politics are, not a whit.

                as i mentioned, i've been on the boards, actually quite a lot.

                read this:


                •  Maybe 'tis the "boards" (0+ / 0-)

                  that are "creepy."

                  "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."

                                                                         -- Saul Alinsky

                  by Seneca Doane on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:28:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  They've been doing some time-shifting of events (3+ / 0-)

        As a concession to the logistics of creating a TV show.  Things that occur in a later book may be moved to seasons that theoretically correspond to an earlier book.

        I have my suspicions that some things which seem to be getting disproportionate screen time now are being show because Martin told the producers that they are necessary to set up things that occur in books yet to be published/written.

        In the case of Theon, I do not believe the intent is to cater to a torture fetish.  I think the intent is to manipulate the audience into regretting any wishes that bad things would happen to Theon.  It's supposed to be as shocking and contrary to expectations as Ned Stark losing his head.

        •  It may also be a commentary on torture itself (0+ / 0-)

          ... and not a positive one, either.

          "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."

                                                                 -- Saul Alinsky

          by Seneca Doane on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:29:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane

        However, with acting contracts the way they are, if they did things like they did in the books (Theon disappears at the end of book 2 and then reappears in book 5), they might have to hire a new actor to play Theon 3 years later.

        So, I think they want to keep the actor around, so are playing out the scenes that were implied through flashback in book 5, instead of having to have a long expositionary scene that explains Theon being tortured.

        "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

        by newjeffct on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:26:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  not having read the books yet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    patbahn, lyvwyr101

    I won't be disappointed :)  I love the show..maybe better to see it and then read the books. I'll let you know...thnx for the summary...Loras would not be my choice as a husband, but then Sansa doesn't seem very picky...well, at least until she found out about Tyrion. Tyrion is one of my favorite characters and a far better man than most... despite his drinking and debauchery. ;))

    "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

    by valadon on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:53:22 PM PDT

  •  Come to one of my archaeological digs and you'll (6+ / 0-)

    see plenty of obsidian blades up close and personal.

    Some are grayish, some a beautiful green, some dark black.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:54:35 PM PDT

  •  Just wondering: why are tv shows front-paged? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995, lyvwyr101

    Is it automatic because the writers are front-pagers?

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:02:18 PM PDT

  •  Tyrion - Marry Sansa, Get Your Wench in the Deal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, newjeffct

    It's a win/win - a sham marriage to Sansa and he gets to move in with his true love.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:03:57 PM PDT

  •  Katharine Hepburn (5+ / 0-)

    With two As. But I am thrilled thrilled thrilled someone else sees her Eleanor in Rigg's performance.  

  •  Am I the only one (10+ / 0-)

    who wants blond dragon girl to get on the damned island and start kicking some ass? These men are getting so tiresome. I want more dragons.

  •  Not that Jack Gleeson hasn't done a great job (9+ / 0-)

    with the character of Joffrey, but...I'll be REALLY happy when he finally gets his.

    30, m, MI-14. Make Rick Snyder a one-term nerd.

    by Silvan Elf on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:18:34 PM PDT

  •  My wife and I both looked at each other and said, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    patbahn, lyvwyr101

    "French sleeves?" - yes, he said that.  It was an editorial fuck-up...unless they're planning on introducing Champagne toasts at the reception in which case France needs to exist.  

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:22:53 PM PDT

  •  "The Climb" ending speech in last night's episode (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Was amazing.  Probably the best speech of the series.

  •  Arya's storyline alone would be best show on TV (4+ / 0-)

    There are so many phenomenal characters on television right now.  Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, Raylan Givens, Leslie Knope, Daryl Dixon, Don Draper...

    But right now my three favorite characters on all of television are on the same show.  Danaerys Targaryen, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister.

    Really loved this added depth to Gendry and Melisandre, appropriately taking some luster off of the Brotherhood.

    Was really shocked to see what became of have a character like that around for the better part of three seasons meet such a sudden demise. But as storytelling goes, it really drove home just how fucking evil Littlefinger and Joffrey are.

    The one show I'd compare 'Thrones' to would be 'The Wire'...a show which was famous for having no 'villains,' no characters who were wholly repugnant on every level.  Avon, Marlo, Herc, even The Greek had redeeming qualities.  The exceptions (that proved this rule) were State Senator Clay Davis, and the lawyer Maurice Levy.

    Now there are a few more villains on GoT ....butin terms of both utter repugnance and infuriating apparent immunity from justice... Littlefinger and Joffrey are the Levy & Davis of Game of Thrones.

    Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:45:43 PM PDT

  •  Season 3 is a mix of books 2 and 3 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, lyvwyr101

    which I found to be quite exciting. However, the pacing in the tv show reminds me more of the 4th and 5th books, which were dreadful. A whole lot of people traveling back and forth with no advancement of the plot. Much like what I've been watching.

    Get on with it!

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

    by sizzzzlerz on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:33:27 PM PDT

  •  Everytime I see his mug (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirk McQuigley, lyvwyr101

    I'm like - what's Carcetti doing in that silly outfit?

  •  Peter Dinklage On Entourage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, lyvwyr101

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:54:24 PM PDT

  •  I love the way the show writers (9+ / 0-)

    take advantage of the perspective to show scenes that the books only hinted at.  The books' chapters are all written from the first-person point-of-view of one of the characters, and we miss a lot of things because not all characters get a chapter.  For instance, Robb has no chapters, so we only see or hear about what he does secondhand, usually through his mother's eyes (Catelyn has chapters).

    You can write from inside a person's head when you're making a book, but you can't when you're making TV.  Luckily, the writers found a way to make the story richer.  A great example of this is when Lady Olenna and Lord Tywin have their verbal duel:  This scene isn't in the books, for the simple reason that neither has gotten a chapter, so the narrator wasn't there to record it.  Same for the Varys/Littlefinger moments together.  These are some of the best parts of the show, and they're only possible on the show, because of the shift in perspective.  

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

    by nominalize on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:54:47 PM PDT

    •  Great point! (0+ / 0-)

      I loved the character of Roz, even though she doesn't appear in the books at all, because she helped unify the narrative - until this last episode, alas - and showed us aspects of plot that took pages and many characters to relate in the books.

      I am in general not that worried about the series' deviations from the book, so long as the important events and plot lines are conveyed.  Things like disappearing Loras' brothers I can see being necessary to keep the complications from spinning out of control in the screen version.  As long as the writers work with Martin on how they're shaping the story, I don't have a problem with deviations.

      •  (book spoilers in this comment) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Ros did appear in the first part of the first book; Tyrion, um, partook in her services, but she was left in Winterfell and never came up again.

        I've enjoyed the deviations, although I worry a bit about having no idea how they'll tie in Melisandre taking Gendry away, since in the book Gendry later saves Brienne at the Inn.  


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

        by nominalize on Tue May 07, 2013 at 04:00:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This and That (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Jon Snow kissed a girl and she liked it. No, wait Jon Snow kisses a girls pussy and she liked it. My advice to Mr. Martin is  just pass the ball to someone else  to finish up and then do whatever you please. Jesus Christ on RollerSkates we will love you for it. You can supervise and still bask in all the fanboy/fangirl love and affection. I like seeing Brit Office creepy guy and Ceasar and  Brutus from rome getting some work.

  •  I've read the books...but, (5+ / 0-)

    I've also divorced them from the show.  Both the books and the show are thoroughly entertaining.  I do not give a bowl of neeps if D & D deviate from canon.  I find their work a refreshing connection of dots to get us from point A to point B; but, I fear their pace may out strip the supply line.  I have it in my will to place a mail slot in my tombstone for my offspring to slide down the late editions to my bones.

    •  I just hope Mr. Martin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      doesn't pull a Robert Jordan - passing away in the middle of writing an epic series.

      "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

      by newjeffct on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:30:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  DOn't worry (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Martin said he's sat down with the writes of GoT to hash out where he intends the stories to go, in case he dies before finishing the books. So, either way, we'll get an end.

        •  True (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There was an ending to Jordan's Wheel of Time series that just came out as well, via Brandon Sanderson using Jordan's notes.

          However, from what I read from comments that it's not quite the same as it was before, though he did do a good job of pulling the sprawling story together and moving it forward.  I quit the series years back around book 8 when it seemed to get stuck in place...Now that it's finished, I'm re-reading it from the start to pass time until Winds of Winter comes out.

          "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

          by newjeffct on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:56:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I bailed out around the same time. I loved the series for the first 6 books. Let me know if its worth going back too.

            •  Will do (0+ / 0-)

              I'm on book 6 now - Lord of Chaos - after which I think it starts to slow down.

              I have a long drive to work each day, so have been listening to the audiobooks.  They have two narrators - Michael Kramer for the male points-of-view and Kate Redding (I think) for the female points-of-view.  First time I've listened to a woman narrate an audiobook.

              "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

              by newjeffct on Thu May 09, 2013 at 06:15:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  As per Chekhov (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newjeffct, Leftcandid

    when an obsidian blade is introduced in [Episode 6] it must be used by the [End of the Season].....

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