Game of Thrones: Post-Mortem of “High Sparrow”

Jon Snow

Heads rolled in the third episode of this season of Game of Thrones– well, at least one did and it was long overdue- and uncomfortable alliances were made. “High Sparrow” featured Jon Snow settling into his role as Lord Commander, Sansa Stark finding out she’s going home, and Brienne of Tarth opening up about her painful past. Here are the cast and writers of the show shedding some light on last night’s episode.

“She’s at the hands of another monster,” says Sophie Turner of Sansa’s new fiance while talking with the New York Times. She explains that, “If anyone can deal with these kinds of people, it’s Sansa.” The actress adds that Sansa “knows how to tiptoe around psychopaths,” undoubtedly because of her time spent with Joffrey.

Sophie says that when she received her script, she was “shocked to my core. Because I was just like, is this really going to happen for her again? It’s really quite devastating.”

Stop by the New York Times for the complete interview, and to find out whether Sansa will be joining Ramsay on his hunts.

The show’s producers and writers offer their own insight into Sansa’s situation in an interview with Entertainment Weekly

“Sansa is a character we care about almost more than any other, and the Stark sisters have from the very beginning been two characters who have fascinated us the most,” says David Benioff. “We got very lucky in casting because it’s so hard to cast good kids. Even if they come in and do a great audition, it’s so hard to know if they’re going to quite literally grow into the parts. With Sansa and Arya in particular, their storylines have become quite dark. It was such a gamble and the fact that they’ve both become such great wonderful actresses is a bit of a miracle.”

SansaThat’s why they swapped Sansa’s book story for the one belonging to minor character Jeyne Poole in the novels.

“We really wanted Sansa to play a major part this season,” Benioff says “If we were going to stay absolutely faithful to the book, it was going to be very hard to do that. There was as subplot we loved from the books, but it used a character that’s not in the show.”

Bryan Cogman says, “In the books, Sansa has very few chapters in the Vale once she’s up there. That was not going to be an option for one of our lead characters. While this is a very bold departure, [we liked] the power of bringing a Stark back to Winterfell and having her reunite with Theon under these circumstances.”

“You have this storyline with Ramsay. Do you have one of your leading ladies—who is an incredibly talented actor who we’ve followed for five years and viewers love and adore—do it? Or do you bring in a new character to do it? To me, the question answers itself: You use the character the audience is invested in.”

Stop by Entertainment Weekly to read more about Sansa and Littlefinger’s perspectives.

Kit Harington had a big moment last night with Jon Snow and the execution of Janos Slynt. Harington talked to EW about Jon’s inner conflict over performing his killing duties.

“He had that moment again here. He’s thinking: ‘Can I kill a man in cold blood?’ And this time he does it. That’s a big change for Jon.” He says that even though Jon is technically unaware that Slynt had a part in Ned Stark’s downfall, “I feel like somehow Jon knows, somehow deep down, that Slynt is an unjust man who’s done bad things and that’s what gives him the power to do that.”

Brienne shared a traumatic piece of her past in last night’s episode and Gwendoline Christie talks about how the experience shaped her character with the people at Making Game of Thrones.

Women are all brought up with a series of conventional expectations, so one cannot help but want recognition or affirmation in those areas. I think what’s so beautiful and interesting about the character of Brienne of Tarth is yes, she’s strong; she’s a badass; she has vulnerability. But in all of her lack of convention and her uniqueness, all women can identify with her because she wants to be loved in the way that as human beings – male or female – we all want to be loved. We see the pureness of her humanity, and that she’s something that isn’t so far away from all of us.

Christie says, “In my estimation, it just gave her further fuel to become the person that she wanted to be.”

In the weekly edition of Inside the Episode, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discuss the shift in power between Cersei and Margaery, Arya’s dfficulty with leaving behind her sense of self, and Jon’s choice to execute Janos Slynt.

Kit Harington talks about Jon’s practicality, his inner turmoil over the execution, and the performances.

George R.R. Martin provides info on the Faceless Men of the House of Black and White.

70 responses

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    1. Slow dor!

      To start the ball and trigger some talking points, I’ll just repeat what I wrote in the other, dying thread!

      Enjoyed the episode and the majority of stuff is unfolding very nicely.
      Arya in Braavos is building slowly but surely and I think they waif (I guess they abandoned the Asian actress pre-requisite for her….unless there’s a face switch?) giving her a slap was due as she is/was starting to get a bit full of herself as a character.
      Kings Landing is simmering between the two queens and Jonathan Pryce was captivating as the High Sparrow. I sense he’s going to be a highlight of this season for me.
      The Wall stuff was very well done and it was great to see Slynt finally get what he deserved and yet I still had a flicker of sympathy for him as he admitted to be being scared. Stannsi and Davos rinse everything they can from every scene they’re in as does Alliser Thorne.
      Volantis panned out nicely and the scene with the red priestess was interesting (wonder if they’re going to go somewhere with that?). Tyrion has lost a lot of his sparkle and isn’t as amusing as a character as he once was which is good as he’s not going to be a barrel of laughs after what he’s been through. Nice little bit of social commentary about how Dany has become a Essos celebrity as she becomes more well known.
      Now onto the the not so good. The Boltons were at their best and Littlefinger tried his hardest but the Northern storyline is still making no sense to me. LF not knowing anything about whom he is about to mary his prize asset too is ridiculous and Sansa walking into the arms of those who murdered her brother with no explanation as to why she should do so is daft to say the least. They tried an explanation but it was a weak one. I’ll roll with it but it’s gonna take some bloody great acting to snmooth over the rather contrived way in which they all ended up at Winterfell. Alfie Allen will give it his damndest but I’m not sure the others can step up especially as their characters are being changed massively from where they once were. Also…why did they bother stopping at Moat Caitlin?!
      Honestly couldn’t care less about Brienne and Pod anymore. They have no purpose and are just being tacked onto other people’s storylines. They have no chemistry between the two of them and Brienne’s revenge mission against Stannis completely changes her character. She’s just not very likeable and isn’t as sympathetic (even the boys used to laugh at me convo with Pod did nothing…didn’t she tell Jaime to stop moaning about having his hand chopped out and then that bothers her?!) as she needs to be. I hope she does find Stannis and he puts her out of her misery as she’s easily the most disposable and dull character in the show at this point in time. Then again, it is Brienne so she’ll have to win whatever fight she gets in as apparently beating people is the only way you can build her as a character.
      But yeah, generally going pretty well but some stuff needs some serious work (hesitant to say the stuff that’s wandering furtherst from the source material) and some further explanation needed for certain things happening. (Littlefinger needs to pull some sort of plan out of his arse as his current actions are not in line with his character at all at the moment. Silly gambles with no major rewards).

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    2. TheTouchOfFrost:
      Honestly couldn’t care less about Brienne and Pod anymore. They have no purpose and are just being tacked onto other people’s storylines. They have no chemistry between the two of them and Brienne’s revenge mission against Stannis completely changes her character. She’s just not very likeable and isn’t as sympathetic (even the boys used to laugh at me convo with Pod did nothing…didn’t she tell Jaime to stop moaning about having his hand chopped out and then that bothers her?!) as she needs to be. I hope she does find Stannis and he puts her out of her misery as she’s easily the most disposable and dull character in the show at this point in time. Then again, it is Brienne so she’ll have to win whatever fight she gets in as apparently beating people is the only way you can build her as a character.

      Well said about Brienne, though I really did like her convo with Pod about how she came to “fancy” Renly. Still, I don’t think D&D have done the character many favors. She is refused by Arya. Refused by Sansa. Blatantly carrying a Lannister sword, all concerned with her “vow” to Catelyn AND Jaime (the latter carrying more weight to her in my opinion). She looks stupid and while she is naive, she is like a hamster in a wheel and it’s beyond tiresome to watch.
      She says nothing about avenging Catelyn’s death and is back to seeking vengeance for Renly, with Stannis her target.
      Of course, she will end up at WF. She will be dealt the hero card (as usual) but if she is the cause of the downfall of Stannis, she’ll be dead to me.
      *Forgot about her poo-pooing Jaime in regards to his hand. Yeah.

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    3. I actually really loved the Brienne & Pod scene in this episode. When she started talking about killing Stannis, I got goosebumps, because until now I hadn’t really thought of that as a potential direction for her character.

      And even if nothing comes of that, the interactions between Brienne and Pod were really nice all the same. I didn’t like these scenes at first – but I think that’s because her wandering around in Feast for Crows was my least favourite part of that book. I was prejudice, essentially. But now with the show I am starting to warm up to this sort of thing.

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    4. Who noticed Aiden not looking at Sophie while delivering some lines? Instead, he looked over her shoulder. Why was that? A late change to the script, perhaps? It gets you wondering if the writers were doing a lot of trial and error to make a scene work, but, somehow, something was lost between words on a page and what we’ve seen.

      As a thought – it seems my ‘maester’s eye-view’ approach is proving to be the better option for watching the show. Simply take it as another account of events, as told by different researchers and authors. Try it because it helps keep to the books being the books and the show being the show. All differences are accepted, even if you think they’re unacceptable.
      Think of two people standing side-by-side as an incident occurs. Both will give mostly the same picture, with differences coming from their perceptions.

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    5. Colty,

      I hope he’s got something up his sleeve as at the moment it looks like he’s lost the plot!

      Just seemed odd to make it so prominent and then next thing we know they’re at Winterfell!

      Kells,

      I think by painting her as a type of Superwoman they aren’t doing her any favours on the likeability front. They’ve already changed the story for her to get the rub off both Jaime and The Hound but her “heroicness” is annoying and she’d benefit as a character from someone knocking her down a peg or two!

      Benjen,

      You have to care about someone to hate them!

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    6. James:
      I actually really loved the Brienne & Pod scene in this episode. When she started talking about killing Stannis, I got goosebumps, because until now I hadn’t really thought of that as a potential direction for her character.

      I did, too. Thought it was a well-done scene. I guess that she is heading north to follow Sansa and will run into Stannis along the way. I’m curious – in a good way – to see how her story progresses.

      ZappaCreed:
      Who noticed Aiden not looking at Sophie while delivering some lines? Instead, he looked over her shoulder. Why was that?

      I noticed that also and found it odd. I love Aiden but he is a bit quirky some times in his choices.

      As far as the Ramsay/Sansa situation, I’m a bit worried about Myranda’s response to Ramsay’s betrothal. She is a vindictive young woman.

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    7. 3 episodes in and D&D are handLing the post ASOS much better then GRRM did.

      Not sure why people think the Sansa stuff is not believable. Even of she is wanted by Cersei, she has no power to get her in the North. The majority of the north loves the starks and want her alive to reign. The rest are Bolton men who need her to solidify the north. There is no end game where she isn’t safe from this storyline.

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    8. So Sansa takes over a subplot but demonstrated today she clearly is not too fat to sit a horse. We had better watch closely the next lemon pie that is served in winterfell…

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    9. At least Brienne was more than one note in this episode. Still a dull character in the books but an annoying one on TV. If she kills Stannis I will be pissed, she already got the weakened Hound. I don’t know though, perhaps she gets killed this season.

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    10. ZappaCreed:
      Who noticed Aiden not looking at Sophie while delivering some lines? Instead, he looked over her shoulder. Why was that? A late change to the script, perhaps? It gets you wondering if the writers were doing a lot of trial and error to make a scene work, but, somehow, something was lost between words on a page and what we’ve seen.

      I’ve watched that scene several times, and Littlefinger’s eyes are off to the side while facing Sansa, which suggests he’s not being entirely honest, and I expect that Sansa picks up on Littlefinger’s body language (which episode 4 expands upon). Many people watching would notice his duplicity, but how many expect her to recognize it?

      Despite this, Sansa would still want an opportunity to take revenge. There’s a high squick factor with the “Jeyne Poole-ing” of Sansa’s storyline.

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    11. Some people on this thread need to back up off my girl Brienne. She is amazing and if she dies non-heroically I will riot.

      (Also, to those who fault her for snapping at Jaime….um, she did that to provoke him into staying alive, remember? Successfully, too.)

      “Sansa is a character we care about almost more than any other, and the Stark sisters have from the very beginning been two characters who have fascinated us the most,” says David Benioff.

      Very good to hear! I am definitely nervous about Sansa’s storyline, especially with Ramsay’s torture-girlfriend. I could see Roose making Ramsay contain himself, but Myranda is a wildcard. I hope Sansa maintains her agency and general badasserie.

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    12. Blind Beth,

      Controversial and I hate to say it but, for me, Brienne was only ever interesting when she was with Jaime. I think this speaks to how he is a lot more of an interesting character than she is and any shine she had was just his reflecting off her.

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    13. mau,

      When were Brienne and Sansa ever friends?! I still think it’ll be Theon…or Benjen.

      Boring keeps you alive…why do you think she’s lasted this long?!

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    14. I don’t think this is spoilers, but maybe some caution?

      With B&W using Sansa in Winterfell, I’m pleased. I’ve been thinking about how they got her there through Littlefinger, though: what’s his plan? Is he planting her as a “Manchurian Sansa” to potentially wreck the Boltons from within, and hoping to pick up the pieces, or are the show runners just expediting the Winterfell storyline and gave Petyr no real plan besides “sell her for a new alliance”?

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    15. mau,

      Theon?

      Eugh just had a thought that they’ll retro fit Myranda into being a childhood friend of Sansa. The confrontation will lead to some Myranda death in one way or another.

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    16. I don’t think anyone mentioned yet, that the episode summary list for May finally gives us the name of Episode 8 = “Hardhome”. At least, that is the first mention of it I’ve seen (though maybe I am late to the party?).

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    17. Simeon: I don’t think anyone mentioned yet, that the episode summary list for May finally gives us the name of Episode 8 = “Hardhome”. At least, that is the first mention of it I’ve seen (though maybe I am late to the party?).

      I don’t think anyone has.
      In the books many Westerosi did speak Valyrian , can’t remember if Tyrion did so in the books.
      Supposedly as a learned person he would understand it.
      By default Varys should be fluent in Valyrian.

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    18. The fact that she’s “confronting” and not just reuniting with an old friend has me guessing. Colour me intrigued. Very much looking forward to her interactions with Theon, clearly he’ll be reluctant initially.

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    19. Colty:
      TheTouchOfFrost,

      Pretty sure Littlefinger is playing dumb to Ramsay and I’m sure he knows more about him than he lets on. Also, they stopped at Moat Caitlin because….you literally have to to go North?

      First, I find it implausible that LF does not know that Ramsay is a psycho. Heck, in the same episode we have Ramsay flaying some minor lords alive for not paying their taxes, and Roose again reprimanding Ramsay that they cannot rule by fear (of flaying) alone. Both in the TV series and in the books, Ramsay is a known quantity, very deliberately so. Yes, he was an unknown in S2 / ACOK and snuck up on book Roderick Cassel etc, but that is not relevant now.

      One could try to interpret LF’s claim of cluelessness as a lie, but that only makes his behavior even more irrational.

      What WOULD be rational behavior on LF and Sansa’s part? Hooking up with Stannis directly. Sansa could take the offer that Jon turned down, or she and LF could have the Vale’s army attack the Twins, easily crushing they Freys, many of whose soldiers are with the Boltons. This would cause their alliance to collapse and any remaining northern lords siding with the Boltons (mostly out of fear and/or for the sake of hostages) to flip sides.

      The Boltons burning their bridges with the crown also makes no sense to me. Even if the Lannister armies might not help them directly, they can and will certainly do so indirectly, by protecting places further south like the Twins. Clearly, Lannister armies have been that far northern, within the show even. Pissing off the lion on your southern border is certainly not a wise move.

      It’s an entirely irrational plot line, but I guess we have to roll with it. This is what you get when you put yourself in the position of having to chop off half the source material in order to fit within the TV time constraints.

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    20. Shaz: The fact that she’s “confronting” and not just reuniting with an old friend has me guessing.

      Well, clearly she should confront Theon about what he supposedly did to Bran and Rickon. 😉

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    21. Interesting, in the third episode, not a single word about Stannis by Boltons or LF. Ramsay collected taxes all over the North, but he didn’t notice/hear anything, nobody told him nothing of the war at the Wall? Is it possible that they don’t know Stannis’s army is at the Wall at the moment? They haven’t heard of Freemen marching on the Wall yet? What about growing threat of the White Walkers, what about the winter that’s supposedly coming? Is Stannis the only lord in Westeros that had gotten the letter from the Night’s Watch, is he the only one who cares about the ‘winter’ problem?

      OK, Stannis had defeated the Freemen, but defeating them is just a half of the job. The reason why he had gathered the army was to help the black brothers in war on Freemen (done!) ‘n White walkers (not done!). So, why Stannis is leaving for WF already? In S03E10 Melisandre figured out that ‘the true war lies in the North, and evil and death are marching on the Wall’. Are Boltons a bigger threat to Stannis than White walkers? Did Melisandre forget that the war of the 5 kings is irrelevant, that the war on White walkers is the one that really matters?

      Must say, GoT has become a fucking flimsy.

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    22. Kay,

      Does she even know? Can’t remember her having much of a response to their “deaths” if she did hear about it.

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    23. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Sansa has never once mentioned their deaths or been shown reacting to it, but she’s clearly supposed to know about it, based on various conversations she’s had starting in season 3.

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    24. Personally love the change of Sansa getting married to Ramsay. So much more invested in what happens now for not only her but the Boltons and Theon. Surprised though why folks cannot see the plan that Littlefinger has here. It is a win win situation for him. Sansa stays on plays the game and if Stannis wins the battle of Winterfell he can say he placed Sansa there to help undermine the Boltons. If the Boltons win well he gave them legitimacy to rule the north with the marriage to Sansa. He wins either way. Now for Sansa this is his biggest gamble but I really do think it credits how far Sansa has come in his eyes. He is right this is how she gets her vengeance. She plays the game looks for a weakness and an opportunity to undermine the Boltons. He believes she can pull it off. And if she does then she is not necessarily thrilled with Littlefinger but has transformed still under his tutelage. If she fails so be it Littlefinger is still covered. Overall it is brutally efficient plan and gives him options to have allies with whoever ends up winning the north. As for the show, ditto this is their big gamble and in the end I think it will pay off much more than the quite frankly tired book plot that outside of Theon carried little meaning for me…

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    25. TheTouchOfFrost: I think by painting her as a type of Superwoman they aren’t doing her any favours on the likeability front. They’ve already changed the story for her to get the rub off both Jaime and The Hound but her “heroicness” is annoying and she’d benefit as a character from someone knocking her down a peg or two!

      I disagree. I don’t think they paint her as a Superwoman at all. In fact, it’s almost the opposite. To me, she is the embodiment of the road to hell being paved with good intentions. She realized one of her goals in serving Renly, but not only had it stripped from her, she was blamed for his death. She tires to do right by her vow to Catelyn and Jaime, but thus far to no avail (other than getting Jaime back to King’s Landing, although missing a hand). Instead of giving up, she perseveres. For someone who is in so much pain, who has been looked down upon and/or treated with suspicion her whole life, that she still gives everything she has to trying to do the right thing…it’s pretty beautiful, to me. I loved her having a moment of showing her humanity to Pod, and I thought Gwendoline Christie was phenomenal in that scene.

      As far as beating the Hound and Jaime goes, neither of them were exactly in good form when she beat them. Jaime’s hands were tied, literally, not to mention, as even he mentioned, he’d been living in a cage for quite a while, and the Hound, as Arya mentioned when they were approaching the Bloody Gate, was definitely not 100%.

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    26. BrianAu:
      She plays the game looks for a weakness and an opportunity to undermine the Boltons.

      She already has two – send a raven to Stannis, offering to do what Jon declined, or convince the Vale to squish the Freys, which would cause the Boltons to collapse. Both of these would be more effective and far, far less risky.

      The show seems to be setting it up such that the Boltons have no hope of winning. This is in contradiction to the books, of course (there, Stannis is outnumbered 3:2, fighting on unfriendly ground, and has a starving army), but also a pile of contradictions within the TV universe. Why would the Boltons be crapping on their most poweful allies? Why would Roose risk having his psycho son hurting Sansa (who doesn’t think this is likely this season) and setting the northerners on fire? The northern factions that are siding with him, whether out of fear or loyalty or money, are the only thing that does provide the Bolton/Frey alliance with any chance.

      (F)arya was completely different in every respect. She was a gift from the Lannisters, not a boot in their face. Since many suspected she was a lie, no one really gives a crap about what Ramsay does to her. And because she is not a real Stark, she is less likely to murder Ramsay in his sleep, either. She brought a faint whiff of legitimacy without all the downsides.

      Sansa marrying Ramsay seems insane from everyone’s POV except Littlefinger’s, who IS insane.

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    27. Chad Brick: She already has two – send a raven to Stannis, offering to do what Jon declined, or convince the Vale to squish the Freys, which would cause the Boltons to collapse. Both of these would be more effective and far, far less risky.

      Send a raven? Didn’t you watch the scene with LF and Roose? The ravens are under Roose’s control, and he is not likely to let anyone else send a raven from Winterfell without him knowing to whom it’s going, and reading the letter before he agrees to it being sent. Roose is suspicious of LF, and if you saw the look that he and Sansa exchanged when she arrived, you know he would certainly not trust her to write to anyone. He’ll probably even give orders to keep her away from the ravens.

      As for Ramsay hurting Sansa, I am quite sure he will try – Sophie has said there are some very unpleasant scenes to come. Roose might turn a blind eye to a certain extent, just as long as Sansa remains alive and at least outwardly in good health so she can be seen out and about as a normal wife. After all, she is the key to any prospect of the Boltons consolidating their hold on the North, and even psycho Ramsay might be able to understand the necessity of keeping her alive, at least until she has his child.

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    28. Chad Brick: She already has two – send a raven to Stannis, offering to do what Jon declined, or convince the Vale to squish the Freys, which would cause the Boltons to collapse. Both of these would be more effective and far, far less risky.

      Hardly. If LF goes directly to Stannis, there’s always a not so small chance that Stannis will lose. Stannis is also notoriously hard to negotiate with. By dealing with Roose, LF is hedging his bets. As for the Vale openly attacking the Freys, I have to ask why? That is tantamount to openly declaring war against the Crown, with Lannister and Tyrell armies close by. Why would Littlefinger do such a thing?

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    29. Minty,

      Minty: Send a raven?Didn’t you watch the scene with LF and Roose? The ravens are under Roose’s control

      Not the ones in the Vale, where Sansa should be right now.

      After all, she is the key to any prospect of the Boltons consolidating their hold on the North

      Why would any northern lord be more likely to follow Roose if his son was mistreating and abusing the eldest daughter of their former leader? They ain’t blind, and if they didn’t know Ramsay a year or two ago, they know now. I suppose the Boltons holding her is a plus for them in the sense that it means Stannis isn’t holding her, but that’s a pretty small gain and not one they are going to kick the Lannisters in the face for.

      If LF goes directly to Stannis, there’s always a not so small chance that Stannis will lose.

      And by going to Winterfell, Sansa could get killed in the fighting, or Stannis could burn her for treason after he wins.

      Stannis is also notoriously hard to negotiate with.

      I see no reason he wouldn’t offer a similar deal to Sansa as he did to Jon, if he had the chance.

      That is tantamount to openly declaring war against the Crown, with Lannister and Tyrell armies close by.

      In the book, sure. In TV-world, nope. The Lannisters are pathetic and won’t come far enough north to help the Boltons, as per Roose himself. That would include the Twins, as the Freys are the Bolton’s closest (literally and figuratively) ally. So the Crown being capable/willing of defending the Twins is inconsistent with the (il)logic given in the show.

      The Vale, under Sansa and LF, takes the Twins? Any Freys in the north have to run home. The Boltons lose control, and all the northern lords who hate the Boltons rebel and cooperate with Stannis. The Riverlands and everything to the north would be lost to the Crown, and under the control of Stannis and Sansa. The old Stark/Baratheon/Arryn rebellion would be restored.

      Of course, none of this makes sense in the book because of differences in the size of armed forces, timing and location of characters, etc. But it does given what we know of the TV world.

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    30. With Sansa in Winterfell she is not an armed rebellion away from independently ruling the north, just 2 small deaths. And the help seem friendly.

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    31. Sean C.,

      It’s a rather odd thing to have been left out seeing as it’s quite important in the line of succession of Winterfell. Left out by mistake or on purpose?

      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Compared what the majority of characters in the show have been through, a little bit of teasing isn’t really that much of a big deal. Show Brienne is entirely unsympathetic. Changing the book story into the show where she beats the Hound and Jamie was purely done to try and boost her character. It’s not worked though as the only time she’s been interesting was when she was paired up with Jamie. Said it before but I think she was merely reflecting his shine and not producing her own. They’ve done a poor job of making Brienne a likeable character in the show. The commitment to her cause and relationship with honour WAS what made her endearing in the books but it’s not come across in the show and is now in pieces with her seemingly having no purpose now she has been rejected by both Stark girls and this ridiculous Stannis revenge because he killed her crush rubbish. Quite happily have her killed off at this point as she’s just cluttering up other characters plotlines.

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    32. Nymeria Warrior Queen: I disagree.I don’t think they paint her as a Superwoman at all.In fact, it’s almost the opposite.To me, she is the embodiment of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.She realized one of her goals in serving Renly, but not only had it stripped from her, she was blamed for his death.She tires to do right by her vow to Catelyn and Jaime, but thus far to no avail (other than getting Jaime back to King’s Landing, although missing a hand).Instead of giving up, she perseveres.For someone who is in so much pain, who has been looked down upon and/or treated with suspicion her whole life, that she still gives everything she has to trying to do the right thing…it’s pretty beautiful, to me.I loved her having a moment of showing her humanity to Pod, and I thought Gwendoline Christie was phenomenal in that scene.

      SEVEN HELLS, YES! Thanks for this analysis of one of my favorite characters in the show (and the books, too). Apparently haters gonna hate, so my helmet is off to you for standing up for the one true knight left in Westeros:

      http://i.ytimg.com/vi/UE_bPuuKRW0/maxresdefault.jpg

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    33. Stella,

      There are no true knights, no more than there are gods. If you can’t protect yourself, die and get out of the way of those who can. Sharp steel and strong arms rule this world, don’t ever believe any different. – Sandor Clegange

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    34. Words are wind.

      Stella,

      “There is a sweet innocence about you, child.”

      – Catelyn Stark to Brienne

      Sums it up perfectly. She is still incredibly naive about how the world, honour and oaths work, even after her time spent with Jaime.

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    35. Stella,
      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I, too, believe that Brienne is presented as anything but a Superwoman. She doesn’t have a place in that world. Brienne tries to be true to herself and to what she values. I appreciate her idealism and her commitment to her vows and yet I know that it can’t continue.

      Gwendoline Christie has made me care about the character…something that I didn’t necessarily do when reading the books. Her scene with Pod was wonderful. I loved the honesty and vulnerability that she displayed.

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    36. From the Round Table through Edmund Spenser to Shakespeare (and many in between) we know the code of the Knight, and no on in Game of Thrones exemplifies this code better than Brienne.

      I think it is absolutely lovely of GRRM and D&D to acknowledge this code, in their story of the Lancasters and the Yorks, or in this case, the Lannisters and the Starks, in the embodiment of Brienne of Tarth. They turn the code on its head and make us see that honor, loyalty, and bravery are possible for anyone with a open heart.

      It is difficult for some to acknowledge this possibility. The road that one is required to take to becoming such a knight is filled with treachery, misunderstanding, and often contempt. Brienne has met all foes in her path. She has thrown them to the dust. And she is still on her quest. But what is that quest?

      “I don’t want anyone following me. I’m not a leader. All I ever wanted was to fight for a lord I believed in. But the good lords are dead and the rest are monsters.”

      She must create her own quest. Protect the Stark girls. Revenge Catelyn. Revenge Renly. All good quests and missions. Will she succeed? Only time will tell. The fact that she has not given up, that she is still fighting, is part of her being. Her essence. As a knight. That no one will ever admit that she is. But she is.

      I find her one of the most endearing and intriguing characters in the story of Ice and Fire. I wish more people could be open to her journey.

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    37. Stella,

      I was open to it in the books…but it got boring until she met up with Jaime again ( I repeat, her interaction with him is the only thing that makes her even remotely interesting for myself and others). Show quest is even more dull but she’s beginning to mess with other character’s stories too. She seems to be held up as some sort of feminist icon in the show but there are so many more better written and more interesting female characters, I feel it is unfair on them that she gets the spotlight because she’s very obvious and dull as ditchwater.

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    38. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Compared what the majority of characters in the show have been through, a little bit of teasing isn’t really that much of a big deal. Show Brienne is entirely unsympathetic. Changing the book story into the show where she beats the Hound and Jamie was purely done to try and boost her character. It’s not worked though as the only time she’s been interesting was when she was paired up with Jamie. Said it before but I think she was merely reflecting his shine and not producing her own. They’ve done a poor job of making Brienne a likeable character in the show. The commitment to her cause and relationship with honour WAS what made her endearing in the books but it’s not come across in the show and is now in pieces with her seemingly having no purpose now she has been rejected by both Stark girls and this ridiculous Stannis revenge because he killed her crush rubbish. Quite happily have her killed off at this point as she’s just cluttering up other characters plotlines.

      Well, we obviously have two very, very different view and opinions on this. I know there are some who share your views, and there are some who share mine.

      I do find it interesting you keep mentioning about how she’s being portrayed as a Superwoman, or some kind of feminist icon. I mean, maybe some do interpret it that way, and some love that, others do not. As I already expressed, I don’t think that’s the case, but I guess that’s another thing on which we’ll just have to disagree.

      I have noticed you don’t seem to like the women in the show who are warrior types (I’m thinking Brienne and how much you dislike the Sand Snakes (and with them I mean in terms of them even being cast/appearing in the show), but different sorts of characters appeal to different people.

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    39. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      What I don’t like is the way they have put her character over. The build for her in the books was a lot better. She got you on her side and was human. Her naivity and the fact she wasn’t the best fighter but still had a go made her endearing. She has been boosted and whitewashed to some extent in the show so doesn’t hold the same appeal for me.
      No issue with book Brienne but show Brienne is almost robotic. The Sand Snakes where devoid of any personality in the books. My issue was that they are underdeveloped characters and yet people were losing their shit about them being cast purely because they were ‘kick ass hot women with weapons’. It’s shallow until they have actually appeared on screen.
      One of my favourite characters in the book was actually Asha (Yara) who fits the warrior female mould. Mainly because she just got on with it and her storyline didn’t harp on about her gender. It’s a shame she has been neglected by the show so much. Osha, Meera and the Mormont girls (I’d take bears over snakes and day!) were also interesting smaller/minor characters who lived off their personality and not their gender. I guess I just don’t like the contradiction of characters who’s core being screams “my gender doesn’t matter” and yet it’s central to their whole character.

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    40. TheTouchOfFrost,

      In my view, Brienne is still completely human on the show. As for the Sand Snakes, I liked them in the books, but more than that, I wanted to know more about them, and it sounds like we’ll find out/see more in TWOW. So, yes, I was very happy they were cast. I’m also not sorry they cut Arienne, as I found her closer to a cliche than any of the characters Martin has written in ASOIAF (I may be missing someone, though).

      As far as Asha/Yara, I didn’t like her in the books, and I don’t like her on the show. I don’t like the Iron Islanders, in general (I know you feel differently).

      I can see what you mean about the contradiction in characters saying my gender doesn’t matter, but is central to their character, but I personally identify with that. I don’t want people judging what I can or can’t do, or should or shouldn’t do because of my gender, but part of the reason for that is precisely because of my gender.

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    41. Stella: She must create her own quest. Protect the Stark girls. Revenge Catelyn. Revenge Renly. All good quests and missions

      You have such high aspirations for Brienne! I enjoy your thoughts on her and your enthusiasm for her altruism.

      As you & I discussed a few weeks back, her journey is quite macabre and intriguing. She starts with a purpose but her heart-of-darkness journey sends her down Dante’s Inferno to almost every level of hell.

      By the time she is taken by the BwB and meets LSH, what have her vows and ideals become? Can you imagine the gut-wrenching discombobulation of ideals, vows and sense of justice that must be floating around her head at the time she meets up with Jaime again? We need another Brienne PoV chapter (if we’re so lucky!)!

      Now for the show, I am hopeful regarding her secret tagalong journey but how dark will/can it be in S5? After being disillusioned with Arya, is she going to be suddenly thrust into a situation where she has heroic opportunities with Sansa? Or will she pursue the revenge theme and have a heart-to-heart with Stannis? I doubt her journey will mirror the Hound/Arya visualization of the ramifications of war and the decrepit state of the Westerosi but surely her and Pod’s travelogue includes more than campfire banter as their arc matures, right? I absolutely enjoyed the desolate Moat Cailin vista but they conveniently went “around Moat Cailin” (as if) instead of immersing themselves in hell.

      Which do you find more impactful? Brienne/Pod on a BwB mission with Jaime in the riverlands (which may lead to Sansa)? Or Brienne/Pod on a mission to support Sansa/confront Stannis at WF? Either way, should be a decent ride!

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    42. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Book Brienne was likeable but completely rudderless until the Jaime influence crept into her story again. Show Breienne isn’t likeable and is being tagged onto others stories because she really has nothing to do without Jaime. There is no chemistry between her and Pd at all. They’re not amusing or intriguing. It’s just her moaning about him ( not even in a comedic way) and him …well…he doesn’t do a lot of anything except follow her round as she does completely random things. Sorry, it’s going to take an awful lot for me to get invested in Brienne’s story. Not a knock against Christie as she’s doing the best with what she’s given but I think the show has handled her really badly in many ways. The Sand Snakes at this point are no more than cartoon characters. Arianne wasn’t great but her and Doran were the only two characters after reading the last two books that O really cared what happened to. The rest were just a mish mash of vague descriptions.
      I think Asha is the type of character who is an interesting , strong female warrior type. She doesn’t moan about or emphasise her gender and she holds more power and influence than any of the other. In the survival of the fittest world of the Ironborn she has done incredibly well to fight her way towards the top. Because she’s not as gimmicky as the Snakes or Brienne she seems to get overlooked as a character which is a shame as she exemplifies what those other characters stand for much better.
      For me, the best female characters in the show/book who don’t play on their gender as much. Cersei, Arya, Melisandre, Ygritte, etc are much more interesting as they have more layers than just their gender. I lament that we won’t see Genna Lannister in the show as I think she is one of the best minor characters in the books. A few appearances from her made got me wanting more of her than all the Sand Snakes combined!

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    43. TheTouchOfFrost,

      As I think we already said, we view certain characters very differently. You’ve made it very clear you don’t like show Brienne. Your as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. I can’t comment on the Sand Snakes in the show, as I haven’t seen them, yet, and while I’ve seen comments about people not liking them, I’ve also heard their scene is very short, so even if I don’t like them in the first scene, I’m the type to give characters a chance before rushing to judgement. You already didn’t like them in the books and weren’t happy they were cast, so I don’t expect you to like them no matter what. We also, as we’ve already been over, have very differing opinions of Asha/Yara.

      I know you love the Iron Islands and didn’t care for Dorne. I’m the opposite.

      I disagree Melissandre and Cersei don’t play off their gender a lot. Both of them use their feminine wiles to get what they want, and one of the biggest elements of Cersei’s character is the fact she wishes she was born a man, as I see it.

      Anyway, we aren’t going to change each other’s views on these things.

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    44. Pedrissimo,

      If you look at the end of each article, right before the “Jump to (and always support) the bottom,” you’ll see the instructions for the spoiler code (in case you forget it). The code is [ spoiler ] spoilery stuff here [ /spoiler ], but without any spaces.

      btw – I saw you mention somewhere your idea

      greyscale would be taking the place of the pale mare. That’s a pretty interesting idea. I’m guessing, as it seems many are, that Jorah will be the one getting greyscale. From set pictures, we also know he goes back to Meereen. JonCon headed toward Westeros, instead, so, yes, if Jorah is the one who gets it, he could take it to Merreen, and if they decide to include some sort of epidemic there, it could certainly be that. I do wonder, though, what would happen from there. Is he the one who takes it back to Westeros? If so, it must be because no one realizes he is “Patient 0.” There are lots of interesting possibilities. Thanks for throwing your idea out there.

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    45. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Au contraire, happily reserve judgement on the SS until I’ve seen them. Initially, I thought they couldn’t fail to be more interesting than their book counterparts but the pictures and interviews I’ve seen from them so far don’t inspire a great deal of confidence that they’ll be anything more than the one dimensional efforts of the book. We shall find out this weekend though!
      Wouldn’t say I loved the Iron Islands but I found their core characters much more clearly defined, fleshed out and interesting. I also think Euron would have been a magnificent fit for TV but it looks like that red-decked ship has sailed.
      I would say their gender is part of their identity (as it is with any person) but their key feature is not that they are women. Cersei , as a character is all about power and the lengths she is willing to go to to get/protect it. Her gender is merely something that is an obstacle to get around , like her late husband, rivals ,etc. Melisandre doesn’t really use her sexuality to get things she uses her persuasiveness and faith. She’s all about the visions and making people believe. The main difference between these and others is that their gender only makes up a part of their character whereas Brienne and the SS, it has become far too much of it.
      My intention isn’t to change views but to explore them 🙂

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