Excised dialogue from Stannis’ death on Game of Thrones shows raw emotion

Stannis

Ahead of the 2015 Emmys, the script for “Mother’s Mercy,” the finale of Game of Thrones fifth season was posted online in its entirety. Within those pages, a devoted Reddit user found a rare moment of raw emotion from the stoic King Stannis Baratheon (played by Stephen Dillane) in his final exchange with Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie).

Before avenging her murdered King Renly, Brienne allows the defeated Stannis his last words. In the final cut of the episode, they were as concise and logical as we’ve come to expect of his character.

“Go on, do your duty,” Stannis says to Brienne before his execution. True to his character, he accepts the inevitable. However, in his final moments in the script (beginning on page 13 of the Emmys document), we can now see some remorse for his infamous fratricide and the sacrifice of his only daughter, Shireen.

Stage directions in brackets!

[He squints at her, weak from loss of blood.]

STANNIS
Bolton’s got women fighting for him?

BRIENNE
I don’t fight for the Boltons. I’m Brienne of Tarth.

[This means nothing to Stannis.]

BRIENNE
I was Kingsguard to Renly Baratheon. I was there when he was murdered by a shadow with your face.

[Stannis was not expecting this confrontation today, but fuck it, why not.]

BRIENNE
You murdered him? With blood magic?

[Stannis nods.]

STANNIS
I did.

BRIENNE
In the name of Renly of the House Baratheon, first of his name, rightful King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and protector of the realm, I, Brienne of Tarth, sentence you to die.

[Stannis nods. He’s ready.]

BRIENNE
Do you have any last words?

[Stannis considers.]

STANNIS: Do you believe in the life to come?

[Brienne nods]

STANNIS: I don’t. But if I’m wrong, and you’re right… tell Renly I’m sorry when you get there. I don’t imagine I’ll see him wherever I’m going. (beat) And my daughter. Tell her… tell her…

[‘Sorry’ doesn’t even begin to cover what he feels about Shireen. The thought of it brings tears to his eyes, and he’s not going to die weeping in front of a woman he doesn’t know.

Stannis stares up at her.]

STANNIS: Go on, do your duty.

[Brienne raises her sword and brings it down with a mighty swing.]

Special thanks to Reddit user CloudDragon94 for picking this out!

This new text offers some closure for Stannis after the devastating actions he took in pursuing the Iron Throne and humanizes him even after such atrocities.

Does this change your opinion of Stannis at all? Do you wish the exchange had made the final cut? Let us know below!

216 responses

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    1. WHY WOULD THEY EVER CUT THIS OUT

      Unless Dillane fucked this up, which I doubt because he’s great, this would have been miles better, that ep was way too rushed

      Also should have been an onscreen death

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    2. Azor Melisandre!

      No it doesn’t change my opinion, though I wish the exchange had made the final cut because what we got was quick and lazy. I never really liked Stannis tbh. I’m obviously grateful he helped my boy after the battle at CB, but I wasn’t really rooting for him to take the throne (and I never thought he had a shot to do it anyway). He was on a downward spiral after killing his brother and then trying to kill his nephew.

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    3. Actually, I like the fact that this was cut, and I like the scene even more knowing this was “in his thoughts” in those last moments. Stannis wouldn’t say any of that, but he’d surely die wishing he had. I prefer the cold acceptance of his fate and the courageous if resigned way he met it, all exposed in the utter simplicity and naked truth of his sparse final words.

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    4. I dunno. I suppose it would’ve been better to add it in, but I’m not so sure. I think it was kind of implied and obvious that Stannis knew he made the wrong decisions by that point anyway. However, I do agree that it felt somewhat rushed, so perhaps adding the extra dialogue would’ve been nice. It keeps with Stannis’s character that he wouldn’t be particularly emotional about it though.

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    5. If he had won the battle, would he have regretted sacrificing Shireen then? I loved Stannis as a character, but this would not have made me any less angry with him.

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    6. This would have been so very much more meaningful and better than his end was. Guess we’ll have to wait for the special editions, hey?

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    7. I think it would have been out of character for Stannis to say those things out loud, so I’m okay with them being cut. But I’m glad to see him thinking of his daughter and knowing he done fucked up at the end.

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    8. I think the emotion in the dialogue is right but stannis would never vocalize it, so I think they made the right choice

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    9. Oh Stannis, how I miss you. I’ve always been disappointed in his character’s 5 minute wrap up of ridiculous speed. I don’t mind his end at Brienne’s hand, just the almost comical “Um, bad news about the camp, oops, the army…er, bad news about your wife….say, about that Red Woman, she buggered off….oh look, Boltons.”

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    10. Also just remembered that they cut Myrcella’s death scene short aswell (based on the picture of Jaime holding her on the floor with her drenched in blood which is definitely a while after the scene cuts)

      I just wish they’d let these things breathe

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    11. Pigeon,

      That said, we can’t have a ‘thoughts’ narrator, and the scene in the tent with Shireen prior, plus his ‘fuck it’ attitude towards his demise kind of displayed his love and regret equally as well. This would work in a book, not on screen for him.

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    12. I’m glad in a way this was left out. Why? If it “needed” to be included it proves one shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.

      Regardless, I did enjoy Stannis. Sure, he was a A hole however, I can easily pick apart each characters flaws.

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    13. HotPinkLipstick:
      Honestly, I prefer it as it aired. This seems off and doesn’t quite fit with Stannis.

      Agreed, at least in terms of the Stoic face he presented to the world. By that I mean I could see him having the thoughts behind those cut lines from the script, but I think it would have been a bit off for him to articulate them.

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    14. I am not so sure it’s out of character for Stannis to say this… people open up about all sorts of regrets on their deathbed. Stannis had been repressing so much his whole life, he must have been a broken man by that point in the story, once he realized it had all been for naught.

      And anyway, I like when stories play counter to what’s expected and reveal hidden sides to established characters. I have utmost faith in Dillane. The guy would’ve delivered these lines with terse grimness, in the trademark Stannis style.

      I must admit I’m sorry they didn’t include this in the episode. Bummer.

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    15. I absolutely love the stage directions ! D&D were not kidding when they said they went quite in a free style with the scripts :

      [Stannis was not expecting this confrontation today, but fuck it, why not.]

      That is pure gold !

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    16. The sentiment expressed in those words fit Stannis’ character… but actually saying those words out loud, even in his death bed, doesn’t fit him at all. Dillane expressed regret beautifully with his face only; there was no need for a forced soliloquy — however well-written, it just doesn’t fit the character of Stannis, in my opinion. Leaving it to only the obvious regret in his face and his last words was just perfect. Stannis was quite spartan and withdrawn, though he obviously felt things deeply inside, and his death showed that beautifully.

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    17. Adam,

      I was going to say the exact same thing. Stannis didn’t need to say how sorry he was for Renly and Shireen, I could see it on his face. The scene was perfect just the way it was.

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    18. Sean C.,

      Oh, thank you. I hope, they will publish the entire script some day – I would be reading it with pleasure.

      As for Stannis, I also prefer it as it was: all the regrets were seen in his eyes and there was no need to speak them out loud. However, it’s nice to have the script as a kind of confirmation, too.

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    19. Sue the Fury:
      It’s fun to read D&D’s stage directions though.

      “The General now wishes he died in his sleep. ”

      The stage direction for Dany’s frustration at dealing with Drogon is hilarious. “Fucking dragons.”

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    20. Luka Nieto,

      I agree. Personally I think Stephen Dillane’s performance in that episode is one of the best of the entire series; his facial expressions say it all. For me, the confession feels out-of-character in the script, but I’m sure Dillane would have made it sound completely believable if they kept it in. But I love it how it is.

      Sean C.,

      Thanks! Do you have links to any of the other GOT scripts on the Emmy website? The screenplays for “Baelor,” “The Rains of Castamere,” and “The Children” (S01E09, S03E09, & S04E10) were also nominated.

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    21. Arkash,

      “One thing that really made me laugh was what one of the writers wrote in the script for the episode. There’s a line where Snow says, ‘I can’t because I swore a vow,’ and the direction written was: ‘Melisandre looks at him like bitch, please’. I loved that!”

      – Carice van Houten on a script note for Jon Snow’s attempted seduction scene (in season 5, episode 4 “Sons of the Harpy”)

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    22. HotPinkLipstick,

      I agree. Stannis stans loved the scene between him and Shireen in ‘Kill The Boy’, but in my opinion that is not in character for him, certainly not in the case of his book character, which is what most people usually freak out about. Stannis shows zero affection towards Shireen or anybody else in the books. So him getting misty eyed and remorseful would have seemed very out of character.

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    23. Though they would have fleshed out the scene nicely, I really have no problem with these lines being left out. The look on Stannis’ face said it all.

      A well-deserved standing ovation for Stephen Dillane and Gwendoline Christie for their superb performances!

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    24. Actually Stannis had already briefly expressed his regret for murdering Renly in the season 2 finale. This would have been the follow-up.

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    25. It’s interesting to read the “Battle of the Bastards” script. It looks like David & Dan edited it after Sapochnik had to improvise with the battle given their limited filming schedule (having Jon almost crushed by bodies). There are some differences, but they’re mainly cut dialogue, which could have been recorded and removed in editing and post production. Basically I’m just curious as to why they didn’t submit the script used by the crew during the actual filming of the episode, rather than one obviously made after filming.

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    26. Ryan Neuner,

      No, that’s the only other one I know about. I’m not sure earlier years are still up (or ever were).

      As you note, it’s not the original shooting script. The main difference I note is that the script is much clearer about what’s happening in the scene where the Sons of the Harpy are attacked by Daario and the Dothraki horde.

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    27. HotPinkLipstick:
      Honestly, I prefer it as it aired. This seems off and doesn’t quite fit with Stannis.

      Stannis does not seem to have emotions other than bearing the burden of doing his duty as he sees it. Grinding his teeth suggests his preoccupation with duty and frustration at not being able to accomplish the goals duty requires.

      His scenes with Jon and Sam show senior manager focus and skills. Familial feeling is replaced by passion directed at Mel, not his wife or child.

      Attacking on foot because horses are gone shows duty over sense or warfare knowledge. Embracing justice-death fits his character more than showing remorse or repressed love for family.

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    28. There arc of Stannis is season 5 was an insult to the readers, to the show viewers and to everyone’s intelligence. D&D never understood the character (“only ambition”), made him stupid and ridiculous (5×10 Battle plan of “the best general of Westeros), didn’t listen GRRM words about Stannis (“only king who cared for the realm) and finally they lied to us, first saying S5 wouldn’t surpass or spoil the books and then in the Inside the Episode of 5X09 they stated “when George told us about this…”, referring to the burning of Shireen.

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    29. Luka Nieto,

      To think that Stannis “wouldn’t think about finding in the afterlife” a traitor like Renly simply makes no sense.

      In any case, I remember every word of Sansa, Varys and other characters insulting Stannis memory in Season 6. D&D, adding to never understanding the character, really hated him.

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    30. Posters here would like Stannis to suffer the emotional pain of guilt and loss for causing deaths in his family. Stannis may not suffer that kind of pain. Without being a wight, Stannis is missing human feelings. Stannis only did what he did to attain his goal, not as the result of feelings.

      Perhaps the pain he feels is for the failure of his goals and all his work. He is at the end of his rope, has given his all, can do no more, and so accepts execution for what others consider the crime of kinslaying.

      Perhaps the author wished to show the extent of harm created by the pursuit of duty above all else. Ironically, the most duty-imprisoned character is executed by a character who still believes the fantasy of high duty imposed on a knight.

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    31. Ask and ye shall receive.

      Oh god, this doesn’t “change my opinion of Stannis” because they CUT IT OUT.

      “Stannis” isn’t a real person, he’s a fictional construct. Which means the final version is what we judge. Or rather….the fact that Benioff and Weiss had something *THIS* good but threw it out anyway is something we should be UPSET about, not GRATEFUL for.

      This furthers the pattern that they’re just writing the actors, not the fictional characters.

      I mean they said in the DVD commentary “we were so stunned by Dillane’s performance that we cut out dialogue so it wouldn’t get in the way of his non-verbal performance”. Look at his face! Look at his face! Is what they said.

      They’re just trying to maneuver the actors into positions where they can give amazing non-verbal performances: for Stannis it was despair and resignation, for Ellaria it was anger, for Sansa it was rape-terror, for Jon it’s smoldering hate in his eyes in the Battle of the Bastards.

      (grins)

      They’re fanboys. Benioff and Weiss are just fanboys who never had any prior experience working with live actors. Their entire approach to the TV series was “oh my god, actors can cry on cue! Do another one!”

      The TV series isn’t “a separate piece of filmic art” from the books — it’s two fanboys stunt-casting actors in their own roles 🙂

      “Look at his face!”

      …contextless emoting with facial muscles?

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    32. They sure do say the f-word a lot in their stage directions.

      I suspect they think it makes them sound mature.

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    33. This whole time I couldn’t believe they cut his last words. Omg I’m glad they did. Stannis would never say that or use those words. Damn the lack of source material. The dialogue was the best part, not the CGI. Make the dialogue bigger and better.

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    34. I love this dialogue! It doesn’t change my opinion on Stannis though, as I always imagined he was thinking something along these lines. I believe he always deep down regretted what he did to Renly (and of course, Shireen), but he was so focused on (what he perceived as) the greater good that he wouldn’t allow himself to feel those things. It makes sense that, in the face of death, those feelings might come closer to the surface.

      Now, with all that said… I think it would have been out of character for Stannis to express those thoughts out loud. So, ultimately, I think the scene was best left as is. I like knowing that this is what he was thinking though.

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    35. They should have left it in . However, the look of absolute misery and desoltion in his face when he heard about his missing men, and then seeing his wife (cant remember name) hung up was enough to display his emotions Marvelous acting, but I think the missing lie wouldhave explaned things more

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    36. Javi from Los Siete Reinos,

      Considering you are the owner of a big spanish fansite i would have expected you to act more like a grown up but then i remembered The Dragon Demands exists so i guess loonies exists in every part of he world .

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    37. The Dragon Demands,

      They’re not fanboys, they’re professionals. They felt confident enough in Dillane’s abilities to express all this without dialogue to make the scene more impactful. And guess what, they succeeded. And you have it backwards. If they were writing for the actors, they would have left this in and give Dillane more powerful lines. But they decided, correctly, that wouldn’t have been in Stannis’s character, so they stepped back and let Dillane do his thing.

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    38. Pigeon:
      Pigeon,

      That said, we can’t have a ‘thoughts’ narrator, and the scene in the tent with Shireen prior, plus his ‘fuck it’ attitude towards his demise kind of displayed his love and regret equally as well. This would work in a book, not on screen for him.

      totally agree ! Writers use the narrator in developing characters; you can have a narrator for inner thoughts without being in the way on a tv show. When used in film or tv, its usually a case of telling over showing. And in the show, Stannis whole body and face showed us his thinking

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    39. Adam:
      The Dragon Demands,

      What a moron. Great film acting is always wordless. D&D are just smart enough to realize that Stephen Dillane’s acting makes their scripted dialogue utterly pointless.

      are…are you being sarcastic?

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    40. Young Dragon:
      The Dragon Demands,

      They’re not fanboys, they’re professionals. They felt confident enough in Dillane’s abilities to express all this without dialogue to make the scene more impactful. And guess what, they succeeded. And you have it backwards. If they were writing for the actors, they would have left this in and give Dillane more powerful lines. But they decided, correctly, that wouldn’t have been in Stannis’s character, so they stepped back and let Dillane do his thing.

      After the season 5 finale, Dillane rather bluntly said he didn’t know why Stannis acted the way he did or did the way he did in the events leading to his death.

      Dillane actually *didn’t* understand the character because D&D didn’t explain it. All they cared about was him emoting at the camera.

      that’s “emoting” but not “acting”.

      “Acting”, from a strict technical definition, involves understanding and channeling a fictional character.

      This is why they don’t win acting Emmys for all their invented or altered stuff.

      ….They’re not “professionals”: what previous TV shows did they work on?

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    41. The Dragon Demands,

      According to Wikipedia, Benioff wrote the screenplays for Stay, The Kite Runner, Brothers, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He also adapted his own first novel, The 25th Hour, for the screen; the critically acclaimed film was directed by Spike Lee and starred Edward Norton.

      Game of Thrones is apparently the only show Benioff and Weiss have ever directed, but hey… everyone starts somewhere. GRRM chose them, and he evidently thought they were a tad more than “fanboys.”

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    42. Sean C.,

      “Smile that says My tyranny is just began motherfucker”

      Wow and they say D&D are dany fanboys .

      I think we as fans of GOT owe Miguel more than we know for his work on season 5 and 6

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    43. I think it would’ve been out of character for Stannis to go out whimpering about the afterlife and asking a stranger to apologize on his behalf to his brother and daughter in case there is an afterlife. By the time Brienne came upon a wounded, defeated Stannis, he knew everything had turned to total s-it and he was more than ready to go.

      If anything, he should’ve told Brienne: “Go on. Do your duty. But one small request if you’re up to it: If you ever run into a Red Witch named Melisandre, please tell her that her wonderful “Lord of Light” is a vicious c-nt, and then set her on fire.”

      He was the King Who Cared, but listening to her false promises and assurances led to his tragic decisions and ultimate ruin.

      I thought Stephen Dillane was fabulous. I just wish we’d seen more of Stannis as the reknowned battle commander, before suffering defeat at the hands of Ramsay’s twenty saboteurs, leaving us with the final scene of Stannis leading his outnumbered men on foot to certain doom.

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    44. The Dragon Demands,

      If you really can’t stand David & Dan and the direction Game of Thrones is headed, why do you follow the show so much? I admire your work on the Game of Thrones Wiki, but it seems like you’re quite annoyed by the show as a whole.

      Why not join one of the ASOIAF communitites rather than constantly trashing the GOT writers? (On Twitter you called David Benioff out on his drinking. Who cares? Do you need to berate his personal life just because you don’t like his writing?)

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    45. And I agree with some I dont see stannis saying these words at all and quite happy with how it ended although it was rushed

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    46. I never liked Stannis from the moment we saw him to the moment he died. But if this had been in the show, I would have had a small piece of respect for him in his last moments.

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    47. May I suggest that rhose who deride the showrunners as
      “fanboys who never had any prior experience working with live actors”, post their own resumes listing their own experience?

      Anyone can be an armchair quarterback. I’d like to hear from somebody who’s actually taken the field.

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    48. The Dragon Demands,

      I am perfectly aware of what Stephen Dillane has said about his character. It’s a shame that he didn’t fully understand his character, but that’s what makes his portrayal so impressive. I had absolutely no trouble understanding Stannis’s show character, and found him to be much more compelling than his book character. And Stephen Dillane was acting in that scene, he was acting with emotion. He was a broken man who had lost everything he cared about. Stephen Dillane acted the shit out of that scene.

      The Dragon Demands:
      This is why they don’t win acting Emmys for all their invented or altered stuff.

      But they win writing Emmys for invented or altered stuff?

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    49. D&D made the right decision cutting this overly long dialogue. “Go on… do your duty” is succinct, to the point, total Stannis. It conveys a great deal about what he values. For him duty was everything.

      And the resigned way Dillane delivered the line — all of his regrets are right there in his voice and on his face… unspoken. It gives the scene greater power.

      Sometimes less is more.

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    50. Wolfish,

      The fact that six years and sixty episodes later so many people are jonesing for Season 7 (and bemoaning that there are only 13 episodes left) tells you all you need to know about the showrunners’ competence.

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    51. The Dragon Demands,

      No. Dillane said that he did not understand actions of Stannis at all. Not only leading to his death.

      And I think that that’s just pompous bulshit. The atittude that many actors have. Because it is clear from his acting that he understood the character and I don’t think that any character in GoT is hard to understand.

      If you are capable of doing so, than Dillane was as well.

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    52. Glad that didn’t make the cut. Pretty cheesy. Sometimes less is more. In both the dialogue and in his execution off screen.

      They nailed it in the end.

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    53. Orys Stark,

      After reading that battle of bastards script ..iam beginning to wonder whether the leaked scripts last month maybe real which i was so sure must be fake and now iam not that sure

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    54. Stannis has always been one of my favorite characters and always will be. I was destroyed when he burned Shireen. I wouldn’t even let my wife touch me that night. But look at it in the context of that universe from within his mind. A horde of zombies led by unkillable ice demons really is descending from the north to destroy all of humanity, and as far as Stannis knew, he was the only king who could save millions by sacrificing one. He turned out to be wrong, and so did Melisandre, but what does it mean to be an evil person when with all your heart you honestly believe you’re pushing past your own weakness and attachments to family in the service of a larger cause that will benefit everyone?

      The story forces us to ask these questions and they don’t have good answers. This community is schizophrenic about it. On the one hand, Stannis and Melisandre are supposed to be object lessons about the dangers of religious zealotry. On the other hand, we have people speculating that Jon will have to murder Arya or Sansa as his “Nissa Nissa” to win the final war. Why would it be right for him but wrong for Stannis just because Jon really is the lord’s chosen savior? They’re both acting on faith. We only know one is right and the other isn’t because we’re watching from outside their world with a god’s eye view, but they don’t have that.

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    55. Young Dragon:

      I am perfectly aware of what Stephen Dillane has said about his character. It’s a shame that he didn’t fully understand his character, but that’s what makes his portrayal so impressive. I had absolutely no trouble understanding Stannis’s show character, and found him to be much more compelling than his book character. And Stephen Dillane was acting in that scene, he was acting with emotion. He was a broken man who had lost everything he cared about. Stephen Dillane acted the shit out of that scene.

      Exactly what I was thinking! I felt disappointed when I read that Dillane didn’t understand his character and didn’t like and get GOT, but this speaks volumes about his intuitive acting. Without caring for his character, he somehow managed to do exactly what was needed and more!
      Great actors truly master their facial expression. I’m glad I read the script, but I prefer the scene without those lines.
      Just remember Maisie not being able to give up Needle! That scene would have been spoiled by words.

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    56. Lol people are so bitter.D&D are actually great.I’d like to see any of you do at least a tenth of what they have achieved.I have seen many books I love adapted and can honestly say this is one of the better ones.They have kept the spirit of the story and that’s what is important.And you might not agree with how they view a character but that doesn’t mean that their interpretation is wrong and yours is right.Everybody interprets works of literature differently.But they do a good job of bringing their vision to life.

      And they were right to cut this out.It wasn’t necessary.I got all of this just by looking at his face.It works better as just his thoughts anyway.Btw I love their stage direction.They are so funny.And reading the BoB script I realized how good the actors are.I mean I knew they were good but they played everything the script required on point.

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    57. Javi from Los Siete Reinos,

      I never liked Stannis in the books to be honest. Stephen Dillane made me laugh in his first scene when he told the scribe (Davos’ son in the show – a different character in the books) to cut the reference to Robert as his “beloved” brother and to Jaime as “Ser” – there was something similar in the book if I remember. When you think about him being a sound commander are you thinking about the stage where book Stannis is in ADWD [ spoiler ] seemingly trying to draw Ramsay into a battle on the ice. Of course we don’t know how that strategy works out and won’t any time soon it seems judging by the length of time it is taking for TWoW to come out [ / spoiler]

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    58. Shy Lady Dragon,

      Just remember Maisie not being able to give up Needle! That scene would have been spoiled by words.”

      Great example! And her facial expressions alone were a perfect translation of the emotion in the

      “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile”

      passage from the books.

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    59. Stannis is not a POV character, so we don’t have his thoughts to help us understand him. We get to know him through the eyes of Davos, who clearly loves and admires him. But like all of the ASoIaF POV characters, Davos is unreliable. We cannot trust his thoughts and opinions on Stannis because he always presents Stannis in the best possible light.

      If we strip the Davos love away, we are left with Stannis as an implacable, inflexible, classic middle child, overshadowed by his older brother and outshined by his younger. He’s the Jan Brady of ASoIaF. Stannis is just an obstacle to be removed as we hurtle towards endgame, the same as Robb or Joffrey.

      Jan Brady isn’t the hero of the story. Jan Brady makes horrible, stupid mistakes to further her own cause and agenda and, in Westeros, dies a small death after failing miserably.

      Understanding or not, Dillane portrayed it well.

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    60. This is sooo cool
      I want to read all the scripts.

      I am glad they cut this stuff out. I don’t see Stannis saying these things. The way it happened was perfect. You could actually see in his facial expression that he was thinking those things “damn I fucked up, no point in living anymore”. And the credit here goes to Dillane.

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    61. Hahaha from BOTB script opening scene:

      “Tyrion flinches each time a projectile lands near the
      pyramid, because he’s human and it’s a natural human
      reaction.

      Dany never flinches. She is not the same woman who flew away
      from Daznak’s Pit on the back of a dragon. She is changed,
      changed utterly, a terrible beauty glaring at Tyrion.”

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    62. I can see this both ways. On the one hand, I think this additional dialogue offers a lovely and heartbreaking window into the sense of loss, uncertainty, and devastation that Stannis must be feeling internally at this moment – and I’ll take any reference to the dearly departed Princess Shireen that I can get! The aside is well-written by Benioff and Weiss, and I’m sure that Stephen Dillane would have delivered these words beautifully, but with all of Stannis’s trademark bluntness. In that respect, I wish that we would have had the opportunity to see this moment realized on screen.

      On the other hand, I thought that Stephen Dillane conveyed this sentiment masterfully in his non-verbal performance, and having his final words be so direct and sparse was a perfect distillation of his character (“Go on, do your duty,” holds a high place in the rankings of the best final line offered by any character in this story). Stannis doesn’t know Brienne, so I can see why many believe that opening up to her in this situation, even on death’s doorstep, isn’t something that seems likely. In that respect, I’m glad that this moment was cut.

      So ultimately, it’s a win-win. I’m glad that this exchange surfaced. Now, whenever I watch this scene in “Mother’s Mercy”, I can envision these exact words as Stannis’s internal monologue during the brief moment after Brienne asks him for his last words and before he tells her to get on with it and end his life. But I’m happy to have the final on-screen product as it currently stands.

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    63. Wolfish:
      The Dragon Demands,

      According to Wikipedia, Benioff wrote the screenplays for Stay, The Kite Runner, Brothers, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He also adapted his own first novel, The 25th Hour, for the screen; the critically acclaimed film was directed by Spike Lee and starred Edward Norton.

      Game of Thrones is apparently the only show Benioff and Weiss have ever directed, but hey… everyone starts somewhere. GRRM chose them, and he evidently thought they were a tad more than “fanboys.”

      Yeah….what prior experience did they have working on an ongoing TV series with a cast of live actors? They have no experience working with live actors. So they’re kind of in awe of their ability to emote on cue.

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    64. Ryan Neuner:
      The Dragon Demands,

      If you really can’t stand David & Dan and the direction Game of Thrones is headed, why do you follow the show so much? I admire your work on the Game of Thrones Wiki, but it seems like you’re quite annoyed by the show as a whole.

      Why not join one of the ASOIAF communitites rather than constantly trashing the GOT writers? (On Twitter you called David Benioff out on his drinking. Who cares? Do you need to berate his personal life just because you don’t like his writing?)

      Because while a fan of the concept of live-action TV adaptations of the works of GRRM, I’m not a fan of D&D.

      (laughs)

      Your entire defense of D&D is “if you don’t like it, leave?”

      On top of that, now that they’re *the top rated show on TV and winning awards of artistic merit for writing categories*, they’re setting the standard for ALL TV, so it’s not really something I can just “leave” for.

      Look at how many people DID leave the show. There were people who hung around for the last seasons of Lost and Heroes. Denial is powerful.

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    65. If anyone is arguing, “The show is terrible and D&D are horrid and that’s why everyone has stopped watching the show,” well, the last part of that sentence just isn’t true.

      As someone who dumped lost after season 2 and dumped Heroes two episodes into season 2, I think Game of Thrones is just getting better for me now that we are beyond the books and things are an actual surprise.

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    66. This dialog gives more exposition, but the final cut I think was more Stannis-like.

      The Dragon Demands,

      I think D&D have been fantastic adapting the source material. The problem is when they ran out of source material, and of course since Martin is a better writer than any of them the quality drops. But c’est la vie, Martin was just not fast enought writing.

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    67. The Dragon Demands: Yeah….what prior experience did they have working on an ongoing TV series with a cast of live actors?They have no experience working with live actors. So they’re kind of in awe of their ability to emote on cue.

      The fact that this is their first time working on a tv series makes their accomplishment more impressive. They are the showrunners of the most popular and successful tv show in the world. Not bad for a couple of newbies. As for the bolded, as usual, I have no idea what you’re complaining about. They wrote dialogue, but then scrapped it because it wouldn’t fit Stannis’s character. They trusted that Stephen Dillane could express these feelings without saying a word. That’s acting, not emoting.

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    68. In my opinion Stannis remains one of the poorer written wastes in the adaptation. Wish things turned up different. That said, they made a correct choice cutting this. The dialogue seems random and doesn’t fit with their version of the character.

        Quote  Reply

    69. The Dragon Demands,

      The fact that you have such a bug up your ass about Benioff and Weiss that you need to go on an extended rant about them in every single thread you inhabit amuses me to no end. Not sympathetic amusement, mind you – more like the dark amusement I derive from watching someone walk headfirst into a steel bar, crack their skull and fall to the ground, stagger to their feet … and promptly walk right into the same bar again. Rinse and repeat.

      are…are you being sarcastic?

      Are … are you saying that when intelligent people have a discussion about art distilled from a fictional story, those people might have differing opinions about the value and craftsmanship of said art? That the art in question, and the observer’s opinions of it, might be … gasp … subjective? What … but … I can’t … are you … how … that’s IMPOSSIBLE!

      Look at how many people DID leave the show. There were people who hung around for the last seasons of Lost and Heroes. Denial is powerful.

      Of course. There’s the all-encompassing explanation we were looking for. Anyone who believes that Benioff and Weiss have been and are still producing excellent work must be in denial.

      Or not.

      Let’s get one thing straight. The issue is not that you dislike what Benioff and Weiss are doing (or even that you dislike them personally, although I find the baseless personal insinuations that you frequently sling about them to be offensive). I often think your criticisms of their work to be misguided at best, and laughably ridiculous at worst – but hey, that’s my subjective opinion. Other people make those criticisms in a far more eloquent, concise, and fair-minded fashion than you. When they do, I listen, even when I don’t agree. When you do it, I inevitably lose interest, because your persistent lack of ability to recognize how concepts like subjectivity and personal bias color what you perceive to be the absolute truth never fails to undercut the authority that you so desperately try to project. If you were self-aware in the least, the realization of how pompous and counterproductive this is would have sunk in long ago. It would have saved you an enormous amount of grief, both internally and externally. It might have even gotten a few more people to listen to you.

      Subjectivity in art. Being critical without being contemptuous. Absorbing other people’s opinions without being openly aghast that they differ from your own rigid perception of the truth.

      These things are not – or rather, they should not be – difficult concepts to understand. If you are incapable of grasping them, there’s really nothing else that I or anyone else can say to you. In fact – far too late – I suddenly find myself at a loss as to why I am talking to you at all.

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    70. The Dragon Demands,

      I wasn’t defending David & Dan when I said that. I personally admire their work on the show, and even though they have made a few missteps, I respect their decisions and writing.

      I was simply saying that if you hate them so much, why follow it? But it seems like you
      feels it’s your solemn duty to go on fan websites and criticize them over and over:

      On top of that, now that they’re *the top rated show on TV and winning awards of artistic merit for writing categories*, they’re setting the standard for ALL TV, so it’s not really something I can just “leave” for.

      Also, you’re acting like they direct every episode, which is completely wrong.

      The Dragon Demands: Yeah….what prior experience did they have working on an ongoing TV series with a cast of live actors?They have no experience working with live actors. So they’re kind of in awe of their ability to emote on cue.

      I’m sure you know that they’ve only directed two episodes of the series (S03E03 “Walk of Punishment” and S04E01 “Two Swords”), although only one of them received credit for each one. So by the time they directed their first episode in Season 3, they had two seasons of experience watching other directors helm the series.

      Anyway, the scene we’re talking about here was directed by David Nutter, but it seems you’re uninterested with the particulars, just looking for a chance to bash on David & Dan. For all we know, Nutter could have filmed Dillane giving the confession but cut it in post production when he felt it felt out-of-character. (Not saying that’s what happened, just speculating.)

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    71. Javi from Los Siete Reinos,

      Stannis, like Dorne, Barristan Selmy and much of Daenerys’ entourage, was cut for expediency. It made sense as much as it could, but in the end it is only tv show adaptation meant to be told in 70 hours. Not cutting some of these things would have elongated the show far past that time.

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    72. Young Dragon,

      One other thing: whether or not someone thinks the showrunners lacked experience (and they sure have it now), they have gotten some of the best directors around to helm the episodes.

      Oh, and let’s not forget that MVP Miguel Sapichnik wasn’t exactly a household name before directing what are possibly the three best episodes out of the 60 GoT episodes aired to date. (Of course, I’m talking about “Hardhome”, “Battle of the Bastards”, and “Winds of Winter.”)

        Quote  Reply

    73. Jared,

      Thank you. You said what I have been trying to politely say with these last few comments. But I guess at some point you have to stop beating around the bush and confront him.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Ryan Neuner,

      I didn’t know Benioff and Weiss directed S4E1 “Two Swords.” That episode contained what in my view is the most memorable segment of the entire series. I’m referring, of course, to the last ~ ten minutes, featuring the iconic “Every F-cking Chicken in this Room” scene: Great acting, great comedy, great drama, great action, and great character moments.

      If Benioff and Weiss directed that episode, my hat’s off to them.

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    75. Sue the Fury: I think it would have been out of character for Stannis to say those things out loud, so I’m okay with them being cut.

      That is one thing that books can do that TV cannot: show what is facade vs. what is happening inside of the head. This has come up in other ways: for example, Book!Jon’s wry sense of humor is almost always in his italicized thoughts and much less often in his spoken words.

      Of course, with Stannis it is much harder to gauge than for Jon or other main characters. Stannis is purely a secondary character in the books, so we never get to read what he actually is thinking or (heavens forfend!) feeling. Yes, we get Davos’ interpretations of Stannis’ actions: but Davos almost certainly is guilty of essentially anthropomorphizing Stannis.

      But, that’s life: all media have weaknesses and strengths relative to other media. I do like the stage direction of “Why the fuck not?” I mean, some days are like that! 😛

      At any rate, the scene was fine as it was. I’d have to actually see the full version to see if it worked as well (or better [or worse]).

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    76. HotPinkLipstick: If anyone is arguing, “The show is terrible and D&D are horrid and that’s why everyone has stopped watching the show,” well, the last part of that sentence just isn’t true.

      Didn’t you know? The so-called “high-ratings” of the last few years are fake news! Or is that everybody has stopped watching is an alternative fact? One of those.

      Sorry: but if I don’t laugh about these things, then I might cry about them….. 😉

        Quote  Reply

    77. Ten Bears: Oh, and let’s not forget that MVP Miguel Sapichnik wasn’t exactly a household name before directing what are possibly the three best episodes out of the 60 GoT episodes aired to date.

      heh, true: but, then: are there any TV directors who are household names?

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    78. Ryan Neuner: For all we know, Nutter could have filmed Dillane giving the confession but cut it in post production when he felt it felt out-of-character. (Not saying that’s what happened, just speculating.)

      Chances are good that this did happen, or that some rewrite of those lines was filmed. Actors sometimes semi-joke that real acting is on the stage, where you do it right in one take or you don’t. Many (if not most) movie & TV scenes are shot multiple times in multiple ways, not just to get the single best performance, but also to get version. Many actors have noted that he/she sometimes has problems in reshoots if they feel that they particularly “nailed it” in one take, but then keep doing it again and again.

        Quote  Reply

    79. The Dragon Demands,

      You wrote: ” Look at how many people DID leave the show. There were people who hung around for the last seasons of Lost and Heroes. Denial is powerfuL.”

      How many people “did leave the show”? What figures and sources are you citing? I thought GoT has been surpassing its own viewership records every season.

      I’ve never watched “Lost”, in large part because the consensus is that it fizzled out at the end. And just about every TV show I’ve enjoyed invariably turns to s-it by the second season (eg “The Blacklist”); or subverts what made it good to begin with (eg “Dawson’s Creek” and “Dexter”).

      I’m glad GoT’s showrunners mapped out their story and stuck to it, unlike most TV shows where it seems the writers sit around and try to come up with ways to elongate the story beyond its natural life, and wind up resorting to cheap cliches like an evil twin; a baby; a long-lost brother/sister/parent; a life-threatening disease; a faithful sidekick-turned-traitor, a faked death, etc.

      Don’t you think it’s great that after six years GoT is still fresh and unpredictable?

      If you’re in possession of a better adaptation of Martin’s work, by all means post it and produce it.

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    80. I adore this dialogue and it does humanize Stannis to a degree…but it was better as it was on screen. What we saw on screen was so…Stannis. This one on page is great, but it just doesn’t work as well.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Ten Bears: I’ve never watched “Lost”, in large part because the consensus is that it fizzled out at the end.

      Actually, it was not the end where Lost fizzled. It was in the middle. The problem was that the TV network would not give the showrunners permission to end the series because the ratings were still excellent, even though they had reached a point in the overarching story where it was time to start the final act. So, they basically had to draw out the middle: and it felt like filler.

      The show picked up again after the network gave them permission to tie it up in two seasons. However, at that point a lot of viewers had given up. And, of course, the ending differed from many of the popular “fan theories,” which meant a lot of disappointed fans.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Wimsey,

      Now the Russian bots are going to re-tweet and disseminate the “report” that GoT viewers are leaving in droves…and half the country will believe it. ?

        Quote  Reply

    83. Ten Bears:

      I’m glad GoT’s showrunners mapped out their story and stuck to it, unlike most TV shows

      but….they didn’t “map out” Dorne. They added it in as a *whim*, after Season 4 aired, as a last minute vanity project to show off Indira Varma. Despite every department head telling them there wasn’t time to fit it in. It feels half-finished because it was.

      Streaming viewership sank like a stone after the Sansa rape episode combined with Water Gardens fight. Only “Hardhome” made them go back up again. I’m referring to the ratings chart. Admittedly overall reviews are higher, but how many still left?

      It isn’t “their” show, it’s an adaptation of GRRM’s work. No, it will never “stand on its own”, that’s what “adaptation” means. And I’m actively campaigning for someone else to be in charge. Maybe, (gasp), a female head writer? Or Cogman and Hill, I’d settle for that.

        Quote  Reply

    84. HotPinkLipstick,

      That’s interesting because you pose the point that no POV is a reliable narrator. People lie to themselves, so I guess that’s true. However I personally see Davos as fairly straightforward, calls them like he sees them and good judge of characters. So his opinion is pretty solid, hence I trust his take on Stannis.

      Anyway, I like the script, thanks for posting it! I had no idea they had it out there on the web. Feels like something Stannis might be feeling according to the portrayal of Davos and what I’ve seen onscreen with his daughter. Regret happens even to inflexible, taciturn people. Sometimes regret happens while doing what you know to be questionable by others, or even when it hurts you. I don’t think it’s less Stannis. Probably MORE Stannis.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Art is the most subjective thing on the face of the Earth that I can think of, yet some people carry themselves as though their own personal artistic opinions and preferences need to be adhered to as if there’s a right and wrong answer. “I’m spending my precious time watching this show, which makes me the lord and master of all.” Gimme gimme gimme.

      That type of behavior is beyond condescending…it’s dangerous. The world would be a much more tolerant and enjoyable place to be if there weren’t certain people demanding that others conform to their own personal visions of what they like and don’t like. Art means something different to everyone and that’s kind of the point. Art cannot be tailored to someone’s individual needs unless that particular person is the one creating the art.

      These crusaders like ‘The Dragon Demands’ harrassing anyone on the internet who sees GoT differently than they do don’t deserve to watch the show in the first place.

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    86. Wimsey,

      “Someday you’ll sit on the throne and the truth will be what you make it. ”

      Cersei to Joffrey in S1E3, “Lord Snow”, aired May 1, 2011.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Honestly, some people need to be blocked from this site, when ALL THEY DO Is come here and complain and diss D&D like no tomorrow
      Not because I don’t believe people should have criticisms over the show, but because EVERY POST is filled with negative talk, insults, and too many QUOTATION MARKS LOL

        Quote  Reply

    88. The Dragon Demands,

      Dorne has taken up about 5% of the entire show. Is that really the best argument that you could come up with? The showrunners have said for a while now that the story will take 70-75 hours to tell. And they were right.

      I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but The Winds of Winter was the most watched episode of the entire series, so more people are watching the show, not less. It’s unheard of for a tv series to grow in ratings in its sixth season. Most would have plateaued at this point.

        Quote  Reply

    89. TormundsWoman,

      I like Davos a lot and agree with much of his take on things. That doesn’t make him reliable. Although I’d like to think him a good judge of character, he totally missed that Stannis would sacrifice his own child. Davos’ POV becomes even more suspect now.

      ETA: I just want to make clear that I don’t think Stannis changed so much that he suddenly became a man who would sacrifice his child. I believe it was always there. I think anyone who would sacrifice their children, that possibility is always there. And Davos just missed that central part of Stannis.

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    90. Was this in the script but not performed, or was it performed and edited out? My first reaction was that if it was performed, I’d dearly love to see what Dillane did with it. After all, this is a man who had such an instinct for delivery, that we are still repeating his delivery of one word: “fewer” with delight.

      Even though you may be right that such heartfelt admissions might have been not only out-of-character for Stannis, but physically taxing because Stannis was bleeding to death from a terrible leg wound anyway, aren’t any of you interested in how Dillane might have delivered it?

      As for all the other nonsense going on in this thread, bitches please.

        Quote  Reply

    91. The Dragon Demands,

      You wrote: ” Streaming viewership sank like a stone after the Sansa rape episode combined with Water Gardens fight. Only “Hardhome” made them go back up again. I’m referring to the ratings chart. Admittedly overall reviews are higher, but how many still left? .

      You tell me: How many [viewers] left — and never came back? Do you have actual numbers and facts?

      And as far as the Dorne detour, assuming it was a disaster, give the showrunners credit for euthanizing it; and (we’ve been through this before) I’d agree the Sansa-Jeyne Poole merger was nonsensical on multiple levels and negatively impacted the logic and chronology of Sansa’s story line throughout Seasons 5 and 6.

      But harping on a few misfires doesn’t mean the entire show is a flop, or that all of the spectacular scenes and episodes should be disregarded. It certainly doesn’t mean the show-runners are incompetent morons.

      You’re really “actively campaigning” to get rid of Benioff and Weiss? (I didn’t realize you had such clout in Hollywood.) If Tom Brady threw an interception, would you bench him and replace him with Jimmy Garrappolo? I personally don’t think “Money” fits in with the rest of “Dark Side of the Moon”, but I wouldn’t call Pink Floyd a bunch of amateurs and demand that Justin Bieber re-record the album. For that matter, I did not enjoy the whole High Sparrow/Faith Militant/gaybashing Loras story line on GoT, but wouldn’t consider myself qualified to label it a failure and trash the writers.

      Out of fairness, how about trying to discuss the Arya-Tywin scenes, Brienne-Hound encounter, and other successful “show-only” departures? Or even the faithfully adaptated/Martin-penned scenes that worked so well on the show (like Syrio-Arya scenes and all of “Blackwater”)?

      It’d make your contrarian gripes more credible if they were balanced with praise for facets of the show that deserve it.

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    92. Dee Stark,

      I’d be honored. But if a certain King in the North – or the actor portraying him – ever crosses your path, you have my blessing to leave me at the altar. 😉

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    93. Damn. Trying to post a pic, but it’s not working. I can see it when I click “preview”, but it doesn’t show up when I post the comment.

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    94. I scrolled down the thread very quickly when I first came on and got only a small part of the conversations. Now that I’ve read most of the replies from the regulars on here, and some others, I am very proud to be part of this site. Most of the answers and arguments are some of the most reasonable, well thought, well-delivered that I’ve read. And some are hilarious while still keeping with the friendly tone we’ve become used to. It’s all making the off-season much easier to take. Carry on, and worry not about the nay-sayers. We’ve been around for a darned long time loving this show in our own way.

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    95. HotPinkLipstick,

      I agree with you. I’d actually compare Davos’ POV to that of Barristan and his idolization of Rhaegar. They’re certainly reliable in terms of narrating the action if that makes sense, but they see certain characters through rose tinted glasses and I think this is a point George is trying to make with the POVs when/if he gets around to challenging that view.

      Also, correct me if I’m mistaken, but

      (book discussion/spoilers)

      in one of the POV chapters from the Battle of Ice (can’t remember if it’s Theon or Yara/Asha), Stannis has some men burned as a sacrifice to R’hllor so the snows die down and that causes disagreements with some Northern houses. This is, in my opinion, something Davos might not have paid much attention to (or be very concerned), but someone like Yara or Theon would notice as they’re more familiar with the North and their customs and don’t idolize Stannis. Anyway, I think this is going to lead to Stannis losing support from the Northerners due to cultural differences and not understanding Northern culture, but that’s a different discussion. Either way, all the POV characters have degrees of unreliability.

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    96. HotPinkLipstick,

      I didn’t see it as Stannis being someone who’d always had it in him to sacrifice his own child. (After all, he did blow off Melisandre the first time she proposed it.)

      I viewed Stannis’s decision as part of a recurring theme on the show: whether and to what extent doing a little evil can be justified in pursuit of the greater good. Stannis’s debate with Davos (and Melisandre’s argument with Davos) about the value of the life of one bastard boy against thousands of lives that’d be lost in a battle
      mirrored the Small Council’s justification for assassinating Dany and her unborn child in S1: it’d save countless lives down the road. In a twisted way, it’s the same justification Tywin used for the Red Wedding: killing a few people at dinner wasn’t any more unpalatable than slaughtering thousands on the battlefield. (Jaime faced a related dilemma on one far end of the moral spectrum: kill the king he was sworn to protect, or let half a million people be burned alive. )

      I think Davos identified the slippery slope: once you start rationalizing commiting unspeakable acts in supposed furtherance of the greater good, there’s no limit to the evil you can justify. At some point, there are absolute lines you can’t cross. That’s why Davos freed Gendry: because it was “right.”

      I think Stannis got bamboozled by Melisandre into thinking that the fate of mankind itself depended on him, and therefore any sacrifice, no matter how horrific, became s moral imperative. If using evil “blood magic” got the job done, the pragmatic Stannis considered it just another weapon in his arsenal to be in a position defeat the big bad boogeymen beyond the wall.

      I consider Stannis to be a tragic hero – not an intrinsically bad man.

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    97. The Dragon Demands,

      I must admit I wasn’t expecting a Cato the Elder reference. But equating your lone wolf campaign to discredit a pair of TV showrunners through Internet comment sections and editorials on your Wiki to a famous Roman demagogue agitating for the destruction of a hostile foreign state is so hilariously ludicrous and yet on-brand that I have to step back and marvel at it. Not only is the nature of the comparison fittingly ostentatious, but the idea that you think you are somehow the one in the position of superior power certainly makes all of the sense. If we’re sticking in the same historical timeframe, I’d have pegged you as more of a Gaius Flaminius Nepos, but it’s good to know where you believe things stand in this war for the civilized world – or at the very least, in this gravely serious, morally black-and-white business of adapting fantasy stories for the screen.

      I wish you good fortune in the Punic Wars to come, buddy.

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    98. HotPinkLipstick,

      Funny how we judge show Stannis from a reliable/unreliable narrator POV from the books! Lol, at some point one is influenced regardless of one’s intentions.

      Anyway, yes, I gathered that’s why you didn’t think Davos is reliable. That show Stannis allowed himself to be swayed by Mel into burning his own daughter towards what he thought was the “greater good” and somehow Davos missed that part of Stannis’ character.

      I believe that Davos knew what Stannis was and was not, what sways him and what does not. Gendry would have burnt if Davos had not stepped in a situation resembling this back in an early season. Davos knew, he just lied to himself.

      It would have made a sense to be devastated over Stannis in my opinion, and disappointed in himself for trusting his king, when he found the truth about Shireen’s death if he truly missed that in Stannis. I think he was just angry and it was Mel where he mostly lay the blame if I recall correctly, yelling at Mel “Tell him what you did” when talking to her and Jon Snow.

      I’m not typing this to change anyone’s mind. It was just swirling in my head for a while and never voiced it anywhere because there were so many other important WTF events in season 6.

      I also still hold faith with book Davos and Stannis. Events may pass differently in Shireen’s death.

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    99. The Dragon Demands: And I’m actively campaigning for someone else to be in charge. Maybe, (gasp), a female head writer?

      And why it must specifically be a female? What’s wrong with a hermaphrodite buddhist skimo head writer? I’m actively campaigning for that.

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    100. Ten Bears:
      HotPinkLipstick
      I consider Stannis to be a tragic hero – not an intrinsically bad man.

      I like that. I tend to agree.

      Definitely a controversial and much talked about character for a secondary or tertiary or whatever he’s called these days.

      I consider it a great piece of writing (book and tv script) and acting if you can make these many people discuss this little no-POV or little screen time character for years.

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    101. Ten Bears: I think Davos identified the slippery slope: once you start rationalizing commiting unspeakable acts in supposed furtherance of the greater good, there’s no limit to the evil you can justify. At some point, there are absolute lines you can’t cross. That’s why Davos freed Gendry: because it was “right.”

      I wholeheartedly agree with you. I think you nailed it.

      Ten Bears: think Stannis got bamboozled by Melisandre into thinking that the fate of mankind itself depended on him, and therefore any sacrifice, no matter how horrific, became s moral imperative. If using evil “blood magic” got the job done, the pragmatic Stannis considered it just another weapon in his arsenal to be in a position defeat the big bad boogeymen beyond the wall.

      I see Stannis in a different light than you do. Here you have bitter man sitting in a rocky island, ruminating about all the ways he had been wronged (and I truly believe that he was indeed mistreated by Robert), and being jealous of his brothers for the qualities he lacked of (the charms of Renly, the loyalty Robert inspired even in his defeated enemies.) Stannis exhibits all the typical features of the “middle child syndrome”.
      And then comes Melisandre, a priestess who tells him that he is the chosen one, the savior of the world… Of course Stannis is going to buy Mel’s narrative. He doesn’t need to be bamboozled. He readily embraces that idea because it changes completely what he is: it changes him from a sad bitter man sitting in a rock to a tragic hero. In a way, I think Stannis was bamboozling Mel (i.e. he doesn’t give two dimes about R’hllor, he only cares about being a magical savior) as much as she was bamboozling him.

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    102. Now that I think of it, why exactly did Melisandre think Stannis was the chosen one in the first place? I don’t really recall them giving a specific reason on the show, but I might just be misremembering things.

      Was it nothing more than a vision in fire, or was there more to it?

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    103. mau,

      Except I don’t think he’s a “troll”, at least as I understand the definition of that term. I think his perceptions are skewed, his assumptions are false, and his conclusions are wrong, but I don’t think he’s posting contrarian commentary just to piss off people. Yes, his tone is
      presumptuous, but he does make some attempt to back up his assertions.

      I suppose ignoring his rants against the show and its producers is probably better than wasting time exposing his biases and the fallacies of his arguments, but we don’t want this site to be a homogenized, conformist place, do we?
      Besides, some of the wittiest, most entertaining comments by the community are the responses to unwarranted bashing of the showrunners by frustrated, self-styled experts who think they can do a better job.

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    104. TormundsWoman,

      From his point of view, he thought that either he succeeded or mankind was doomed. If those are the stakes is it ok for him to sacrifice his daughter?

      In my country one national hero is famous because when his son was captured and the enemy demanded that he surrendered his troops, he refused to do so, claiming that all the soldiers were his children. So his son was executed and he’s considered a hero today for his sacrifice (among other things).

      This is the classic “does the end justify the means”? Or “if that’s what it takes to save mankind, then maybe mankind doesn’t deserve to be saved”

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    105. Mr Derp,

      As far as I remember, Mel went to Dragonstone after having a vision in the flames… But not much else is explained about the circumstances surrounding that fact.

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    106. Ten Bears: Besides, some of the wittiest, most entertaining comments by the community are the responses to unwarranted bashing of the showrunners by frustrated, self-styled experts who think they can do a better job.

      Exactly. Never stop, please 🙂

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    107. Ten Bears: I suppose ignoring his rants against the show and its producers is probably better than wasting time exposing his biases and the fallacies of his arguments

      Ten Bears,

      Yea, that’s the philosophy that I’m going to prescribe to from now on as well. It’s just not worth the effort and energy to deal with people like that. I think they feed off the negative attention, so why give it to them, right?

      Just like the scene with Stannis, some things are best left unsaid.

      Though, I also admit that I enjoy the witty back and forth…sometimes.

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    108. A Dornish Tyrell:
      Mr Derp,

      As far as I remember, Mel went to Dragonstone after having a vision in the flames…

      Maybe this is because Dragonstone belonged to the Targaryens…

      and there are still there proofs about a certain hidden Targaryen

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    109. It’s always bizarre when people try to decide what others think or feel, without actually listening to what those others actually say about it. It’s also bizarre when fans actively hate people they don’t know because they don’t agree with some of their writing choices. Especially when you consider that George himself has gone out of his way to actively praise those writer/producers at every opportunity.

      I liked Stannis’ thoughts here, but agree that it would have been fairly out of character for him to have verbalized them. Then again, people do say things on their deathbeds that they wouldn’t have said otherwise, especially with regards to regrets.

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    110. Ten Bears: I viewed Stannis’s decision as part of a recurring theme on the show: whether and to what extent doing a little evil can be justified in pursuit of the greater good. Stannis’s debate with Davos (and Melisandre’s argument with Davos) about the value of the life of one bastard boy against thousands of lives that’d be lost in a battle

      I look at it a little differently. Stannis is a general, and he has a general’s morality. This is relevant in two ways. First, in the morality of generals, sacrificing on squad to save a whole division is the right thing to do. As Stannis notes, what is one boy against the lives of so many? Second, in the morality of generals, it is the duty of the soldier to follow the orders of the officer, and the duty of the officer to follow the order of the general. The general himself is a pawn to the king or to “honor” or whatever his immediate superior is.

      Stannis himself had almost been sacrificed by Robert. Robert told him to hold Dragonstone, and Stannis would have died trying to do so had not Davos smuggled provisions into the fortress. Stannis emphasizes that he did his duty: and he does not seem aggrieved by the fact that it almost killed him so much as that he did not feel properly recognized for his actions.

      Following this, I would argue that Stannis would sacrifice his daughter just as he woud have sacrificed a squad of men. It would be dishonorable of him to put his emotions above “the cause.” And it sucks for his daughter, but she needs to understand that we are all Mongos. (5 internet points for the reference! 😛 )

      Stannis’ take on honor is different from, say, Tywin Lannister’s. Tywin believes that the honorable thing to do at all times is whatever maximizes the probability that his great-great-great-great grandson (or one of them, anyway) will be one of the most powerful men in Westeros. Stannis does not seem to think of House Baratheon in the same way: or at least he never talks about it whereas Tywin never shuts up about it.

      Amusingly, when I read the books, I heard Stannis speaking in an Eeyore voice from Winnie the Pooh. Life sucks, everything is awful and I have to do these terrible things because honor compels me when I’d rather just stay at home and lie in bed feeling sorry for myself. I could almost hear a sigh at the beginning and end of every paragraph!

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    111. David H: Especially when you consider that George himself has gone out of his way to actively praise those writer/producers at every opportunity.

      Oh sweet summer child…. Don’t you know that George does this out of contractual obligation and that he actually hates everything that the show is doing?!?!? I mean, the bozos doing it couldn’t even figure out that Jon’s mother is really Ashara Dayne!!!!

      😀

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    112. Shy Lady Dragon,

      Yup. Perhaps she was under the impression that seeing Dragonstone and Stannis would be the end of her journey, but, in actuality it was just the beginning of her journey. Maybe Stannis’s role was simply to be a bridge for Mel to find Jon Snow. Or, perhaps she simply went to Dragonstone too early.

      Possibly, if she goes there in season 7 she will find what she’s been looking for all along 😉

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    113. TormundsWoman,
      Ten Bears,

      I can agree that Stannis is not an intrinsically bad man. And I don’t think I said he was a bad man. Stannis is a weak man. It’s his weakness, his desire to be king, be accepted, be better than his brothers, to push aside what he knows is right (not sacrificing Gendry or Shireen) and be swayed by Melisandre that shows his weakness.

      But that’s now how Davos perceives it. He doesn’t recognize that Stannis weak.

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    114. Wimsey,

      I’ve burst into laughter and I can’t stop. Thank you! I can imagine the above mentioned character doing that, you know!

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    115. A Dornish Tyrell,

      I guess from my perspective, Stannis was the bamboozled and Melisandre was the bamboozler. He did try to resist her advice at first and listened to Davos, but after the Blackwater debacle he became desperate.

      Plus, it’s like Davos admitted to Gendry (paraphrasing): “She certainly does know her way inside a man’s head.”

      I don’t see Stannis as an insecure man suffering from middle child syndrome. He abided by his obligations as younger brother to the king, even if it meant being marooned on a crappy island.

      But Davos was also correct that Renly was a usurper. He had no lawful claim to the throne. As Ned recognized, under their system of government Stannis was the rightful king upon Robert’s death. (I never did understand why the supposedly honor-bound Brienne would consider Renly the “rightful” king.) Even Renly himself said at their parlay that he should be king because he was more popular and had more followers. But that’s not how it works.
      I thought Stannis’s proposal to Renly was a fair one: stand down, and Stannis would name him his heir.

      Look, I’m no “Stannis the Mannis” fanatic.* I understood his character to be a flawed, inflexible man with noble intentions, brought to ruin by a witch’s false prophecies. Melisandre’s the one who planted in his head the idea that he must become king at any cost or humanity was doomed. That wasn’t his brainchild. And in fact, he was the only one of the “five kings” who had a valid claim to the iron throne.

      I don’t see how he bamboozled Melisandre.

      * Though I have been an admirer of Stephen Dillane ever since I saw his portrayal of Thomas Jefferson in HBO’s “John Adams” miniseries.

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    116. Ten Bears:

      But Davos was also correct that Renly was a usurper. He had no lawful claim to the throne. As Ned recognized,under their system of government Stannis was the rightful king upon Robert’s death. (I never did understand why the supposedly honor-bound Brienne would consider Renly the “rightful” king.) Even Renly himself said at their parlay that he should be king because he was more popular and had more followers. But that’s not how it works. I thought Stannis’s proposal to Renly was a fair one: stand down, and Stannis would name him his heir.

      Indeed! I see Renly’s determination to be king as a week point as well as Brienne’s determination to consider him “the rightful king” of… all that. Renly must have been educated to believe in primogeniture and Brienne is, first of all, honourable… even if deeply in love. She made it clear to Jaime that honour would compel her to fight against him if need be.

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    117. Wimsey,

      Yeah, I guess you’re right about the “general’s morality”; as a non-book reader I’m not familiar with the intricacies of his character. (Your comment about a general sometimes having to sacrifice a squad in order to win a battle or war reminded me of Robb’s distress that he had to send 2,000 men to their deaths in order to fake out Tywin.)

      It’s just that from a military point of view – is there any action that can’t be justified? Even roasting your own daughter? That’s why I perceived as a recurring theme that just about anything – from infanticide to genicide- could be rationalized as a “necessary” evil.

      If one is operating under the assumption that the very fate of mankind hinges on prevailing against all rivals and becoming king, then lives don’t matter. That’s why I perceived that Stannis felt he had no choice but to “embrace his destiny” (as I think he described it) no matter how many crimes against humanity he had to commit along the way.

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    118. HotPinkLipstick: I don’t think Stannis changed so much that he suddenly became a man who would sacrifice his child. I believe it was always there

      Posters who want to see Stannis regret his actions and show human emotions at the end are not taking into account the possibility that Stannis always was the person we saw him be. His sense of duty drove him to remove obstacles from his path to his destiny; he allowed a devotee to a religion convince him he was destined to be king and a savior king; he was the next in line to be king and thus honor-bound to attain kingship.

      We did not see him agonize over management decisions. Those decisions had to be made, in his mind. His family was just there, while his focus was on convincing the realm he was the rightful king.

      All characters in a book are not just kindly people who do bad things and then feel sorry about what they did. ASoIaF shows us characters who are, at foundation, not what we in this time and place think people ought to be. ASoIaF shows us people who are not going to be redeemed, whatever one thinks redeemed means. The veneer of civilization is optional in ASoIaF – that is why we like it.

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    119. HotPinkLipstick: But that’s now how Davos perceives it. He doesn’t recognize that Stannis weak.

      That’s why, as much as I like Davos, I think perhaps his biggest character flaw is his almost completely blind loyalty to Stannis, which circles back into your point you find him to be an unreliable narrator.

      Wimsey,

      It’s been a while, but it’s nice to return to find you and I agree on something 100%. If I couldn’t laugh…I’d cry (referencing the same things to which you were referring).

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    120. Mr Derp: Now that I think of it, why exactly did Melisandre think Stannis was the chosen one in the first place?

      We don’t know what Melisandre’s master(s) communicated to her before she infiltrated the Stannis family via Stannis’s wife. What was her assignment? Did the red god’s servants know that Stannis would be a good opponent of the WWs? Was he the red religion’s ultimate target?

      The red religion had the Azor Ahai prophecy, and Stannis was cut to fit the narrative. Telling someone he is special (on top of he already feels entitled) is a good way to manipulate him.

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    121. Ten Bears,

      First of all, I apologize for my poorly constructed argument. It never crossed my mind that you were a “Stannis the Mannis fanatic”… nor am I a “Stannis hater”.

      I agree with you that Stannis was a dutiful brother and a loyal subject to his brother the king. As Wimsey rightly points out, he held Storm’s End as Robert told him even when that meant peril for his life. However, he was plagued with resentment towards Robert, not for almost dying, but because he wasn’t recognized and praised enough. In a way, he seemed to be embittered by the lack of affection he received from Robert (in contrast to Ned, for example, whom Robert loved as a brother). In the books, it’s mentioned several times how Stannis grew up in the shadows of Robert and how this created a sort of inferiority complex (that’s why Maester Cressen ended up caring more for him than for the other two brothers.) I think this informs greatly on Stannis character and that’s why I referred to the “middle child syndrome”… I do think he was an insecure man trying to over compensate his shortcomings with a strict sense of morality (as Wimsey says: he is a moral absolutist) and a rigid sense of honor… I think this was the fertile soil that Mel encountered to plant her idea that he must become king at any cost to save humanity…

      What I meant regarding Stannis “bamboozling” Mel (a poor choice of words, I admit) was that he doesn’t really care about R’hllor or any other aspect of Mel’s religion, he only cared about the fact that she considered him the Prince that was Promised… Undoubtedly, Mel knows how to get into a man’s head (paraphrasing). But to blame all of Stannis’ actions on her, I believe is doing a disservice to Stannis character. It’s minimizing his agency and making Stannis into a puppet. I never liked the idea of Stannis and Mel rehashing the tired old trope of a noble man doomed by a femme fatale.

      Pretty much as you do, I too understand Stannis character to be a flawed, inflexible man. I differ with you regarding his alleged “noble intentions”. I believe his intentions were rather mixed: admirable and self-aggrandizing at the same time… Even if I agree with you that he had the better claim to the Iron Throne.

      Ten Bears: I never did understand why the supposedly honor-bound Brienne would consider Renly the “rightful” king.

      Maybe because love is the death of duty… and sometimes the death of honor as well… 😉

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    122. Shy Lady Dragon,

      So, based on the conversation at the Renly-Stannis parlay, Renly’s argument boiled to: (a) Look: I have more followers; (b) the majority of the people don’t like you and don’t want you as their ruler; they want me instead; (c) I’m more popular among the citizenry; (d) I see you’ve taken up with an exotic-looking foreign woman; and (e) even though the system of succession we have in place designates you the rightful leader and commander in chief of our country’s armed forces, you shouldn’t be recognized as king; I should be.

      Boy, I wish that argument worked in the present. But it doesn’t work now, and it shouldn’t work in the fictional world of GoT. An “honorable” person like Brienne should know that conspiring to overthrow the lawfully designated leader constitutes treason.

      Like you observed: regardless of her personal feelings, Brienne told Jaime at Riverrun that “honor” would compel her to fight against him if the siege turned into a battle. I don’t get how she could consider Renly the “rightful” king. If it was because he was nice to her at a party when she was younger and all the other boys were goofing on her, that’s a pretty poor substitute for “honor” and integrity.

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    123. A Dornish Tyrell,

      Oh no, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t implying that you thought I was a Stannis the Mannis fanboy. I was just clarifying up front that I’m not: I’m just going by what I’ve observed on the show. (And I recognize there’s a lot of back story in the books with which I’m not familiar.)

      Also, I admit that I “blame” Melisandre because it’d be human nature for any man who saw her magic tricks and other — ego-stroking inducements — to fall hook, line and sinker for her “You are the Lord’s Chosen!” spiel.

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    124. Shy Lady Dragon: Brienne’s determination to consider Renly “the rightful king”

      Brienne’s support of Renly stems from the fact that, of all people, Renly was courteous to her, so courteous that his courtesy forced the other men at the dance to be polite to Brienne. Brienne even felt graceful when Renly danced with her.

      That Brienne supported Renly in spite of his wrongful claim to the throne shows not only infatuation with someone who can never love her back, but mostly life-long misery at how everyone else treated her.

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    125. Marlana,

      I share your view about the reasons of Brienne’s allegiance, but they strongly contradict her main trait: honorability, even despite her own feelings (see the dialogue with Jaime I was referring to above).

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    126. Shy Lady Dragon: I share your view about the reasons of Brienne’s allegiance, but they strongly contradict her main trait: honorability, even despite her own feelings (see the dialogue with Jaime I was referring to above).

      Yes, support of Renly conflicts with “honor.” Brienne has several versions of honor: her fantasy of knights and the institution of knighthood, her innate sense of right, her drive to be true to herself as compared to a socially conventional woman’s role, her fitting into the medieval world including primogeniture.

      The pain she experienced at the rejection of her gawky, ugly, nonconforming self all her life overrides the command to be socially acceptable. The author emphasizes the reaction of people to her body and her dress. So, if they are going to criticize you anyway, why not defend a usurper? And beside, she loves him unconditionally.

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    127. Jared,

      If I was not already happily married….You are amazing Jared, your way with worked make your posts are always interesting and pointed in the right direction! Perfect comment

      BTW how did your boards go? (think that was you…)

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    128. Thronetender,

      Most of the answers and arguments are some of the most reasonable, well thought, well-delivered that I’ve read. And some are hilarious while still keeping with the friendly tone we’ve become used to. It’s all making the off-season much easier to take. Carry on, and worry not about the nay-sayers. We’ve been around for a darned long time loving this show in our own way.

      Indeed. Its why I keep coming back (so what do we all do when season 8 ends?)

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    129. A Dornish Tyrell: whereas Brienne loves Jaime more wearily.

      Not sure Brienne loves Jaime. She knows Jaime as well as people who have been through hell together know each other. Knowing someone’s basic character as shown by that person’s behavior through difficult, life-threatening circumstances does not equal love.

      Jaime respects Brienne even though he thinks her sense of honor is unrealistic and against her best interests, as he tells Loras. That is the result of his knowing her through their captivity. What Brienne knows about Jaime is not so noble.
      .

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    130. Marlana: Yes, support of Renly conflicts with “honor.” Brienne has several versions of honor:

      It might not. In this world, the honor code is “follow your liege lord in all things.” We revile the “Nuremberg Defense,” but the Westerosi seem to revile Jaime for killing a deranged king instead of blindly following his oaths. It seems that “I was only following orders” gets you commended, not convicted.

      A Dornish Tyrell: What I meant regarding Stannis “bamboozling” Mel (a poor choice of words, I admit) was that he doesn’t really care about R’hllor or any other aspect of Mel’s religion, he only cared about the fact that she considered him the Prince that was Promised…

      It was tough to gather what Stannis was thinking, but he almost seemed resigned to being chosen by a god, not elevated or emboldened or anything else like that. Whereas one could see many characters in this series feeling “Yes! I’m chosen by a god! Another thing at which I am awesome!”, with Stannis it’s almost like (in Eeyore voice) “Sigh. My brother dies without legitimate heirs, so I’m stuck having to claim the kingdom. Now some god in which I don’t even believe has appointed me reborn messiah to a story I don’t even think is real…. Well, I suppose if they are any gods, then they’d probably dump this crap on me. I’ll do my duty. Sigh…..”

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    131. Mr Derp,

      In her first scnene back in S2 Melisander mentioned some ancient book speaking of the PTWP prophesy. I guess she found that book on Dragonstone and that the propesy was somehow related to the Targaryan bloodline. So, after learning that the last male Targaryan Viseirys is dead Mel decided that Stannis who had some Targaryan blood was the most obvious candidate for the role of the PTWT. So, we can’t blame Mel too much: she wasn’t playing with Stannis to gain personal influence, she believed what she said event though she was wrog. And now

      I believe she is going to Dragonstone to check that book, which meas that she may be tasked to present that book with prophesy to Jon and Dany and it may explain a lot about the motives behind the Targarian conquest (now I am beginning to think that Aegon conquerred Westeros not because he wanted power, but because he believed in prophesy and wanted to unite the Seven Kingdoms under one command on the eve of the War for Dawn). And being as old as she looks Mel may tell things as eyewitness, though I think neither Jon, nor Dany will be willing to listen. Anyway, it looks like things on Dragonstone will be extremely interesting and tense and offering a lot character development moments – especially for Jon, and I really look forwards seeing that.

      In a way I also believe that Stannis’ doom was a bit of foreshadowing for Jon in the sense that Jon will be forced to deal with the same challenges and it won’t be that simple like seeing Mel out.

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    132. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      No matter how I love Davos, his opinions on Stannis cannot be trusted because of that blind loyalty. It seems to me that a lot of people discount the ‘unreliable narrator’ factor when they assess Stannis. He wasn’t the best leader.

      As to Brienne, if her father swore to Renly (because he thought Stannis would suck as king, perhaps? And Stannis would have sucked so hard as king), then following Renly does not conflict with her honor or her loyalties. It’s been a while, but didn’t Davos meet with someone from Tarth and that person refused to swear fealty to Stannis?

      So, no, I don’t think Brienne ever viewed Stannis as the rightful king, so she wasn’t betraying any code or honor in supporting Renly. And yes, she was in some ways blinded by her love for him.

      Marlana,

      Brienne absolutely loves Jaime. GRRM wrote a scene into the purple wedding in which Cersei confronts Brienne about Jaime and says “But you love him?” That’s George telling us in big, flashing neon lights “Brienne loves Jaime.”

      And Jaime loves Brienne. As Nikolaj Coster-Waldau told us in his post episode 8 of season 6 interviews, when he tells her to keep Oathkeeper, he is giving her his heart and telling her it will always be her. This is verified by director Mark Mylod in the commentary to that episode.

      There is room for disagreement on interpretation of where Jaime and Brienne go from here, but there’s no doubt that they love each other.

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    133. Nymeria Warrior Queen: It’s been a while, but it’s nice to return to find you and I agree on something 100%. If I couldn’t laugh…I’d cry (referencing the same things to which you were referring).

      *waves back* In related news, a troop of monkeys gave me a very complete script for a play about a Danish prince written in iambic pentameter! 😀

      Seriously, humor is about the only thing that is going to get us through these next few years….

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    134. Inga,

      I have long believed that Targarians moved to Westeros as the next step in the conflict of fire against ice. Items present at Dragonstone useful against the WWs: obsidian, lingering volcanic action, and greyscale, which might have been the agent which flows stone into walls and bestones dragons and other critters into castle walls and parapets. Perhaps greyscale can interfere with wights or WWs.

      If obsidian smelted with iron yields Valerian steel, those weapons can be forged there. It will be interesting to see who does what at Dragonstone, and how their actions aid the war.

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    135. Wimsey,

      I might not necessarily agree with your take on Stannis, but I loved your comparison of him to Eeyore… I’m currently re-reading “A Storm of Swords” and I think I’m going to read every Stannis dialogue in Eeyore’s voice, thanks to you. 😀

      Marlana,

      I’ve just remembered that Renly was the Lord of Storm’s End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands, which means he was Brienne’s liege lord. Therefore, there is no conflict whatsoever for Brienne: she’s loyal to her liege lord, her honor (and her love) compels her to support Renly’s claim.

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    136. Mr Derp,

      I thought someone one would have answered you by now ..
      Iam not surprised when it didn’t happen..for a fandom who prides himself in knowing all the passages and dialogues and foreshadowing in all the books it shows how we keep ignoring certain parts of books
      Anyways here is the quote from A Dance with Dragons ..

      “He is not dead.Stannis is the Lord’s chosen,destined to lead the fight against the dark .I have seen it in the flames ,read of it in the ancient prophecy .when the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers ,Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst salt and smoke to wake dragons out of stone .Dragon stone is the place of smoke and salt” .

      Jon had heard all this before .” Stannis Baratheon was the Lord of Dragonstone ,but he was not born there ,he was born at Storm’s End ,like his brothers.”He frowned .

      So that’s why she went to stannis because he was there at Dragonstone..she was desperate and wrong and completely blinded by her desperation she set to make stannis fulfill prophecies by giving him fake swords and all..
      She in her blindness can’t realize what Jon snow realized after just few times of hearing her ..

      It ties in nice with slayer of lies prophecy as well …stannis takes the dragonstone after Daenerys leaves the place and he remains the Lord of Dragonstone since then …and then we have Mel mistaking Viserys death as how stannis will die and how neither stannis nor Mel have no idea of about Daenerys’s rise in Essos..
      In a way he has been the cover for hiding the real one ..a lie to cover the truth till the time comes ..

      A Dornish Tyrell,

      Even George martin himself have said that there was no slight intended by Robert ..GRrm said it was the case of Robert being generous ..
      Like you said stannis is bitter man who is jealous of his brothers success and talents and sees and imagines slights and wrong doings in every turn .

      If he was truly never bothered about being a king all he should have done a Maestor Aemon and joined renly who had the numbers and alliances and charisma and love of the people..
      Now iam not being a renly fan when I say this but too often the events of first books is ignored while taking sides and blame renly ..
      Stannis abandoned KL and did not respond to anyone ..he left KL not because he was afraid of cersei (as his fans say ) but because Robert chose to make Ned as hand and went to winter fell… While renly actively planned to throw out cersei and make Robert marry Margery ..
      So when people say renly should have crowned stannis ..we must ask this how can one crown someone who is not there and runaway and didn’t warn them of threats or didn’t show their intentions or interest of becoming king and we are not even talking about the numbers and love ..

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    137. I feel like this is turning out to be like exactly what happened with books and whenever someone criticized the books or dared to comment on GRRM’s mistakes..
      I think the show just like the books are not perfect and there aew plenty of valid criticisms should be directed at Show runners like how it should be directed at GRRM..
      But then again because of such hatred and behavior of certain individuals I fear the valid criticisms are being silenced as well..

      I saw someone bringup Miguel directing the three best episodes of the series …yes that’s what I said we may owe him more than we think we do…the scripts we see are finalised ones after the airing of the episode …we don’t know how much Miguel played a part in it being best but based on what we saw in the videos and interviews I will bet it was loads and I will give him the entire credit for these three episodes ..
      And then imagine the series without these three episodes …it would be interesting to see how much people’s opinions change about the last two seasons if not for those three episodes..

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    138. Wow, how could I forget that Renly is Brienne’s liege lord? I should reread the books… waiting for TWOW to be published.

        Quote  Reply

    139. TormundsWoman,
      *screams and waves like a demented windmill* TORMUND’S WOMAAAAAAAAN! Haven’t seen you around for soooooo long, hope all is good with you! *big cheesy grin* 😀

      Shy Lady Dragon,
      Hi honey *calms down, back to restrained normal waving* I fear you may still have a loooong wait yet. If I’ve learned one thing about GRRRM, it’s that he really isn’t very good at estimating how long something is going to take him 🙁

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    140. Lulus Mum,

      Hail Archmother of Cats!
      No, I don’t expect GRRM to publish you-know-what (reversed magic: if I don’t name it, maybe it will appear!) soon, just tricking myself that the old ones lead to the new one 😉

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    141. Shy Lady Dragon,
      I was going to suggest reading one page a week and something might have appeared by the time you get to the end. That would apparently take 82 years so if TWOW hasn’t hit the book shops by then I’m not sure it ever will. Although there’s always a slight possibility it might be 82 years plus 1 week. If you’re feeling more optimistic, reading one page a day would take nearly 12 years and a chapter a day a mere 49 weeks 😉

        Quote  Reply

    142. Lulus Mum,

      I’ll try that: a chapter a day! Not to charm GRRM to publish the book sooner, but to force myself not to read more and thus be able to do other things as well. Thanks for the (unconscious) tip!

        Quote  Reply

    143. HotPinkLipstick,

      Really good Brienne loves Jaime and Jaime loves Brienne analysis! I’d say let’s hope Jaime finds a way to extricate himself from his toxic relationship with his sister so he can be with a good woman who loves him…but then I remembered what show I’m watching. ?

      Maybe Tormund can hook up with a nice Northern girl so he doesn’t obsess over a physically compatible but emotionally unavailable woman.

      Who am I kidding. No time for romance. Not when an unstoppable army of ice zombies is knocking at the door.

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    144. Ten Bears:

      Who am I kidding. No time for romance. Not when an unstoppable army of ice zombies is knocking at the door.

      I’m not so sure about that. I actually think that, with the end of the known world possibly at hand, there might be no better time to take stock of what (and who) life is worth living and fighting for.

        Quote  Reply

    145. Wolfish: I actually think that, with the end of the known world possibly at hand, there might be no better time to take stock of what (and who) life is worth living and fighting for.

      Look at it this way: 50 years after WWII, when older Londoners were asked if they missed anything about the Blitz, the second most common answer (after, of course “nothing!”) was casual sex! It seems that the bomb shelters went forward in time 30 years….

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    146. A Dornish Tyrell: I’m currently re-reading “A Storm of Swords” and I think I’m going to read every Stannis dialogue in Eeyore’s voice, thanks to you.

      I will apologize now, then.

      After that, use Pooh’s voice for Jon….. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    147. Wimsey,

      I’m not remotely surprised!

      On that note, have you ever watched the 1985 documentary “The Homefront,” narrated by Leslie Nielsen (yes, you read that correctly)? The producers interviewed a wide range of Americans, from riveting Rosies to Japanese-American internees, about how WWII changed their lives; the theme of sexual liberation is peppered throughout, especially by the women interviewed.

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    148. Wimsey: I will apologize now, then.

      After that, use Pooh’s voice for Jon…..?

      When my daughter and I read the books together, we cast Dolorous Edd as Eeyore, Jon as Christopher Robin, Maester Aemon as Owl, Sam as Pooh, and Alliser Thorne as Rabbit!

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    149. Ten Bears,

      Don’t forget that a bittersweet ending has to have some SWEET in there.

      I’ve got solid money* on Jaime surviving the series and I’d be willing to lay down more on him having a romance with Brienne.

      *Actually, it’s a dinner at a really expensive restaurant including at least two bottles of wine.

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    150. Mr Derp: Demands

      ….given that I started out as a random nobody with no online presence whatsoever who got kicked off the Season 2 focus group because I said I’d already read the books……I never even thought I’d make it this far. I guess that’s something.

        Quote  Reply

    151. Ten Bears: Demands

      ….purely as a hypothetical, what is the bar you set for how bad things would have to get before you would officially reject Benioff and Weiss?

        Quote  Reply

    152. Jared: Demands

      1 – I’ve only just begun.

      2 – “Lone wolf campaign”? Oh I’m not alone.

      Because Rhaenyra has an army.

        Quote  Reply

    153. HotPinkLipstick:
      Ten Bears,

      Don’t forget that a bittersweet ending has to have some SWEET in there.

      I’ve got solid money* on Jaime surviving the series and I’d be willing to lay down more on him having a romance with Brienne.

      *Actually, it’s a dinner at a really expensive restaurant including at least two bottles of wine.

      1. I’ll take that bet.

      2. As for the second one (romance with Brienne), I would not bet against it for a number of reasons, including:

      • If, as Martin says, he writes about the human heart in conflict with itself, there’s no better example than a man stuck in a toxic relationship with the wrong woman, who knows deep down he loves the right woman – someone who brings out the best in him.

      • The wistful look on Jaime’s face while sailing to Dorne, when told the island(s) they were passing were the Sapphire Isles

      • He surely has retained in his memory a nice visual snapshot of a naked Brienne standing up in the bathtub.

      • The Martin-penned Purple Wedding episode contained the Cersei-Brienne exchange:

      Cersei: “But you love him…”
      Brienne (doesn’t deny; looks away)

      • In S6E8:
      She appeals to his “better angels”:

      Brienne: ” You’re a knight, Ser Jaime. I know there is honor in you. I’ve seen it myself.”

      Jaime (ostensibly about Oathkeeper) tells her: “It’s yours. It will always be yours.”

      • At some point, Jaime is going to have to confront Cersei or himself with Cersei’s fornication with Lancel. That hasn’t been addressed yet. He’d be stewing over it, thinking to himself: “There I was, getting my hand chopped off while doing everything in my power to escape and get back to her… while she’s boinking that little dweeb Lancel. What was I thinking? Boy do I feel like an idiot. ”

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    154. Ten Bears:

      • At some point, Jaime is going to have to confront Cersei or himself with Cersei’s fornication with Lancel. That hasn’t been addressed yet. He’d be stewing over it, thinking to himself: “There I was, getting my hand chopped off while doing everything in my power to escape and get back to her… while she’s boinking that little dweeb Lancel. What was I thinking? Boy do I feel like an idiot. ”

      They haven’t shown Jaime finding out about Lancel yet, which I do find interesting. In 603 he asks her if the Faith have leveled official charges against her, and Cersei responds negatively. In the show, I’m not sure Jaime is even aware of the allegations regarding Lancel, never mind their accuracy. I did try to figure out who did know about the two of them that is still alive and didn’t come up with much. Cersei obviously knows, but I doubt she will be volunteering the information any time soon; LF and Olenna know because Lancel was the gift he gave her in 507 as Cersei was set up to be arrested; Tyrion most definitely knows as he used his knowledge to blackmail Lancel in season two, and it is possible that Pod and/or Bronn know as they were around Tyrion so much during that time.

      Jaime is so loyal to Cersei, that I think he finds it inconceivable that she would betray him. He tells Catelyn in 207 that Cersei is the only woman he has ever been with, and I think that Robert aside, he feels this is reciprocated (that is, he knows Cersei’s marriage was consummated, but does not believe there has ever been anyone else). Brienne may have Jaime’s heart, but he has never acted on his feelings for her. And I think that is in part because he could never imagine Cersei betraying him in that way.

        Quote  Reply

    155. Alba Stark,

      Well, I just assumed that since Cersei DID confess to adultery (while denying incest and murder charges) to earn her “walk of atonement”, it would be public knowledge that she fornicated with Lancel.

      I’ll have to go back and listen to the High Hypocrite’s announcement to the crowd at the commencement of the Walk of Atonement. I thought he said Cersei had admitted the adultery charges.

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    156. Alba Stark,

      Very astute observations on your part. Cersei did name Lancel in her (partial) confession to the High Smugness, but in his later announcement to the crowd at the commencement of the Walk of Shame he just said she’d “committed acts of falsehood and fornication” without naming names.
      Now that the High Smugness has been vaporized ⚗?⛽️??, he’s not talking, so I guess Cersei can spin it however she likes.

      ——————
      Excerpts [from S5e10]:
      Cersei’s (Private) Confession to High Sparrow + High Sparrow’s (Public) Announcement

      High Sparrow: You wish to make a confession?

      Cersei: Once I’ve confessed, will I be free?

      HS: Your Grace will be dealt with according to her sins.

      C: The Mother have mercy, then. I lay with a man outside the bonds of marriage. I confess.

      HS: Name him.

      C: Lancel Lannister.

      HS: Your cousin and the king’s squire.

      ***
      HS: Other men?

      C: No.

      HS: No others?

      C: No.
      ***

      ______________

      High Sparrow to crowd :

      “A sinner comes before you. Cersei of House Lannister. Mother to His Grace King Tommen. Widow of His Grace King Robert. She has committed the acts of falsehood and fornication. She has confessed her sins and begged for forgiveness. To demonstrate her repentance, she will cast aside all pride, all artifice, and present herself as the gods made her to you, the good people of the city. She comes before you with a solemn heart, shorn of secrets, naked before the eyes of gods and men, to make her walk of atonement. ”

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    157. Bookwise:
      It’s no spoiler to note that by the end of book 5 we don’t have any indication of Stannis’s fate.
      Those who seek out the excepts from Winds of Winter can find some more ambiguity.

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    158. Ten Bears,

      Of course. In an act that reeks of the real-life hypocrisy so often practiced by religious zealots, the object of Cersei’s, um, affections wasn’t named because he had become one of the Faith Militant himself. Had he not been, I’m certain he would have been punished in similar fashion to Loras.

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    159. Wolfish,

      I think I detested the High Sparrow character more than Ramsay. That smug “holy man” was nothing more than a power-hungry charlatan who used “the gods” as an excuse for torturing, brainwashing and extortion. (He revealed his true colors when he told Margaery it was her duty to she resume servicing Tommen to produce an heir so “we can continue our work.”)

      I hated his selective persecution. All he wanted to do was neutralize Cersei and get his hooks on the throne via gullible Tommen, and exploit Tommen’s longing for between-the-sheets fun time with Margaery.

      Jaime called out the HS for his hypocrisy in S6E2: Jamie noted that he had sinned, but nobody was charging him with commiting sins or demanding his “atonement.”

      For that matter, Lancel was guilty of the same “crime” Cersei admitted to, i.e. formication, but he wasn’t required to walk naked through the city and get pelted with s-it in order to “atone.” And while Cersei was accused of and still faced a “trial” for the charges she denied, eg engaging in an incestuous relationship with Jaime, Jaime himself wasn’t charged with anything.

      Sorry for the rant. I hate “holy than thou” attitudes and using “god’s will” as a pretext for hurting people in real life, and have a similar reaction when I see them portrayed on screen.

      (Is it wrong that I “felt good” along with Cersei when the HS and all his “filthy soldiers” were incinerated? Or that I wasn’t repulsed by the wineboarding of Septa Unella, and her upcoming blind date with Ser Gregor?)

        Quote  Reply

    160. Ten Bears,

      LMAO!!! Only because I’ve ranted all these same things, at even greater length, in my own head… and occasionally at my daughter (aka Wolf Pup #2), who is in complete agreement with us about all this shite.

      I must edit my comment: No, Lancel wouldn’t have received the same punishment as Loras, because Lancel was not gay.

      On that note, I loved Jamie’s recognition of the fact that he wasn’t punished for the same things Cersei was punished for.

      And no, I don’t think your feelings about the incineration of the HS and his “filthy soldiers” are wrong. I did think twice about Septa Unella, though; while she certainly had the wineboarding coming to her, Gregor is such a monster I’m not sure there’s anyone who “deserves” him. An eye for an eye is one thing; an eye for a limb is something else. If anything, being tortured might serve only to strengthen her faith, and wish for “the mercy of the Seven” in the form of death. I actually think it would have been a far greater punishment to strap her naked to a nice bed and have a group of gorgeous young men and women pleasure her until she lost all sense of everything and had a screaming multiple orgasm. Ohhhhh, the shame!

      Ahem. Back to my wine. (Alas, Dornish red it’s not.)

      I know I’m stating the obvious here, but the HS and the Faith Militant obviously mirror the excesses of the Catholic Church and the Inquisition. For some truly frightening insight into what sort of woman the Church considered worthy of putting on a pedestal during that period, you should do some reading on Rose of Lima (if you haven’t already), the first woman from the New World canonized as a saint. Having read quite a bit about her as part of a fascinating course on women and gender in Latin America, I ultimately concluded that she was a deeply closeted and profoundly self-hating gay woman.

        Quote  Reply

    161. Wolfish,

      Dang. When I am cosplaying Cersei at Con of Thrones, holding my goblet and pitcher of wine, I won’t be able to keep a straight face because I will be thinking of your alternate scenario for the Septa!

        Quote  Reply

    162. Wolfish,

      Re: Septa Unella’s “Punishment”

      You wrote:

      “… I did think twice about Septa Unella, though….
      … I actually think it would have been a far greater punishment to strap her naked to a nice bed and have a group of gorgeous young men and women pleasure her until she lost all sense of everything and had a screaming multiple orgasm. Ohhhhh, the shame!”
      ————————–
      ————————–

      I love, love your alternative scene!
      (You’ve seen Hannah Waddingham [Septa Unella] n real life, haven’t you? Extremely attractive, or as they’d say in the vernacular, “smoking hot.” *} Once that cumbersome nun’s habit is peeled off and she shakes out her long blonde hair, before the “group of gorgeous young men and women” descend upon her and start to “pleasure her”… Sorry LIttlefinger, THAT is a “pretty picture.”
      The scene you scripted is something I would rewatch – and rewatch – and rewatch again. Oh hell, I’d put it on a continuous loop and keep watching it until… Well, let’s just say (with apologies to Ramsay) there would be a “happy ending.”

      To be honest, when I first watched that scene and Cersei started stroking the leg of the strapped-down Unella, I thought to myself, “Are they really going to go there? (*praying, Please go there! Please go there! *)
      The alluring Lena Headey and a fetching blonde woman in a BDSM-tinged same-sex encounter? Eyeballs – and the Internet – would’ve exploded.
      Alas, that didn’t happen. But I still wonder what that caressing was all about…and if the showrunners chickened out on presenting a scene that would spark trumped-up controversy and faux outrage.

      [Omitted/alternative dialog]:

      Cersei: “You humiliated me. I understand. You did it because it felt good. I do things because they feel good too. Now it’s your turn. Just relax, because this is going to feel really, really good – whether you like it or not. ”

      Unella: “I’m ready to meet the gods.”

      Cersei: “What, now? Today? Oh no, you’re not going to meet the gods today. But before I’m through with you, I promise you you’ll be screaming ‘Oh God!’ ”
      (*continues stroking Unella, who involuntarily begins to moan and writhe with forbidden desire*)

      * Though I did not make the connection until recently, it turns out I saw Hannah Waddingham several years ago on Broadway in “Spamalot” (musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail), playing a sexed-up Lady of the Lake to King Arthur: nothing like the unrecognizable, stern Septa she played in GoT.

        Quote  Reply

    163. I thought I had posted this, but it was from my phone which is as good as not: My point — Although the dialogue is interesting, I was not disappointed in what was aired. Dillane expressed all the sentiments expressed in the dialogue with his physical demeanor, his voice and his attitude of resignation. I believe its called “acting”. Should have gotten a nomination for his completely realized performance of a man whose ambitions cost him everything.

        Quote  Reply

    164. Ten Bears,

      Clearly, I’m still catching up on days’ and DAYS’ worth of comments. Blowing wine out my nose right now! Love what you’ve done with the scenario.

      I’m so ridiculous I’ve Googled most of the actors I don’t recognize, and was shocked when I saw Hannah Waddingham IRL. She must have had a blast playing Septa Unella! It’s pretty awesome that you saw her in “Spamalot.” 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    165. Wolfish,

      Re: Septa Unella’s “Punishment” (Wolfish 3/29/17, 12:09 am; Ten Bears 3/31/17 4:12 pm; Wolfish 4/5/17, 12:34 PM)

      This is uncanny. When I was picturing Hannah Waddingham (Unella) relieved of her cumbersome nun’s habit and shaking out her long blonde hair, I was unaware of the parody commercial she’d done for SodaStream.

      The 3:07 minute long commercial is on YouTube. Plug in “Shame and Glory” and it should come right up.

      Take a look at the last 15 seconds.

      (The commercial starts out with Unella, in full costume + bell, following around some poor guy in a supermarket and “shaming” him for buying water in plastic bottles.)

        Quote  Reply

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