A Murder of Crows: The final word on season five, part III

FTW

This week, we here at Watchers on the Wall participated in a round table discussion with writers from Tower of the Hand and Wars and Politics of Ice &and Fire to discuss Game of Thrones season 5. The conversation was lengthy and occasionally heated, and not all the participants were enamored of this season’s offerings. The discussion grew so long, we split it into three portions:

Part I: posted here at Watchers On The Wall.

Part II: posted at Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire.

And the newest and final part of the roundtable, shared today at Tower of the Hand. Today’s edition covers some controversial topics and the WotW writers speak their mind.

Head on over to Tower of the Hand, and please enjoy Part III!

I may have uttered the sentence, “Yes – even the ‘bad pussy’ episodes,” in this portion of the roundtable. You’ll have to find out for yourself.

118 responses

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    1. That was fun.

      It’s perplexing that they let someone who hasn’t watched the season review the season. Absurd. But Sue said in the piece itself more than I ever could.

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    2. They seriously had a guy who didn’t watch half the season contribute to this? Glad this is over to be honest. Good work Sue and WOTW staff, your contributions helped make this part better than the other two. But seriously, a review of season 5 includes a dude who stopped watching in April. Nice work, other sites.

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    3. Okay, I appreciate the obvious effort that went into facilitating this monster of a piece, but holy shit… so much whining. You know that old adage about putting a pig in a dress? Bitching and moaning is the pig here, and it’s a huge fucking pig.

      Now I am mostly referring to the folks from the other websites, although not all of them were awful and not all of the WotW contributors were on the top of their game. But for the most part, the WotW “party line” came off as optimistic yet thoughtful–pretty much as expected and consistent with the tone and quality that makes this such an enjoyable website.

      As for all of the “issues” that are being “discussed”… there’s NOTHING in here that us lowly average viewers haven’t already brought up and discussed at length on this very website during the season. The difference is that these other cats try to pad it with a bunch of big words and grandiose rhetoric in an attempt to sound like intellectuals or insiders or SOMETHING.

      Here’s the problem… when you use such a condescending, pedantic tone and then you don’t know the difference between “explicable” and “inexplicable”, or you contradict your own use of the word “unmitigated” within a signle sentence, you don’t come off as an “insider”; you come off as a dick. (Both of those examples are from part 1.)

      To go into specifics, the whole argument about Loras’ homosexuality angle being “lazy writing” at the beginning of part 2 is pure garbage. From the piece…

      “Plus – and take this with a huge grain of salt, as I’m not quite sure how accurate this is, since I haven’t read about it in a while – homosexuality wasn’t as big a deal as you might suspect. As long as you had children and continued the family line, you were free to be sexual with men, although it was viewed as less than masculine, mind you.

      It wasn’t until Christianity became a bigger and more powerful force that being homosexual became an issue.”

      To recap: this person begins by straight-up admitting they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about–but don’t worry, they’re going to keep talking anyway! in the course of complaining and trying to sound smart, this person addresses his own complaint! Unfortunately, he is then too dense and/or rabidly anti-show to even draw the parallel between “Christianity becoming more powerful” and the Sparrows becoming more powerful…

      Then, instead of somebody actually mentioning that important parallel between Christianity and the Sparrows, the homosexuality “discussion” just kind of disappears… comes back a bit later, out of nowhere, where the Tower of the Hand guy actually makes a good defense of the show storyline… and then is promptly ignored again… certain parts read like a very staged discussion, other parts read like an essay stuck into the middle of a discussion… the whole thing kind of flows weird, and many parts seem purely masturbatory, with no original insight or objectively viable criticism.

      I guess I just don’t understand the value or purpose of this discussion if the best and brightest contributors you can find are people who go from tired book purist complaints to complaints about the banality of “Drogon as vehicle of rescue” (i.e., a book scene) in the same paragraph…

      The cross-site discussion is a really cool idea, but if this is what you have to work with maybe you should just keep it in-house next season. Honestly, I stopped reading part 3 when I realized that one of the people involved in this DISCUSSION OF SEASON 5 straight-up says that he STOPPED WATCHING SEASON 5 AFTER THE 3RD EPISODE.

      This little gem from part 2 (and the fact that it went conspicuously unanswered) pretty much says it all…

      “Well, what would’ve been NON-problematic portrayals of sexual violence and homosexual persecution, in your opinion?” — Sue

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    4. Harma Dogememe,

      Everything you said. All of it. Totally right. I purposely avoid ToH and Westeros because I don’t like people pissing in my Cap’n Crunch. I like Cap’n Crunch. It’s not perfect, it’s has flaws, but I love it.

      This isn’t to say the show is immune to gaffes. Some things worked for me, others less so. But even my least favorite episode of GOT is 50 times better than anything else on tv.

      And yeah, maybe don’t let the guy who only watched 30% of the season chime in. Just a thought.

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    5. Ok, this one was a lot better in many ways (although I still don’t get why everyone was so focused on something so minor, which is the faith and its disapproval of homosexuality). I really liked how Sue called out Jim for not having even watched the entire season – I can’t believe that he still thinks that it is reasonable to criticise the show to the extent that he has in this thing without even having watched it fully. It’s absurd, and if I’d known earlier, I’d have just skipped all his parts.

      Overall, though, accounting for all three parts, I felt that the roundtable discussion wasn’t balanced at all, and thus made for an incredibly unpleasant read. I’m having a hard time believing that there was literally nothing that they found positive in one of the most acclaimed shows ever. I think that a lot of people simply took the negative side, since it is very easy to be negative and nitpick than to be positive and actually deeply analyze scenes – I think it shows that a lot of these guys are the “lazy writers” that they keep accusing D&D of being. Good job from the WotW crew in part 3 though.

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    6. I’m still amazed Bronn survived the season. Known deaths aside, pretty much everyone had him at the top of their death list before the season started! But he’s sung, fought and bewb-stared his way to another season!

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    7. I’d really like to see this Jim fellow explain himself. Not his opinions, we’ve already seen enough of that bullshit. I want to see him explain why he thinks it was okay to pull this crap.

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    8. As it is about season 5 in global, I will post my ratings of the season here.

      First, I’m not a book reader so that’s it.

      I liked this season. A lot. I didn’t LOVE it as I loved season 1 and 3. More comparable to season 2 for me, because the quality was drastically different from one storyline to another.

      So let’s do a review of the major storylines :

      – Arya : I thought this year showed an other side of my favourite character. A girl who starts to doubt about herself, about her identity (Needle), about her future. And I ADORED her storyline this season. From Maisie’s and Tom’s acting, to the mysterious and slow vibe of the House of Black and White, the killing of Meryn Trant, her blindness… Near everything was great.

      – Cersei : Her story was also great. I loved this new character, the High sparrow. I love the fact that she’s a mother who sees her beloved son slipping through her fingers, growing up and marrying another. It was just so heartbreaking to see her downfall whereas we can’t really stop ourselves from hating her. This is really GOT. Great cliffhanger also.
      But, I didn’t quite like the Faith Militant introduction (too confuse for me, too fast) and all about Loras, he’s been a bit disappointing…

      – Dorne : As many, I was not thrilled with it… as a whole it felt.. hole, and bad. Maybe it’s the fact that I think the motivations of the characters werejust dumb, not very interesting : Jaime going to seek her daughter that we’ve barely see in the entire story? Not very exciting… Meanwhile, I pretty much liked the character of Doran and found several scenes interesting (Ellaria’s allegiance, the dinner, Jaime and Myrcella’s final scene)

      – Sansa and Winterfell were good. I loved the dynamics between Theon and Sansa, the whole feeling of unease was well done. I liked that Sansa’s beginning to do things herself, starting to stop being a victim. Yes, she’s not a master of the game as Littlefinger but she won some self-assurance. And that was great. But, I’m growing bored of Ramsay. Ok he’s evil, he likes doing horrible things, we get it. But then what?

      -Meereen : My bag is mixed. I loved that Tyrion met Dany and they give something to each other which is great blablabla.
      The flight on Drogon was a pretty bad ending whitin a great, great scene. The CGI was horrible, it was selfish from Dany, very predictable, I did not enjoy it.
      But Daznak was great from the start to the arrival of Drogon (the gladiator fights, The SoH). Finally, I think this arc is better than last year, but worse than S01/03.

      The Wall : I loved everything except the last scene. Hardhome was breathtaking. Sam is my fav. Jon nailed it too. But the final…. i don’t know… I think killing the main characters is becoming redundant and tiresome. They really need to find other means to do a cliffhanger (like the Walk of Shame for ex)

      – Stannis : Mmmh. I kind of don’t know how I feel about this arc. Shireen and Davos were awesome, the whole “prophecy” and tragedy thing was a cool idea. But… I don’t know.. I think that’s just me. I need to say I find Melisandre a very very scary character, it’s a great thing she’s in the show.

      Ind the end, to sum it up a bit, I think that as the ratings, this season was really flucutant, up and down, and that was a bit frustrating, and in the end, I’m sorry to say that I feel a bit disappointed. I’ve also got the feeling that this whole internet hate and bashing kind of ruined my excitement and pleasure for the show. Maybe I need to stop following such sites…

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    9. For those of you with no interest in reading this, and I hope you are legion, I’d like to direct you to the A.V. Club.

      They have a feature titled “Random Roles,” where they go over the IMDB page of a veteran actor and get their thoughts.

      Diana Rigg — Lady Oleanna — is there now.

      Much better way to spend your time.

      As for this, I skimmed the first one. Let me add my thanks to Sue and others from here who contributed. But I will not read it. Life is too short.

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    10. TheTouchOfFrost:
      I’m still amazed Bronn survived the season. Known deaths aside, pretty much everyone had him at the top of their death list before the season started! But he’s sung, fought and bewb-stared his way to another season!

      Exactly! I thought season 5 was curtains for Bronn (to my dismay as I love him). So glad he survived another season.

      And someday, just once, I want to feel the way Lollys did when she met Jaime Lannister.

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    11. I really relate to Jon in the article picture at the top when reading through these. I am grateful to be easily entertained and to not get too bogged down in nitpicking. Good effort/discussion from all sides even if I did not agree with all of it.

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    12. As much as I think that it’s great that the fansites are prepared to collaborate in features like this; all this has succeeded in doing is persuading me to never visit TotH again. Why does everything have to be do serious? I come here for enjoyment and fun, not for a dour, hateful one. This has just made me appreciate WOTW even more.

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    13. Cersei’s Wine Goblet: Exactly!I thought season 5 was curtains for Bronn (to my dismay as I love him).So glad he survived another season.

      And someday, just once, I want to feel the way Lollys did when she met Jaime Lannister.

      I want to feel the way Jaime Lannister did next to his sons decaying corpse in the sept.

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    14. WorfWWorfington,

      You have no interest in reading it and yet you’re actively encouraging others not to? Okay that’s rude.

      Any piece that contains opinions is always polarizing. That’s the way it goes.

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    15. Again, I didn’t read it all. Parts of it.
      Laughable that someone thinks they have a right to criticize something they haven’t seen. Sue, you nailed it!
      Great work WOTW peeps!
      Also, I was soooooooooooo excited when I saw Oz there, but 🙁 when he didn’t say much moreee

      To me, season 5 was great.
      Ive shared these before, but ill share again:
      S4 > S5 > S3 > S1 > S2
      S4 and S5 are close though….
      S5 will move down if Jon dies forever. JUST SAYING.

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    16. Cersei’s Wine Goblet,

      Be interesting if Lollys pops up again! Think Bronn may have rolled the dice for the last time. He’s got too much sense to risk anything else if he does indeed get his wife and castle…although I can’t imagine Cersei being best pleased with how things turned out.

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    17. Harma Dogememe,
      Well done to Dame Pasty for endeavouring to argue with reason and rationality against such obsessive obstinacy and nit-picking.

      I love this little meme:

      Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon, it will shit all over the board and then strut around as if it had won.

      WOTW seems to be something of a chessboard for pigeons lately.

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    18. Wow, Jim is pretentious as hell. He doesn’t even watch past Episode 4, but presumes to have as valid an opinion as anyone else at the roundtable regarding the six episodes he hasn’t seen? He should’ve been barred from even participating in the discussion.

      I don’t know what I was expecting reading that. I think the only reason I did is because I knew some WOTW crew would be there to try and be voices of reason (which I sincerely thank Sue and Dame Pasty for being), but it didn’t turn out quite like I expected because Jim just can’t stop giving his verbose opinions, no matter how ill-informed they are.

      I hope this will be the last of any significant collaborations with Tower of the Hand. Leave Jim and his friends to their hugbox so we won’t have to be exposed to more of their book wanking dreck.

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    19. Sue the Fury,

      No, GOOD opinion pieces are polarizing and challenge you to defend your pole and at least see the view of the other pole. From what I read of the first part of this, I didn’t need to see the other two parts.

      But, since it is apparently rude to review a bunch of reviewers, let me say that everyone should go read these other two pieces.

      Well, everyone else.

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    20. Harma Dogememe:
      Okay, I appreciate the obvious effort that went into facilitating this monster of a piece, but holy shit… so much whining. You know that old adage about putting a pig in a dress? Bitching and moaning is the pig here, and it’s a huge fucking pig.

      Now I am mostly referring to the folks from the other websites, although not all of them were awful and not all of the WotW contributors were on the top of their game. But for the most part, the WotW “party line” came off as optimistic yet thoughtful–pretty much as expected and consistent with the tone and quality that makes this such an enjoyable website.

      As for all of the “issues” that are being “discussed”… there’s NOTHING in here that us lowly average viewers haven’t already brought up and discussed at length on this very website during the season. The difference is that these other cats try to pad it with a bunch of big words and grandiose rhetoric in an attempt to sound like intellectuals or insiders or SOMETHING.

      Here’s the problem… when you use such a condescending, pedantic tone and then you don’t know the difference between “explicable” and “inexplicable”, or you contradict your own use of the word “unmitigated” within a signle sentence, you don’t come off as an “insider”; you come off as a dick. (Both of those examples are from part 1.)

      To go into specifics, the whole argument about Loras’ homosexuality angle being “lazy writing” at the beginning of part 2 is pure garbage. From the piece…

      “Plus – and take this with a huge grain of salt, as I’m not quite sure how accurate this is, since I haven’t read about it in a while – homosexuality wasn’t as big a deal as you might suspect. As long as you had children and continued the family line, you were free to be sexual with men, although it was viewed as less than masculine, mind you.

      It wasn’t until Christianity became a bigger and more powerful force that being homosexual became an issue.”

      To recap: this person begins by straight-up admitting they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about–but don’t worry, they’re going to keep talking anyway! in the course of complaining and trying to sound smart, this person addresses his own complaint! Unfortunately, he is then too dense and/or rabidly anti-show to even draw the parallel between “Christianity becoming more powerful” and the Sparrows becoming more powerful…

      Then, instead of somebody actually mentioning that important parallel between Christianity and the Sparrows, the homosexuality “discussion” just kind of disappears… comes back a bit later, out of nowhere, where the Tower of the Hand guy actually makes a good defense of the show storyline… and then is promptly ignored again… certain parts read like a very staged discussion, other parts read like an essay stuck into the middle of a discussion… the whole thing kind of flows weird, and many parts seem purely masturbatory, with no original insight or objectively viable criticism.

      I guess I just don’t understand the value or purpose of this discussion if the best and brightest contributors you can find are people who go from tired book purist complaints to complaints about the banality of “Drogon as vehicle of rescue” (i.e., a book scene) in the same paragraph…

      The cross-site discussion is a really cool idea, but if this is what you have to work with maybe you should just keep it in-house next season. Honestly, I stopped reading part 3 when I realized that one of the people involved in this DISCUSSION OF SEASON 5 straight-up says that he STOPPED WATCHING SEASON 5 AFTER THE 3RD EPISODE.

      This little gem from part 2 (and the fact that it went conspicuously unanswered) pretty much says it all…

      “Well, what would’ve been NON-problematic portrayals of sexual violence and homosexual persecution, in your opinion?” — Sue

      Perfect. Wow, Jim is the worst.

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    21. I wanted to post Somethinglikealawyer’s post in the comment section on here but can’t seem to paste the quote but..
      …..
      ….
      OH my god Jim is the absolute worst

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    22. I will not go so far as to say that I will avoid these other websites, as I tend to agree with their bookish opinions on many fronts. I hope that the comment moderators won’t mind me doing so, but because my comment in Round Table Part II was drowned inside folks arguing at each other over I’m not sure what, I have C&P’d it here, especially because it is still relevant to complaints people have about the existence of the Round Table in general:

      “I really am baffled at the negative response to this Round Table. I would often jokingly describe myself as a book “purist”, except that I am realistically willing to forgive book changes and story line consolidation for the sake of good television story-telling…

      My problem is not so much the fact that changes from the book have been made. My greatest issues have to deal with terrible writing and adaptation that resulted from these changes… Cian’s comments in the Round Table Part II beautifully summarize my issues with Season 5, and they’re all central to whether or not the writers and show-runners can create a solid piece of work despite the adaptation that I may or may not necessarily agree with as a book-reader.

      Most of my complaints, and most of those by other book readers as far as I have been able to tell, are complaints I’m surprised more Unsullied don’t share with us. I must say that I disagree with Sue’s comments in the Round Table, namely:

      Characterization has to be simplified. Half the audience can barely keep track of people’s names, and some of you guys want incredibly complex backstories with hinted-at plot turns?

      The show, in the past, has done a fantastic job at simplifying plots and characters in a way that is digestable for television. I don’t think that the complaints have anything to do with the inclusion or lack of convoluted and extensive backstories, as Sue suggests. It has all to do with, for example,

      1) whether the character simplifications are done believably (Dorne, where characters can be omitted, and those kept are artfully crafted and not reduced to arguably racist incarnations of sex and vengeance [EDIT: Nymeria Warrior Queen asked me to follow up on this point, in which I forwarded her to this Hypable article: http://www.hypable.com/game-of-thrones-underserves-dorne/]);

      2) that even when used sparingly in any one episode or across the season, that these characters are written in a way in which watchers become invested in them, positively or negatively (e.g., Karsi the wildling was done fantastically);

      3) that the pacing is done in a way that makes sense (see Cian’s comments (in Round Table Part II) on the careful and steady crash-and-burn that was The King in the North, versus Stannis’s two-episode, hurried demise);

      4) that the quality is consistent across episodes (see the GRANDEUR that was “Hardhome”, and apply that to every. damn. episode.);

      …and etc.

      Again, nothing to do with us being “book wankers”.

      Finally, I disagree that just because some show-watchers are unable to remember every character’s name that it necessarily requires the writers pander to them for it by reducing plots and characterization to less-than stellar scripts. Show-watchers are intelligent enough and appreciative of well-constructed writing to not only follow along, but continually demand a high-quality product (especially following the preceding four seasons which are consistently solid, despite some minor complaints or now-past controversies).”

      I repeat one last time that I’m surprised my (and other Sullieds’) concerns are not mirrored in the Unsullied group, especially when comparing season-to-season, and not show-to-book. Season 5 just did not stand up in terms of writing to the previous seasons, and I’m disappointed.

      Here’s a good article I read that summarizes well what made previous seasons so great, and this one so lacking; but be careful because it does discuss some book stuff: http://io9.com/how-to-fix-what-s-wrong-with-game-of-thrones-1712355749

      One caveat I am willing to concede is that as book readers, we might have a pre-conceived expectation regarding new show characters, and initially causes me an upturned nose when the show does not meet them. However, invariably, I always come around and accept the show for what it is. Not sure I’ll be able to do that with Season 5.

      MY OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE ROUND TABLE

      I thank all participants in putting the time and effort in to put this discussion together. I think that the intention was good, but I have some comments/requests about how it can maybe be handled better in future:

      1) I felt as if the voices of some participants were overshadowed by others, not just in length of responses, but in number of comments, period. Oz only got… what, maybe two or three retorts in? Cian, whose criticism I agreed with in Part II, was not to be found again.

      2) A part of Part II and the majority of Part III devolved into a criticism of King’s Landing, the Sparrows, and a discussion/argument about the representation of homosexuality and whether its mechanism for Loras’s arrest was realistic. While the discussion has its merits, I have trouble understanding why there was no moderation that helped to even out the time in which any one plot was discussed.

      – I just want to throw in my two cents regarding that whole topic. My problem was not with whether Loras’s homosexuality was “convenient” for the Sparrow plot; my biggest gripe is that whenever Loras is discussed or shown on screen, his sexuality is more often than not the topic at hand, and seems to be his defining character trait. This is unfair in many ways, as his prowess as a knight is usually cast aside; my friends call him “Gay-Loras” instead of just “Loras” because he’s, in our opinion, become a walking gay joke.

      Finn Jones mentioned once that he hoped and thought Loras was not stereotyped, but I disagree with this now that we’re several seasons in, in that gay men are stereotyped as being hyper-sexual and that seems to be the case for Show-Loras.

      3) The discussion felt very disjointed. In the middle of a Kings Landing debate, someone would chime in about Daenerys for one short paragraph, and then suddenly it was back to King’s Landing. Again, perhaps some more moderation, or breaking up the Round Table by plot/show location would have made it easier to read and would allow for a more well-rounded discussion.

      4) I asked this in a previous post, but is this meant to be the be-all-end-all for Season 5 discussion on WotW? I was interested in writing a follow-up to my guest post pre-season, and would like to submit it to the website if that is going to be entertained. If not, I’ll take my thoughts to the Forums.

      I did not feel as if this Round Table, this “final world on Season 5”, was very comprehensive, and I am just interested to know the intent of WotW to further engage or discourage discussion on this.

      – PA

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    23. Can I just say, that after having read all three of those pieces, I’m more grateful than ever for this site and its contributors (Sue, Dame, Bex, etc). *Tips hat*

      To throw in my two cents:

      -I can’t believe someone had the audacity to “review” a season he didn’t even watch, and I’m even more flabbergasted that he didn’t seem to “get” why that was a problem. If there was a roundtable whose purpose was to discuss the ASOIAF series (that ended with ADWD and looked forward to TWOW), and a contributor had only read halfway through ACOK, would their opinion be as valid as that Jim guy thinks his is? GTFOutta here with that nonsense. *Rolling my eyes so hard*

      -The homosexuality back-and-forth went on longer than it probably should have, and I remain confused as to why that’s a point of contention to begin with. The Faith (in both books and show) were not a prominent faction up until this point in the story. That we don’t see them “against” homosexuality up until this point doesn’t mean they weren’t always against it, nor does it make it some sort of horribly contrived storyline. The Faith is against incest, and yet, there was no outward objections against it during the Targaryen reins. Why? Because the Faith wasn’t in power. Doesn’t mean the condemnation of that act didn’t exist before. Had they stayed with GRRM’s version (and condemned both Margery and Cersei for their affairs)…where would have been the evidence (in both book and show) pointing to THAT being some crazy “crime” worth condemning? King Robert had a bunch of bastards and STAYED having sex outside of marriage, but the Faith, in the books, didn’t condemn him or even outwardly bitch about it. Now, all of a sudden, in book 4, infidelity is a problem for the Faith? What kind of horribly contrived storyline is that, GRRM?!?

      -We having a saying in Spanish that roughly translates to: “The worst kind of blind person is the one who doesn’t WANT to see.” I feel like a lot of these individuals who constantly complain about nothing “making sense” on the show do so because they don’t actually want to see that it DOES (within the show). Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t moments of inconsistency and irrationality, but those moments are few and far between and don’t actually affect the plot (except for that ridiculous “avenge them” speech LF gave to Sansa that prompted her to go to WF. But even with that, I hold out hope that it will at some point come back into play). In the end, nothing is going to “make sense” if you don’t want it to make sense. If you cover your TV screen with pages of the book, then its no wonder you can’t see the threads that work together within the show. Your vision is impaired. Either take the pages of the book off the TV screen, or turn off the TV screen and just read the book.

      -This season had really great moments and character developments. And above that, it also succeeded in doing what the books haven’t done yet and that’s ADVANCE the damn story! We’re actually GOING somewhere in the show, and its visible, logical, and actually HAPPENING. That’s a great result of this season, and I’m surprised no one even mentioned it. Were there terrible things too? Most definitely. But the arguments some of those contributors made didn’t make the case for helping me to understand (or crystallize) what those terrible things were. Hell, I think “Sean C.” could have argued their points better than they did.

      In the end though, thanks for bringing this roundtable to us. Its always helpful/nice to hear all opinions, not just the one’s I agree with. And thank you WOTW staff for all that you do to bring us this place.

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    24. Sue inform the dude that he don’t get to review something he didn’t fully watched and in response he says : WHY NOT?
      Is he a new creature or something? seriously?

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    25. I don’t think this was TotH fault. Unless Jim is from there, I don’t know. I was sorry not to see Ghostlovesinger in the discussion, he at least watched the whole season even if he didn’t much like it. I think he would have been better than Jim simply for having watched the show. Ah well.

      Great discussion to read, enjoyed it!

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    26. RosanaZugey,

      And, sorry I didn’t mention it in my other posts, but I actually loved reading the roundtable besides Jim. 🙂 (During the Jim parts, I wanted to go all Arya Stark on my eyes).

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    27. The same argument has been dragged over three comments sections now. Getting a bit boring , guys. Talk about the things discussed at the round tables not moan about the people doing them one way or another.

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    28. Different things are important to different people, of course, but belaboring issues of homosexuality as the centerpiece of this discussion on Season 5 is like Kennedy and Nixon fixating on the islands of Quemoy and Matsu in the 1960 presidential debates.

      Jim Something Like a Lawyer bogging things down in such arcana is a rather dastardly lawyerly trick and a debate tactic of misdirection that sucked the noble opposition of Sue and Dame Pasty into an area of debate that never should have taken place to begin with, or should have been much truncated in favor of broader issues.

      When it got to the point of Sue having to point out that one has to actually watch a show in order to render a critique of it, and she is met with, essentially, a ‘how come?’ response, one knows that this is not a real discussion, and that nothing of value is possible to come of it, aside from me regretting that in another thread I bent over backwards like Pixie Le Knot to support the integrity and insight of some of the writers on the book sites.

      Rant off–for now.

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    29. It started badly, it tailed off a little in the middle and the less said about the end the better — but apart from that, excellent.

      Seriously though, despite some of the utterly bizarre points being made, I enjoyed this. Stefan Sasae, the WOTW crew and Slynt all made good points I feel.

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    30. As someone who was in a very similar discussion with Jim on homosexuality and Faith a couple months back, I applaud Dame Pasty on her eloquence and persuasive arguments. That was a great read!

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    31. Echoesinawell:
      RosanaZugey,

      And, sorry I didn’t mention it in my other posts, but I actually loved reading the roundtable besides Jim. (During the Jim parts, I wanted to go all Arya Stark on my eyes).

      HAHAHAHAHA. Arya Stark on your eyes. Good one! *Long distance hi-five*

        Quote  Reply

    32. Man, SomethingLikeALawyer’s argument is just baffling. Good job for pointing that BS out guys. That someone can honestly think that they don’t need to watch something to criticise it is just ridiculous.

      And him in the comments:

      A lot of the WotW crowd want to believe that giving up on the show means giving up on talking about the show. As if there were no other way of criticizing decisions made with the actual plotting or writing decisions of the show.

      No, they want to believe that you should actually be informed in your criticism by actually watching and engaging the thing you are criticising, not criticising it based off the views of others.

      And then to top it all off, the fans over here are just “too sensitive”. No, it couldn’t possibly be that you basically half-assed this and didn’t even put in the minimal effort required to have a proper opinion on the season, nuh uh. All opinions are equally valid!

        Quote  Reply

    33. I really feel the book purists are grasping at straws on many things.

      As I said, were there some things done poorly in the show, absolutely. But as a whole was the show amazing… Hell yeah! Nothing like it on TV.

      Oh well, while I am watching season 6 with friends and family, drinking and eating good food, having a great time, I will tip my beer and pour out a little liquor for all our friends at TotH that will no longer be watching the show.

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    34. TheTouchOfFrost:
      The same argument has been dragged over three comments sections now. Getting a bit boring , guys. Talk about the things discussed at the round tables not moan about the people doing them one way or another.

      Are you serious? We’ve been talking about “the things discussed at the round table” since May. That’s one of the biggest problems–there was hardly any unique insight offered where all these perceived “problems” are concerned.

      The contributors who seemed eager to approach this project with grace and intelligence (i.e., WotW staff) never got off the ground because the whole thing was hijacked by disjointed justifications for show-hating and, in the end, a bizarre existentialist experiment wherein some guy tries to defend his right to review a TV show he didn’t even watch.

      As an avant garde art installation breaking down the nature of what it really means to be an “expert” TV show reviewer, it was GREAT. But as an end-of-season wrap-up from multiple, meaningful viewpoints, the whole thing was ruined by children posing as intellectuals.

      The point is, there’s nothing to talk about if we limit discussion to “the things discussed at the round table”. Because some of “the people doing them one way or another” are just angry at the TV show for even existing at this point, and so they had to serial shit all over a good idea.

      Again, great effort by the WotW peeps, and I truly appreciate the work, the ambition, and the vision behind this, despite disappointment with the results.

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    35. Sue you called this finale word on season 5 fine but can i ask for another roundtable? this time just between your own staff i mean all of wotw writers have their own solid opinions and are absolutely talented so that would be a great read and this time actually you can discuss the truly important stuff like various arcs character development and other important things and not wasting a good portion of a roundtable on unimportant and OBVIOUS stuff like faith being anti homosexual
      you know just suggesting

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    36. Harma Dogememe:
      Again, great effort by the WotW peeps, and I truly appreciate the work, the ambition, and the vision behind this, despite disappointment with the results.

      Yup, our own good people at WotW indeed deserve to be praised, those that were negative regarding the show included. Cian (I’ll remember you’re a guy, I promise!), although rather critical of the show, at least argued eloquently on what he thought were the downsides. I am still of the opinion that, in the interest of fairness, he should have covered the good parts as well and not only fire full broadsides as if the bad is for some reason automatically worthier of discussion than the good…

      Stefan also always offers good and balanced opinions, but the less we speak of almost all the rest, the better.

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    37. I’m proud of being based on ‘Watchers on the Wall’. You all represented nicely, WotW contributors. What Jim spent hundreds and hundreds of words on (Faith seemingly becoming suddenly anti-homosexual) is such a minor issue, given that the majority of viewers can easily ‘get that storyline’, same as Pasty and Sue explained it. Jim even acknowledges himself in his last paragraph that it couldn’t have been done better in the show (planting a scene or two somewhere in season two with that hanging till season 5 is truly ridiculous).

      Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t quite enjoy Season 5 as I’d like (too many unlikely and hard to explain events), but the criticisms some of those folks from the other sites had are just ridiculous.

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    38. Jim’s argumentation had clearly no ground (literally, he did not watch the whole thing that was discussed), what blows my mind is that he found the nerve to be in it anyway and then make bullshit statements like “That’s an ad hominem thingy or something!” when someone points that out. Ad hominem attack? Really? I should have done that back in school or even better in my philosophy classes.

      Prof: “I’m sorry, Mr. Abyss, you are not fit to take part in a comprehensive discussion about René Descartes’ “Meditations on First Philosophy” if you only have read 2 meditations out of six.”

      Abyss: “Ad hominem attack!”

      Prof: o.0

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    39. Oh, and I concur with some of the posters before me: a debate by WotW writers only might be a lot more interesting and on point (than trying to defend one’s right to criticise a show one doesn’t even watch, for instance).

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    40. My new hero’s!!

      Bex
      Sue the Fury
      Dame Patsy

      Thank you for representing! I am not going to diss the other members of this round table discussion of the season, but I can say that parts 1 and 2 left me unhappy and three lifted me right back up again. Nothing like tossing an asshat into the river for making someone feel good!

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    41. Which line is worse?

      a) “You want a good girl, but you need a bad pussy.”

      b) “I’ll butt fúck your father with your mom’s headless corpse on this goddamn lawn”?

      Won’t say where the second one comes from though some will know…

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    42. TOIVA,

      Yes I agree 100%

      I mean, we get the same basic arguments on these threads (although a lot less detailed and intellectual).

      I think a WotW round table would be much more enjoyable read.

      I mean, nothing against those TotH peeps, I am sure they are good folks but they are full of, what I believe is, intellectual pettiness when it comes to taking apart the show.

      Let them do their own thing and hate on the show on their site, but I believe this site enjoys the show as a whole, much more.

      Yes we critic the show and complain about certain elements/storylines but most of us here do not voice outright distain and hatred for it.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Gd75,

      We need to create a Tower of The Fist for you to post your opinions – So much more powerful and to the point that Tower of the Hand’s.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Reeked,

      Thank you very much. I tried my best to focus on what I liked/disliked, to know why I felt disappointed, and what is still great and working. Glad it worked for you 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    45. Sue took that Jim fellow to task! That made reading his bullshit in the first two pieces almost worthwhile! Well-done!

        Quote  Reply

    46. Oh and btw, just a brief PSA, the line Tyene said in ep. 510 was “a bad pussy” not “the bad pussy”. I mean, it was still a stupid line…but at least there was a double-meaning about pussycats thrown in there (which was why she bit at his ear after saying it y’all).

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    47. I didn’t read Jim’s commentary and thoughts but based upon the reviews I’ve read of it here and elsewhere, I thought it sucked.

        Quote  Reply

    48. I have no idea why a debate over the Faith’s attitude toward homosexuality, of all things, ended up dominating the discussion in this article series. I thought this season had numerous problems, but that wasn’t one of them.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Harma Dogememe,

      I am because the past three parts of this RT have had the same people complaining about the exact same things. Discuss why they might be wrong. Discuss why you disagree with them. But don’t start calling them book purist, etc,etc. It’s over-simplifying the argument. I don’t agree with the vast majority of what they said but they obviously care about the show in one way or another or they wouldn’t put so much time into it. As always, no need to let anyone sles opinions affect you. They didn’t enjoy it. So what? Doesn’t affect your enjoyment of it in the slightest.

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    50. So… are we getting a WOTW roundtable on a actual final word on Season 5, critiquing the positives and negatives according to the WOTW staff? It might actually deliver on what this initially promised. I don’t want to sound entitled —It’s just that as a “final word on the season” it kinda feels short. Not the fault of the WOTW staff, of course. That much is obvious.

      TheTouchOfFrost,

      Huh. I’d say you have to watch a show before even coming close to claiming you care for it.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Luka Nieto,

      There’s such a thing as caring too much/being elitist/obsessive about something too. They obviously care even if it’s in a negative sense. If they didn’t then they wouldn’t be spending so much time on it.

      On a different note, Hannibal has been cancelled so the push for Mads as Euron is going to get some more momentum although I assume he’s still finishing the last season so still ruled out.

        Quote  Reply

    52. HotPinkLipstick:
      I didn’t read Jim’s commentary and thoughts but based upon the reviews I’ve read of it here and elsewhere, I thought it sucked.

      Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…
      hahahahahahahaha…

      hahahaha…

      ha.

      Phyllis Ashley,

      Thanks so much for providing that link. I really do appreciate it. I cannot say I agree with the article, however. I don’t find the Dornish characters to be a racist portrayal. To begin, the accents they chose were based on the precedent set by Pedro Pascal. The idea of them being focused on fucking and fighting came straight from the books, and in the show, they, again, seemed to be following the precedent set forth by Pedro Pascal’s Oberyn. While I didn’t think the over-vengeful Ellaria really worked, I didn’t for a second think, oh, they’re going south-of-the-border stereotype with her. In fact, I didn’t really see the Dornish as “people-of-color.” Using Europe as an example, just because many people from southern Europe have dark hair and darker skin, I don’t think of them as the European people-of-color, just as I don’t see the Dornish as the Westerosi people-of-color.

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    53. I haven’t seen an episode since 504, but I’m fairly active on the /r/asoiaf community, so I tend to get exposed to a Cliffs Notes version of the later six episodes.

      This has GOT to be the #WantGoodGirlNeedBadPussy line of this roundtable. It’s like cheating at Lit101 not reading Wuthering Heights but commenting it like a boss with the teacher. Balls like Death Star that one has.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Phyllis Ashley,

      She finds Season 5 lacking so her main suggestion is…stick closer to the books? I’m sure Quentyn and Nimble Dick would have made for a much better season. Not to mention this would mean doubling down on the rape and sexual violence she found so abhorrent this season

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    55. HotPinkLipstick:
      I didn’t read Jim’s commentary and thoughts but based upon the reviews I’ve read of it here and elsewhere, I thought it sucked.

      I didn’t read all of the comments in this thread, but based on reviews, yours was really f-cking hilarious! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    56. bristolcity:
      Overall, though, accounting for all three parts, I felt that the roundtable discussion wasn’t balanced at all, and thus made for an incredibly unpleasant read. I’m having a hard time believing that there was literally nothing that they found positive in one of the most acclaimed shows ever. I think that a lot of people simply took the negative side, since it is very easy to be negative and nitpick than to be positive and actually deeply analyze scenes – I think it shows that a lot of these guys are the “lazy writers” that they keep accusing D&D of being. Good job from the WotW crew in part 3 though.

      Exactly! I do appreciate the debate. Even this almost one-sided debate sparked lively discussion and debate among us. Though reading these other bloggers makes me glad to be here, I like that the debate was a three-site collaboration.

      What I think might have improved the debate is to have two delegates from each site: one who would agree to advocate the pro-show side of the arguments, covering all that is awesome sauce, and one who would cover the negative arguments. So we might have Sue start on pro with a 500-word argument for why the show worked and highlights of the season followed by rebuttals from the three taking the negative and replies from Sue and the other two taking the positive. And then we might have Cian taking the negative with a 500-word argument for what didn’t work, followed by rebuttals and responses. And then on the other two sites, they could lead with their pro person, rebuttals, and responses followed by their con person, rebuttals, and responses. Perhaps that’s too much, but it would have provided structure and balance.

      Another thing that I think would be cool but oh so hard to do would be to make the books inadmissible evidence. The books are the books, and the show is the show. There should be absolutely no reason that being different from the books means the show is wrong. The debate is not that the show is inferior to the books – apples and oranges! So removing the books removes erroneous arguments.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Luka Nieto,

      I can’t speak for the group but I’m still catching my breath from the craziness that occurs in season. I still plan to do a video on the final episode with my thoughts on the season in general at the end within the next week. We have been talking about doing a roundtable a little later in the off season when news is slower.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Sean C.,

      I have no idea why a debate over the Faith’s attitude toward homosexuality, of all things, ended up dominating the discussion

      Some people just had to bloviate and pointing out ignorance and stupidity is sort of an obsession with me. Not to mention that I keep forgetting that no amount of logic or fact will sway some people. One of these days I might learn this lesson.

        Quote  Reply

    59. This was much more of a genuine debate, so more interesting (and feisty!).

      “Ultimate book reader wank”. Sue you surely win some kind of prize for that.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Sue the Fury,

      I guess, it’s just everybody seems to be saying “the” instead of “a”. I mean, it doesn’t make the line much better or anything but it seems like people are misquoting it on purpose.

      Good job destroying that Jim guy btw.

        Quote  Reply

    61. WotW should do their own thoughts about the season as well as others have suggested. I did not watch this since I have been avoiding Tower of the Hand for a while because of the negativity. I will read this later when I am in GoT withdrawal but i do not have the energy quite yet. I actually was planning to read this one but then I red these comments here and well…

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    62. I haven’t seen the new episode of True Detective but I’m going to tell you how I feel about it based on the previous season. Pretty much sums up the Jim guy LOL.

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    63. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Thanks for your input!

      I disagree that the hyper-sexual/violent-type is, as you say, straight from the books. Yes, they fight, and yes, they fuck, but so does everyone else on Planetos. 🙂 Also, if the show-runners in fact were using Oberyn as a precedent, that speaks to the writers’ lack of creativity, no? Why would everyone from Dorne act this way? Why wouldn’t there be a varied set of people with differing opinions, with different motivations to diversify the Dorne plot? I am assuming that we will get some variation of the Dorne plot from the books in the show (I’m purposefully being vague for Sullied/Unsullied ethics here), and using this cookie-cutter-Oberyn will not serve that storyline well at all.

      This is all beside the point, by the way. The writing was just terrible for Dorne anyway, and the writers failed to get watchers invested in these characters despite having a whole season to do so (see my comments on Karsi the wildling, with whom watchers felt they identified with right away, and we also mourned her premature loss [all within a 20-min segment of a single episode]!) I know there has been praise for Siddig as Doran, and I agree that his casting was great; but he was under-utilized and that was a huge mistake.

      When I say “people of color”, read this as “non-white”. GRRM has described the Dornish as being influenced by the Spanish and/or at least Mediterranean peoples; the latter does not necessarily mean a PoC, but his description of the characters in the books (dark hair, olive skin, etc.) largely insinuates that they are not of the white-European template that the rest of our Westerosi characters fit in to. The themes the article pointed out are pervasive in literature; and surely it was probably never intended to be done this way in-show on purpose, but these themes pop up again and again with PoC in the GoT universe (see Dothraki who rape and pillage; see Slaver’s Bay, which needs “rescuing” by a white savior who teaches them that their ways are barbaric, and need to be changed, etc…).

      – PA

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    64. I thought all 3 parts had their merits. Some of the critiquing is a tad on the ridiculous side–but people have their opinions. Cian’s critiques echoed my own (as a book and show fan). For me this season was by far the weakest, but mostly above par for television.

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    65. Phyllis Ashley,

      That’s one of the things that irritated me the most about Dorne: everything was styled after Oberyn. The clothing, the accents, the scenery, the personalities of several of the characters… all of it was just a cheap imitation of the Red Viper.

      Want to have a bit of fun with Dorne? Go through all of the Dorne scenes and count how many times you can spot snake-themed jewelry, clothing, weapons, decorations, etc. They’re literally everywhere, even in the title sequence where a giant snake statue winds up over Dorne. It’s ridiculous.

      If they must include Dorne again next season, I hope they’ll inject a bit more originality into it and leave the Red Viper behind.

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    66. Phyllis Ashley,

      I guess we just have a different interpretation of how the Dornish characters were represented in the books. Excepting the change to Ellaria (and Doran was neither highly sexualized nor hyper-violent in either medium), I found Nymeria, Tyene, and especially Arianne to be highly sexualized in the books. Of the three Sand Snakes on the show, they were all known as formidable fighters in the books, albeit with different weapons. Regarding my comment about basing things on how Pedro played them, I meant that more in terms of the choices the actors made, not how they were written. I remember an interview where Siddig specifically said he based his accent off Pedro’s, and I remember reading various interviews with the Sand Snakes saying they used Pedro’s characterization as a jumping-off point for theirs. I do agree with you much of the writing for Dorne was unfortunate, which I find especially interesting given there were (I believe) 3 different writers across all the Dorne scenes, although maybe it was just 2.

      I used the analogy of southern Europeans specifically because of the cited Mediterranean influence from which Martin drew imagining the Dornish people. I don’t think of southern Europeans as “non-white.” Regarding Meereen, I also don’t see any racism inherent in Daenerys being white and freeing the slaves. I saw slaves of all different backgrounds, so it isn’t, at least in my view, a matter of a white savior freeing people of color. Now, if all the slave-masters had been white, and all the slaves had been black, I could see an argument there, but that isn’t the case.

      I think we just have very different views.

      Thanks for taking the time to explain your views, though. While I may not agree, it is interesting to me to see how other people view things, especially when someone expresses their views both as clearly and politely as you. 🙂

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    67. Robb Snow,

      Oh yes. Oberyn was well crafted, but the writers betting on the same formula didn’t earn them any winnings, unfortunately. Perhaps they can mitigate for these past mistakes by learning from this season.

      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Two final retorts:

      I think there is a fine line between expressing these characters’ sexuality as GRRM intended, versus the way they are written for the show. The Sand Snakes (some of them) and Arianne may be sexual, but GRRM’s careful not to make this expression and freedom of sexuality their defining characteristic. Arianne is smart, and thoughtful, yet she knows her sexuality can be used as a tool. The subtlety of GRRM’s writing is lost, unfortunately, in their show adaptation, and I think it’s harmful to the quality of the story. Same thing with the violence: the article I shared with you presented a group of tamer Sand Snakes who would never dream of hurting an innocent child, yet, *holds hands out to Episode 10*.

      About Meereen, no need to hash this out for what is probably the thousandth time across various platforms, but I brought it up again just as an example of what I believe may be problematic representations of non-white peoples in GoT. But, you were pulling information from the books, no? GRRM does make a point to have Masters and Slaves both of different races, another subtlety lost in the show – however, this may also be because the producers needed to cast large numbers of people from their respective filming locations, which mean this starts and ends with logistics, and I can easily forgive that.

      And, yes, thank you for the friendly discourse! Glad we are able to agree to disagree amicably, without it devolving into judgmental and less-than-productive comment threads. Cheers! 🙂

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    68. Wow I really wish cian Bex and Sue had had a chance to debate with a critic who’d actually watched the damn show.

      Holy shit that guy and his Loras obsession.. Ok so it was a little ham handed – now move on. Also his “lol good try but I know more about the books than you” *headpat* superiority And general assholery… I would have wanted to tear him a new one if I was Stephan.

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    69. Queenofthrones,

      Yeah would’ve liked a more show-centric discussion to frame debate but a book-based fracas had popped off long before I formulated my response. Was off-putting for several staffers here, myself included. I’m just really excited to start having discussions about the show that are not framed by the novels.

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    70. Bex,

      I have a hunch that the fandom will be a much more positive place for s6 and s7. That’s one of the few silver linings to the fact that TWOW probably won’t come out anytime soon.

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    71. Man, part 3 was the weakest…. 90% a discussion about the Faith and Loras??? I don’t care that much about them, really I don’t. Cian’s post from yesterday regarding the Northern arc is the highlight of this discussion… D&D really need to eliminate inconsistencies, to plan a little more carefully stuff.

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    72. The Bastard,

      marry me

      Robb Snow,

      Isnt all that due to the Dornish culture/traditions hence why the red viper is like that?
      why should they change that stuff? Doesn’t make sense.
      ____

      And honestly, I laugh when people think they can do a better job than D&D. Really now?

        Quote  Reply

    73. Dame Pasty,

      Looking forward to the final Season 5 episode review.

      Bex,

      Hopefully you can organise a round table disscussing the show (at least 90% show, let’s say) later on, when the news well dries up, as Dame Pasty hinted to.

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    74. Harma Dogememe,

      Thanks for the Review of the Review. You saved me a big head ache If I were to read their reviews. I think that I will pass. I love Game of Thrones and a Song of Ice and Fire books. I really liked this season ( Not loved) I think that it is due to both groups. I did not mind the changes from the books. Lets admit it, even though we may love all the back stories & such in the books, they are BLOATED. Hence some of the reason why it takes GRRM so long with the books. However, I love read all that BLOAT. 2) I do have to agree that they totally missed the mark on the Sand snakes( Lets be thankful that we only got to see them a handful of times). On missing story lines. Well, there is a ton that has to be left on the floor, I don’t have a issue with that. D&D knows the end game ( & they will spoil it, that can’t be helped). I also know that I figured that this season was going to be a bit less thrilling that they others. Fans were not happy with DWD either, so I figured that they would also be let down by the show even more so being, that they were going away from the books. I loved that they made changes from the book. Sansa in the book boared me to DEATH, I was pleased that she was more active this season. I also love that she is back in Winterfell ( the girl who couldn’t wait to leave) . I also like the show version better. The Jane Poole/Araya never liked it. Araya was way too young & even though it was jane poole. It was just the thought of a Ramsey suppose of a marriage to what a 9 year old? I think that Sansa made more sense, & she was a bit older ( no much)

      Kings Landing, eh it was ok. Nothing to write home about & that includes Cersei. I was happy with the WOS, she has had that coming for 5 seasons now.

      Mareen: Eh, outside of Tyrion arriving. Emila Clark, its her acting. She is still just so wooden, again. Thank Got Tyrion got there. He makes everyone look & sound better when he is in the Room. Did Love him & Varrys(sp) together. They always made a great team.

      The NORTH/Wall. Best parts of the Book & Show this season. Just when Stannis was gaining so much support from the fans & such. BAM, did not see that coming. I thought the politics at the wall was great( but cut short, ) I understand. There is not enough time to play out the days of voting fighting back & forth, there is only 10 shows person. HARDHOME, WTF. That was great, and I am only talking about the 30 min on Hard Home. We never got anything in the books on it, just heard about the horrors that went on there, in passing. This was amazing, I don’t think any fan book purist or whatever was upset at seeing Hard home in the FLESH. I loved that they brought up Uncle Benjne (sp). The Pink Letter was moot( never liked it in the books either. ) Jon already turned down being a stark, and Fake Araya already made it to the wall. I don’t think that Ramsey calling Jon out would make him leave his post & ask others to come with him ( of their choice of course). Getting info on Uncle Ben sounds better. He is not leaving his post & he is only going to a spot that they planed to kill him. I just like it better that the Treason on the show is about Saving thousands of lives as to getting called out by ramsey.

      I am ready & really don’t care that I AND ALL FANS will be Spoiled. GRRM may or may not get book 6 out at the start of season 6, but when season 7 starts book 7 will be no where in sight. & I have no problem with that. If a story is good enough I don’t care that I may know THE END of it before I start the book.

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    75. Arya Havin’ a Larf?:
      Whichline is worse?

      a) “You want a good girl, but you need a bad pussy.”

      b) “I’ll butt fúck your father with your mom’s headless corpse on this goddamn lawn”?

      Won’t say where the second one comes from though some will know…

      a) GRRM’s use of ‘cock’ to denote a penis is also an anachronism. The association between those words didn’t arise until the 1600’s and wasn’t flung around the way it is in the books and show. ‘Pussy’ is a bit more on the nose but I’m letting my hair down on this one, considering some of the groaners in the book (Darkstar, urgh…)

      b) I haven’t even seen the episode yet but it’s TD season 2, isn’t it? 😛 Is it really that bad? Big fan of season 1 🙁

      Great showing from WOTW. You needed a round table of your own. I cannot believe so much space was wasted for a guy who gave up on episode 3 and only watched 4 as an obligation to a friend. If you’re swearing a show off so early in its season, and then critiquing the season based on what you’ve heard second or third hand, and then you insist that your views are valid (it’s an ad hominen to suggest otherwise) and should take up space in a critical round table that evaluates the entirety of season 5 — then you have an unhealthy sense of self-importance. I’m all for critique and criticism (I have some for season 5 myself) but most of these arguments were a long concatenation of folk howling “The books! The books!”

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    76. RosanaZugey:
      Can I just say, that after having read all three of those pieces, I’m more grateful than ever for this site and its contributors (Sue, Dame, Bex, etc). *Tips hat*

      To throw in my two cents:

      -I can’t believe someone had the audacity to “review” a season he didn’t even watch, and I’m even more flabbergasted that he didn’t seem to “get” why that was a problem. If there was a roundtable whose purpose was to discuss the ASOIAF series (that ended with ADWD and looked forward to TWOW), and a contributor had only read halfway through ACOK, would their opinion be as valid as that Jim guy thinks his is? GTFOutta here with that nonsense. *Rolling my eyes so hard*

      -The homosexuality back-and-forth went on longer than it probably should have, and I remain confused as to why that’s a point of contention to begin with. The Faith (in both books and show) were not a prominent faction up until this point in the story. That we don’t see them “against” homosexuality up until this point doesn’t mean they weren’t always against it, nor does it make it some sort of horribly contrived storyline. The Faith is against incest, and yet, there was no outward objections against it during the Targaryen reins. Why? Because the Faith wasn’t in power. Doesn’t mean the condemnation of that act didn’t exist before. Had they stayed with GRRM’s version (and condemned both Margery and Cersei for their affairs)…where would have been the evidence (in both book and show) pointing to THAT being some crazy “crime” worth condemning? King Robert had a bunch of bastards and STAYED having sex outside of marriage, but the Faith, in the books, didn’t condemn him or even outwardly bitch about it. Now, all of a sudden, in book 4, infidelity is a problem for the Faith? What kind of horribly contrived storyline is that, GRRM?!?

      -We having a saying in Spanish that roughly translates to: “The worst kind of blind person is the one who doesn’t WANT to see.” I feel like a lot of these individuals who constantly complain about nothing “making sense” on the show do so because they don’t actually want to see that it DOES (within the show). Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t moments of inconsistency and irrationality, but those moments are few and far between and don’t actually affect the plot (except for that ridiculous “avenge them” speech LF gave to Sansa that prompted her to go to WF. But even with that, I hold out hope that it will at some point come back into play). In the end, nothing is going to “make sense” if you don’t want it to make sense. If you cover your TV screen with pages of the book, then its no wonder you can’t see the threads that work together within the show. Your vision is impaired. Either take the pages of the book off the TV screen, or turn off the TV screen and just read the book.

      -This season had really great moments and character developments. And above that, it also succeeded in doing what the books haven’t done yet and that’s ADVANCE the damn story! We’re actually GOING somewhere in the show, and its visible, logical, and actually HAPPENING. That’s a great result of this season, and I’m surprised no one even mentioned it. Were there terrible things too? Most definitely. But the arguments some of those contributors made didn’t make the case for helping me to understand (or crystallize) what those terrible things were. Hell, I think “Sean C.” could have argued their points better than they did.

      In the end though, thanks for bringing this roundtable to us. Its always helpful/nice to hear all opinions, not just the one’s I agree with. And thank you WOTW staff for all that you do to bring us this place.

      I am so happy that there are so many people on WOTW that share my similar viewpoint – The show is based on the books, but they are two different animals to be admire and respected separately. To compare them to each other in every way would surely be maddening and lead to all of the teeth grinding and wrist-wringing I’ve witnessed.

      Cheers to those who can enjoy both mediums of ASOIAF, warts and all!

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    77. Deesensfan,

      My point is that the motif is overused. It made Dorne feel more like a product of the Red Viper, and not the other way around like it should have.

      And I don’t think I’d be a better showrunner than D&D. I just think they made some mistakes with Dorne this season, and hope they’ll do better with it in the future.

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    78. Valaquen:

      b) I haven’t even seen the episode yet but it’s TD season 2, isn’t it? Is it really that bad? Big fan of season 1

      I think it’s necessary to take an approach like GoT with the books and the show: treat TD1 and TD2 as different animals. I don’t the S2 premiere was bad ( it’s all a bit here are some characters, and unsubtly forces their issues at you) but it had some off moments which make you yearn back for S1 and maybe tries a bit to hard to show it ISN’T like S1 – but it’s early days. No reason to write it off yet anyway!

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    79. Valaquen,

      Don’t you listen to Arya Havin’ a Larf&#63!!!! That TD line was pretty excellent: placement and delivery. With one line/threat and one action the guy show the kind of character we are looking at. You didn’t need 3 eps for Colin and the script to show you who Ray Velcro is at the point in time we see him now. It was a good line in the context. Vanity Fair can go suck a bag of dongs!

      #BadPussy was just cheesy and hilarious and brought absolutely nothing new to Tyene’s character. Apples and oranges.

      Bad Arya Havin’ a Larf, Bad Arya Havin’ a Larf!

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    80. Valaquen: a) GRRM’s use of ‘cock’ to denote a penis is also an anachronism. The association between those words didn’t arise until the 1600’s and wasn’t flung around the way it is in the books and show.

      If the books were written in the English that existed in medieval times, which was Middle English, then here is an example for how the books would read:

      In englysch tonge I schal you telle
      Yif ye so longe with me wil dwelle
      Ne latyn wil I speke ne waste
      Bot englisch that men usen maste

      So about 90% of the words in ASOIAF are anachronistic. Stannis’s correction of “less” to “fewer” has only been around since the 1800s, making it one of the series bigger anachronisms, I suppose, but singling out anachronisms for a fantasy universe that just happens to speak modern day English always feels even more pedantic than Stannis.

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    81. Jim’s position that, despite having not watched the whole season, it is fine for him to engage in a critique of the show because he’s read the books and familiarized himself with the show storyline through the reviews of others…

      is the equivalent of me, a show-only viewer, finding it perfectly acceptable to engage in a critique of the books because I’ve perused westeros.org and otherwise “sullied” myself in the comments section here.

      And since he says that’s okay, I’m going to give my two cents on what I feel is the biggest problem with the books! (Since it was also depicted on the show, it is also the biggest problem with the show from my perspective.)

      Killing Tywin. This completely unmoored the entire story. Without having read the books, I feel pretty safe in saying that everything I’ve heard about the meandering nature of books 4 and 5 would have been avoiding by keeping that vital anchor in King’s Landing. Of course, many of the story lines would have to change to accommodate this, but, again, based on what I have heard, I think all for the better. (Am I doing this right, Jim?)

      Consider Tyrion. Which is better? Having him kill his father and former lover, set sail across the Narrow Sea, and meander about Essos pondering where whores go… or have him escape King’s Landing, set sail across the Narrow Sea, seek out the Mother of Dragons, and help her take Westeros to get his vengeance?

      I also think many of the other story lines would have been benefited from the threat of Tywin. For example, Sansa’s escape becomes far more perilous because now someone actually capable of finding her is still in power (and she’s far less likely to find parties willing to help her, making her disguise all the more important). I think virtually every other character associated with King’s Landing could similarly be served better with Tywin’s continued presence. The only real question is what to do with Cersei, since her arc is the only one that seems dependent on Tywin’s death. Then again, I’m not that enamored with the whole Faith Militant storyline so…

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    82. Tormund’s Woman,

      It’s all in the delivery. Sean Connery sexily whispering ‘Pussshy’ in addressing (and undressing) Pussy Galore (yes, that was the character’s name) may well have been the high point of the 007 franchise.

      Perhaps the Sand Snakes should have been Scottish? ‘What you need is a bad pussshy’ might have been adorable, right?… right?

      Okay, maybe not.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Ginevra,

      I know, I know, I’m a Medieval Lit graduate and post-graduate (with Hons). When it comes to language in books and TV shows we have to give some leeway (unless you expect a King Arthur film to be laden with Welsh, or the show Vikings to be full of Old English etc) so I always gave the excessive use of ‘cock’ a pass in books and show. I don’t expect Varys to speak like Polydore Vergil or anything 😛

      Arya Havin’ a Larf?,

      Tormund’s Woman,

      I think I’ll wait until all 8 episodes are out and then I can binge without reviews and these constant ‘think pieces’ instilling some sort of bias in me. Thanks for the input, guys 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    84. One thing that bothers me about the continued complaints on the faith of the sevens out of character, sudden homophobia is that points are directly made that this is a different “militant” faction of the faith.

      It sort of a parallels the idea that the actions of ISIS are against what moderate Muslims consider Islam. What the Westboro Baptist church represents versus mainstream Christianity. They are an extreme, militant faction of a larger more tolerant faith.

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    85. Robb Snow,

      I didn’t feel that feel that way about it.

      Heehee I wasn’t referring to you directly. Just overall comments from people that I have been seeing since Season 5 ended. I only used to read the unsullied threads and some randoms here and there. But I have been reading all of them these days.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Tormund’s Woman:
      Valaquen,

      Don’t you listen to Arya Havin’ a Larf&#63!!!! That TD line was pretty excellent: placement and delivery. With one line/threat and one action the guy show the kind of character we are looking at. You didn’t need 3 eps for Colin and the script to show you who Ray Velcro is at the point in time we see him now. It was a good line in the context. Vanity Fair can go suck a bag of dongs!

      #BadPussy was just cheesy and hilarious and brought absolutely nothing new to Tyene’s character. Apples and oranges.

      Bad Arya Havin’ a Larf, Bad Arya Havin’ a Larf!

      Well Tyene had to think on the spur of the moment for something to completely distract Bronn away from whatever Ellaria was doing. No time for something with more finesse and Shakespearian…and it seemed to work.

      Although why anyone would need a misbehaving cat beats me 😉

      TW what, the context of berating a 12 year old! 😀

      And the Ray Velcro line is a poor shadow of

      “Any man dies with a clean sword, I’ll rape his fucking corpse!”

        Quote  Reply

    87. slimchicken,

      I like it. By Season 7, Tywin could be the Mad Hand Jaime would have to skewer to prevent Dany from burning down the city. The foreshadowing freaks among us would crow about how Jaime losing his hand was foreshadowing for him removing a Hand.

      Really, this stuff sometimes writes itself…

        Quote  Reply

    88. Arya Havin’ a Larf?:
      TW what, the context of berating a 12 year old!

      Exactly! This is why it was perfect.

      Initially, you get the accepting father of a child who may be born out of rape, who’s asking for more visitation rights, who’s seeking legal advice and “welcomes judgement”. Seeing his story you may be tempted to be giving him the benefit of a doubt … and then BAM, when push comes to shove you see he cannot and IS not fit to deal with kids. He becomes the bully for a 12 yr old. That is NOT berating a kid. That is an out of control, drunkard, who cannot handle a proper response, unfit-to-be-dad so far character!

      If you feel you don’t want to off topic when you badmouth the #BadPussy Roy Velcoro, join us at Fleabottom.net and comment there about TD! 🙂

      Hope I didn’t do a no-no by promoting the site lol

        Quote  Reply

    89. This would’ve benefitted greatly from more editing n moderation. Perhaps a longer timeframe of discussion, too. Good points were made, but I still walked away disappointed after reading this because I expected more then a half of it taking up an argument with someone who shouldn’t have been in this discussion in the first place. Was also disappointed because it doesn’t do justice to some of the people involved…

      Harma Dogememe:

      This little gem from part 2 (and the fact that it went conspicuously unanswered) pretty much says it all…

      “Well, what would’ve been NON-problematic portrayals of sexual violence and homosexual persecution, in your opinion?” — Sue

      Can’t speak to everyone, but I’ve been reading both Stefan Sasses and Ghostlovesingers reviews all season, and Ghostlovesinger actually does address this question, the sexual assault one anyways, in great, well-argued detail, in his review of the sixth episode:

      http://towerofthehand.com/blog/2015/05/19-review-unbowed-unbent-unbroken/index.html

      ….none of which made it into the solar, however condensed. Which I didn’t feel to be conspicuous, but to me smacked more of time constraints? or people giving up on the discussion. Which is a damn shame. Such a cool idea, it could’ve been much more.

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    90. Tormund’s Woman: Exactly! This is why it was perfect.

      If you feel you don’t want to off topic when you badmouth the #BadPussy Roy Velcoro, join us at Fleabottom.net and comment there about TD!

      Hope I didn’t do a no-no by promoting the site lol

      Nah if you’re going to go for that sort of “I’m so badass I can’t speak any sense” context, this from “In the Loop” is how you do it

      “Allow me to pop a jaunty little bonnet on your purview and ram it up your shitter with a lubricated horse cock”

      Now that’s a quality outburst 😀

        Quote  Reply

    91. Kyrenna: Can’t speak to everyone, but I’ve been reading both Stefan Sasses and Ghostlovesingers reviews all season, and Ghostlovesinger actually does address this question, the sexual assault one anyways, in great, well-argued detail, in his review of the sixth episode:

      http://towerofthehand.com/blog/2015/05/19-review-unbowed-unbent-unbroken/index.html

      ….none of which made it into the solar, however condensed. Which I didn’t feel to be conspicuous, but to me smacked more of time constraints? or people giving up on the discussion. Which is a damn shame. Such a cool idea, it could’ve been much more.

      That review is excellent. Jim would have probably spent the entire review talking about how cock merchants demand wouldn’t be economically feasible outside of Asshai. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    92. Daughter of Winter,

      Completely agree that in any scenario Tywin’s death is inevitable. I would argue, however, that the story would have been better served by it happening later, likely as part of Dany’s invasion. Tywin is such a compelling and formidable figure. He represents a a more significant adversary to Daenerys and a reason to care about King’s Landing in light of the White Walker threat.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Arya Havin’ a Larf?,

      Badass?! More like deadbeat. Everyone knows badasses want a good girl but need a bad pussy. Did Roy really look like he wants a good girl?! Did it?!

      I THINK NOT!

      And THIS is where I stop all comments involving that wretched line who’s stuck in my head for a week and a half now. I need another.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Tormund’s Woman,

      Tyene travels to King’s Landing to represent the High Sparrow in Cersei’s trial by combat, opposite a certain Ser Robert Strong. As they fight, she taunts:

      My name is Tyene Sand from House Martell. You eye-finger fucked my father. Prepare to die.

      You’re welcome.

        Quote  Reply

    95. I found the 3-site roundtable an interesting experiment. And what very different character(s) the 3 have. To my relief , WEsteros was not involved.

      Something like a Lawyer did something like nitpick on a detail and dismiss the 800-pound gorilla: assessing a whole based on the first 4 of its parts would get him kicked out of first-year Law. It’s illogical. Moreover, his defense against an overwhelming group of people calling him out on it only made matters worse. The fact he bailed out of the show because he was displeased IS relevant, but it doesn’t justify his making any pronouncements on the following six episodes or the overall quality of the season. Sue and Pasty did a terrific job of countering the irrationality, though he barely backed down.

      On the merits of his argument about the Faith and homosexuality, I have mixed feelings. Throughout history many societies and religions have turned a blind eye to homosexuality even though the laws were quite strict. England, generally open-minded and sophisticated, did punish gays when they were discovered or outed. The treatment of Oscar Wilde and actor John Gielgud was typical. If you saw Imitation Game, you saw a gay man who was detained for other suspected crimes, but once his homosexuality was official, he was punished. Even now in some countries (mainly African and Middle Eastern) gays can be put to death. Vladimir Putin is also beginning to use them as a scapegoat in Russia. The Catholic Church is quite anti-gay, but it’s come to light that abusive/gay priests have been active within the Church for centuries and were rarely if ever punished. Probably that is what happened in the Faith of the Seven–they didn’t practice what they preached and turned a blind eye. Probably they’ve been like the previous High Septon: corrupt, venal, sensual, lazy and hypocritical–but not zealous.
      This season a priest/septon came along who IMO underneath his placid humility is a raging zealot with political ambition. His Faith Militant followers are his weapon in slowly wresting power from the secular authorities. When Cersei handed him Loras, she cited homosexuality as his sin. Lancel handed Cersei to the HS with fornication, incest, murder and adultery as hers. I think that for him, Loras’s homosexuality was just a convenient excuse to arrest him. And since D&D decided that Cersei should move against Loras as well as Margaery, it made sense to show Loras in action, sexually. The HS interprets the Seven-Pointed Star like a many televangelists interpret the Bible. Like them, the HS USES these things to obtain his goal: money, power, sex, fame, adoration, etc. I think next season the HS will use his faith and his guise of piety as the means to become kingmaker. In short, the HS is the smiler with the knife under the cloak. I don’t believe a word he says. But I do not find the show’s focus on Loras’s sexuality inconsistent or implausible.

      Ginevra, thanks for the bit of Chaucer (or Langland or Gower or whoever). It makes my heart glad to hear a nice quote in ME.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Kyrenna: Can’t speak to everyone, but I’ve been reading both Stefan Sasses and Ghostlovesingers reviews all season, and Ghostlovesinger actually does address this question, the sexual assault one anyways, in great, well-argued detail, in his review of the sixth episode:

      Fair enough, but if we’re going to start referencing outside material by way of answering questions raised in the discussion, then the discussion itself is completely pointless.

      If this had been promoted as “an index of questions about Season 5 that people may or may not have answered elsewhere” that might fly, but that’s not the case. It was billed as the “final word” on Season 5. So yeah, YOU answered the question for them in the hundred-somethingth comment on an article on an altogether different website than that part of the discussion was even hosted on–YOUR point is valid and I appreciate the link–but it doesn’t serve as a defense for the counterproductive tone of the non-WotW contributors.

      You’re absolutely right that the link does a pretty sound job of answering that question. Whether I agree with everything they’re saying or not, I still found it to be interesting and worth reading. The fact that they couldn’t bring that same eloquence and thoughtfulness into the discussion is sad, and comes off a bit childish really.

      You said yourself that the discussion would have benefited from additional editing, so it’s hard for me to buy the idea that this question was ignored due to space/time constraints… an in-discussion answer to Sue’s question would have been a lot more valuable than another 10-15 paragraphs vaguely whining about “lazy writing”.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Harma, I think what I was trying to do was defend both those contributors (and by extent, the Tower of the Hand, I suppose) because I ‘know’ them to be eloquent, thoughtful, and not childish at all. The only reason I wanted to come up with for them not being what I expected them to be, was time constraints and/or bad editing of the discussion.

      The link I provided was just one topic that went unaddressed that I would’ve loved to have heard more peoples’ thoughts on. An example of what I would’ve loved to, indeed, be answered in-solar. I was as disappointed as you are that it wasn’t.

      ….though reading some of the comments today on another thread here makes me wonder if this particular question wasn’t left unanswered purposefully, indeed :/

        Quote  Reply

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