Game of Thrones: Post-Mortem of “The House of Black and White”

Jaqen Hghar x

An exciting episode of Game of Thrones saw an unexpected return and a host of events building on the drama of the season premiere. “The House of Black and White” brings us a batch of new interviews today, examining the rejections and returns.

First things first, make sure you check out our brand-new exclusive interview with Brienne of Tarth herself, Gwendoline Christie!

Christie also spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the events of last night’s episode, and the fateful meeting at the inn.

“Brienne kneels before Sansa in an exact mimic of the oath she made to Catelyn Stark,” the actress says. “And Sansa says, ‘No.’ But in the script, it says there’s the tiniest look in Sansa’s eyes. The script says the look is telling Brienne: ‘Get the f–k out of Dodge.’”

B of T“We can be romantic about it and say that, in that moment, maybe there’s a connection, some part Catelyn that’s within Sansa, that’s trying to help me, to urge me on,” Christie elaborates. “And then there’s the horse chase, which we filmed over days. Really high-speed horse chase, through the forest, rearing the horses. Daniel Portman—Podrick —is a brilliant rider and had to fake being a terrible one.”

Christie talks about telling her castmates about getting cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and more so check out EW for the full interview.

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EW also talks to last night’s big surprise returning actor Tom Wlaschiha. (Well, it was less surprising for those of us avidly following casting spoilers.) The German actor dishes on quite a lot so here are just a couple of the high points.

“I thought it would be fun to start the new season with a different vibe. Even though she’s found him, she’s grown up and is much more conscious in her choices. So he is going to teach her, as promised, but he is not going to make it easy for her. We will learn different sides of Jaqen and how the whole group at the House works.”

On his feelings for his protege and his plans: “He definitely cares about Arya. But the question is: If he’s hiding it and why is he hiding it? Is it part of a bigger plan? And we still don’t know why he surfaced in first place. He was a prisoner in King’s Landing. Why was he there? Was it all part of a bigger plan and, if so, who is behind it? I like that his character is so mysterious.”

Wlaschiha also was interviewed by Access Hollywood, where he discussed the filming of his return.

“We shot pretty much in order and… Episode 2 was the first one we shot in Croatia. Basically, when the kindly man changes into me, thankfully,”

Tom talks about learning he’d be coming back to the show, and how it put him in a daze while out with a friend shopping.

“I was walking just aimlessly, just listening to him and when the call was finished, I was looking for my friend to tell him the news, and then I couldn’t find him for five minutes because I’d gotten lost in the store.”

In Variety, Wlaschiha says:

What was important to me personally was that we’re not picking up where we left off in season two, because in season two she kind of had the impression at the end that they were friends,” he noted. “So I thought it would be really interesting to show a different side of Jaqen now that she finds him again — he will still teach her, but he’ll be more demanding, and I think that goes very well with Arya’s journey from being a little girl to becoming a young adult. Jaqen knows that now he can ask more of her, and he’s not gonna make it easy on her.

It seems apparent from all of Wlaschiha’s interview responses about the evolution of Arya and Jaqen’s relationship that he interprets his Faceless Man as the same Faceless Man who was Jaqen H’ghar in season two so I think that answers that question.

HBO/MakingGameofThrones has a new interview with Conleth Hill up, delving into Varys’s connection with Tyrion.

Hill says of the characters’ relationship, “There’s a fondness and a mutual respect – a recognition that they’re both survivors who both have been persecuted all their lives because of how they are, as opposed to who they are. We know from past episodes that he thinks that Tyrion would be a very, very useful member of a council or a Hand of a King. He admires his political prowess and, equally, his compassion.”

And does Varys really care about Tyrion’s well-being, they ask?

Hill responds, “I think the only person who can help Tyrion is Tyrion. Varys is kind of enabling, making sure that Tyrion stays safe and hoping that he recovers and turns a corner. But I think there would be something wrong if someone who just murdered their father and ex-girlfriend suddenly got over it.”

To celebrate the arrival of Dorne on the scene, this week HBO brings us a bonus video on Dorne and the Water Gardens with interview segments from the cast and behind the scenes footage.

In this week’s Inside the Episode, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discuss Doran’s inaction and his difference from Oberyn, Kevan’s challenging of Cersei at the Small Council and Dany’s choices regarding Mossador’s actions and the law.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey share their thoughts on their characters’ reactions to the threat against Myrcella in last night’s episode.

George R.R. Martin provides background information on the process of the Night’s Watch choosing a new Lord Commander.

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

91 Comments

  1. Agh!!! I TOLD my friend last night that Sansa was looking at her like maybe she wanted to go…she was thinking about it…but then sent her away to protect her (especially with the line, “You should go…”). But the woman thought I was crazy. Thought I was giving Sansa, “too much credit”. DAMN!!! I KNEW IT! So pleased I was right. :p

  2. Thank you for compiling all these behind the scenes videos together in one post. It’s nice to have them all in one place to watch.

    The speculations about Jaqen being S2 Jaqen or the Kindly Man using Jaqen’s face is fun to read. Both theories have merit. It’s also possible JH was in the House and heard from the KM who turned away Arya that she arrived. JH went out searching for Arya, but used KM’s face as a disguise.

  3. It seems Arya Stark will transform into a dangerous (political) assassin in the new season. Real badass who will hopefully ruin plans of her (political ‘n personal) enemies ‘n, above all, take her revenge on Cersei, Walder Frey, Meryn Trant, the Red Woman, Ilyn Payne and others for harming Stark family. So young, ‘n yet so involved in political games. Arya (portrayed by promising actress Maisie Williams) is a strong opinionated young Westerosi woman who knows what she wants (that is to erase all names from her kill list) and goes after it. But ‘real Arya’, Maisie Williams, ‘anarchist-in-chief’, is ‘very opinionated about social and political stuff’ in the UK as well. Although Maisie doesn’t want to hint young British voters who to vote for in the UK general election that will take place in May 2015, she had clearly already killed off David Cameron. The question is – who’s next?

  4. Okay, Benioff again refers to Cersei as “Queen Mother”. Why is she suddenly not Queen Regent?

  5. So great to see Tom back….that video on the Access link though….I realize that some interviewers must be nervous or whatnot on the red carpet but for the love of gods, it seems like so many are at maximum awkward and ask the most blatantly obvious questions. Or completely miss a joke that the person is making and do the blank stare. Gah.

  6. They keep saying there are only the 2 necklaces but I remember Tyrion gave one to Ros back in Season 1. Its how Cersei took her hostage, because she thought Ros was Tyrion’s whore and not Shae.

  7. I love how in the Access Hollywood interview with Tom Wlaschiha says he pretends he’s not him when confronted with fans. I’m sure that could be fun. XD

  8. It’s so great to finally hear Tom talk about GoT after all the speculation about his return. I came to the same conclusion as Sue after reading the interviews, it certainly looks like he’s the same Faceless Man from season 2. I’m really happy about that!

    I found this interview from Maisie very interesting, it’s a bit spoilery (in my opinion anyway): http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/20/game-of-thrones-arya-maisie-williams-interview-braavos-black-white/?smid=nytimesarts

  9. Sean C.: Okay, Benioff again refers to Cersei as “Queen Mother”. Why is she suddenly not Queen Regent?

    There does not appear to be a regency. At any rate, Kevan is putting Cersei in her place: and that involves reminding her that she is nothing more than the woman who happens to be the mother of the King, and not a person of any authority herself. Of course, that is a huge part of Cersei’s story this year.

    On a side note, I liked that scene a lot: it accomplished exactly what the book did albeit with almost entirely different dialog!

  10. Lady Mychelle:
    Because Tommen Married Marg.
    Marg is the Queen now.

    1) They’re not married yet.
    2) “Queen consort” is not the same as “Queen Regent”.

    Wimsey:
    There does not appear to be a regency.

    Which doesn’t make sense. Joffrey had a regent still; why wouldn’t Tommen?

  11. She said before the council meeting that she was regent. So I guess there is a regency, she even said “Tommen can choose his own hand when he’s of age”.

    Kevan does not see Cersei as the regent however.

  12. Sean C.: Which doesn’t make sense. Joffrey had a regent still; why wouldn’t Tommen?

    That was nearly 4 years ago: if Tommen is now older than Joffery was at that time, then he might not need a regency. (Joffery must have been considered pretty close to “of age,” anyway.)

    At any rate, this is a trivial detail of no real consequence to the plot or story, and not something about which the audience cares. What is the story is that Cersei is not Queen: she’s Queen Mother/Regent/Courtesy-Title: and her entire “kill the boy, become the man” arc this year leaps from that.

  13. How can it be considered “unexpected” when it showed him in the previously on and the opening credits. I hate that they have to ruin surprises just so simpletons can keep up.

  14. I did see a little hint of trepidation in Sansa’s face when Brienne started talking, and when she told Brienne to go, it was basically translation for “bish get the hell out of here!”. Nice that it as confirmed by Gwen.

    This meeting seems like a prelude to a later reunion, definitely unfinished business there.

  15. davy: Kevan does not see Cersei as the regent however.

    No, of he doesn’t; she’s female, and it’s unthinkable that she would be regent when there are so many awesome males around, like Kevan himself. 😉 I liked the Kevan-Cersei scene, and because I detest Cersei, I loved Kevan putting her in her place. But this aspect of total inequality of males/females is a huuuge part of the underlying theme of GoT, and part of what is so massively wrong with this world. It will be interesting to see what the ultimate solution is, if there is any, at the end of the series.

  16. VoldeMord:
    The looks that Olly have been shooting at Jon make me a bit worried…

    My bet is now certainly that he’ll stand in for BM. Olly will always hate the wildlings because they murdered his parents, and throughout this season he’ll be watching Jon grow more and more accepting of them and encouraging others to do the same.
  17. Wimsey: That was nearly 4 years ago: if Tommen is now older than Joffery was at that time, then he might not need a regency.(Joffery must have been considered pretty close to “of age,” anyway.)

    At any rate, this is a trivial detail of no real consequence to the plot or story, and not something about which the audience cares.What is the story is that Cersei is not Queen: she’s Queen Mother/Regent/Courtesy-Title: and her entire “kill the boy, become the man” arc this year leaps from that.

    Cersei was still regent at Joffrey’s wedding, a mere few months earlier, at most.

    And it’s really not a trivial detail at all, because “Queen Regent” is a recognized office with massive legal powers which Cersei should be all rights occupy.

  18. Dany and her council of (mis)advisers have made a hash of Mereen. None of them holds a candle to Strannis who can at least change tactics (Legitimize Jon as a Stark and recover the North) when the first plan (gain the support of the Wildings and recover the North) falls through. Dany and council insist on seeing Mereen as they wish it was. Stannis sees the North and Westeros as it is.
    Eight hundred years ago a wise man discussed what it took to rule. He said it would be better if a ruler is loved, but if the ruler in not loved, she should be feared. By executing the former slave on her council, Dany is no longer loved by the freedmen and is no longer feared by the former masters. Its going to take a lot of dead bodies from all classes to prop up her Mereen throne.

    I’d prefer wine, but I’ll take the water . . . and the mercy.

  19. Sean C.,

    Maybe it is just assumed? Cersei says she is advising Tommen until he comes of age(ie: ruling in his stead). Is that not basically what a regent does? She is certainly still acting like the queen regent.

  20. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I think Kevan disputes or is at least fundamentally opposed to Cersei’s position as Queen Regent. If I’m not mistaken, she unilaterally assumed the title. Can she even do that, legally speaking?

  21. Flora Linden,

    I think people are mistaken when they presume this “Jaqen” is a different faceless man from the one in season 2. I don’t think that is what the show is implying. When he says he is not Jaqen but “no one” I don’t think he means he is a totally different faceless man from previous Jaqen, just that he considers himself “no one” in the same way he tells Arya to refer to herself as “no one”.

  22. Mr Fixit,

    Well Tom Wlaschiha seems to agree with me.
    When he says “I am not Jaqen, I am no one”, he means that Jaqen is not real, it is just a mask he wears but that does not mean he is a totally new faceless man. He is “no one” and tells Arya she needs to become “no one”.

  23. Ivan,

    I hope she gets involved in WF in some capacity too.

    And glad to see Jaqen confirmed! I thought this was made clear. My show-only family thought so too, but I think something about the scene made a lot of book readers question if it was him for some reason.

  24. Nippled Breastplate: I hate that they have to ruin surprises just so simpletons can keep up.

    They are there so that the intelligent people can keep up. After all, intelligent people are far too busy to remember small details of TV shows years after the fact. Since most of those scenes were shown on TV, they have completed many projects, read many books, and watched many other TV shows. For all that they might think that GoT is the best show on TV (and many of them do), it is still just a TV show. When they make presentations to their clients, colleagues, bosses, boards, students, etc., they are not allowed to just start cold: they are expected to provide reminders of relevant prior work. They demand the same of their entertainment.

    Sean C.: And it’s really not a trivial detail at all, because “Queen Regent” is a recognized office with massive legal powers which Cersei should be all rights occupy.

    I am aware of nothing in the books or show that designates “Queen Regent” with any official powers. Ultimately, it comes down to this: there is Queen, and there is titular Queen; the latter includes Queen Regent, Dowager Queen, Queen Mother, husband of the King, etc. And that is huge for the “kill the boy, become the man” story that they are trying to adapt this year:

    Cersei is perpetually trying to convince others that she is the Queen and she thinks that she is showing them that she is Tywinette Lannister. To this end, the audience must understand that many (including her uncle) do not think that she is capable of or competent at ruling.

    These scenes established that well, and they should make it so that the audience will understand Cersei’s contribution to the story this year.

    (Given that we’ve already seen obvious parallels in Jon’s & Daeny’s storylines, and that we’ve seen budding parallels in Sansa’s, Arya’s and Brienne’s storylines, I would wager that much of the audience has a good idea of what this season’s story is already.)

  25. The bit where Cersei takes the chair at small council….almost a ‘I could get used to this’ act, that doesn’t go unnoticed by the others.

  26. Yeah, regarding Cersei, AFAIK there is no provision for a Queen Regent. (Or any Regent.) There is the King and the Hand of the King, and those are the only two people that can sit in the Iron Throne. Tywin’s power was in that office. Even Tyrion could overrule Cersei when he was acting Hand. Cersei is basically seizing the office of Hand, and Kevan calls her out on it.

  27. Cercei’s “place” is definitely on the Small Council, acting on behalf of her underage son as she sees fit. Kevan was being a duche. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to oppose Cercei on various matters, “you’re just the king’s mom!” isn’t one of them. And if Kevan doesn’t want to be a puppet he should have mentioned that to Tywin decades ago, hey-o!

    While I enjoyed having Jaquen back, I was definitely intrigued by his first gatekeeper-guy face. Hope we see that one again, too. And I wonder which, if either, is his true face?

  28. Wimsey:
    I am aware of nothing in the books or show that designates “Queen Regent” with any official powers.

    While the monarch is a minor, the regent wields the full power of the throne (though Cersei was never really able to do that, because she’s not very good at her job).

  29. A lot of the episode worked but some of it seemed a little contrived.
    I know she’s a fan favourite but I honestly don’t see the point in Brienne at this point in time. I think meeting and being rejected by both Starks girls has killed her story dead. I’m not getting the her and Pod double act either, I don’t know if they were hoping it that it would be another Tyrion/Bronn or Arya/Hound but it’s really not holding my interest. That long-winded chase after the rather strangely played out tavern scene just seemed like a way to squeeze an action scene (and a below par one) in there.
    The Wall is playing out very well. Was worried they wouldn’t do the big moments justice in a shorter space of time but it’s doing great so far. The addition of Shireen and Selyse is adding new layers as is having Sam and Gilly about. Let’s keep this going!
    Nice introduction to Dorne (although why was i not in the map on the opening credits or did I miss that?) and Ellaria and Doran set the premise there up nicely. I think the reasoning for Jaime going there was a little simplified and I would have liked more tensions between him and Cersei before he left but the combined awesomeness of he and Bronn made it more bearable. Although I fear everyone’s favourite sellsword may not be returning from Dorne one way or another.
    Cersei and the small council stuff was very good and you really get the feeling of how weak it is now such big players as Tywin, Varys and Littlefinger have gone. Powertrip Cersei is going to be delightfully annoying.
    Arya in Braavos is off to a slow but steady start and it was nice to see a living breathing Braavos instead of just inside the Iron Bank.
    Sansa and Littlefinger still don’t seem to be giving anything away so hard to judge what’s going on there. Darth Sansa is still a bit pointless to me as having her sit in a pub isn’t exactly the kind of caution we’ve come to expect from Littlefinger and if Pod can see through her disguise so easily then I’m sure many others can.
    In Mereen , Selmy finally got a chance to shine. Get the sense Dany is starting to get as annoyed with Mereen as the viewers/readers. They’re doing a great job mirroring some of the situations that happened in the Middle East and how the liberators find it hard to combat the culture of vengeance.
    Another steady episode. Most of the story is going nicely but I worry about the folks currently in the Vale as that is without doubt for me the weakest part of the show by a country mile at the moment.

  30. Sean C.,

    IF Im not mistaken, didn’t Oberyn refer to her as former Queen Regent at the wedding?

    But I guess Margaery and Tommen aren’t married yet…. Maybe Kevan was simply saying he doesn’t recognize her as a regent, whether or not she is.

  31. Great episodes. I didn’t notice a look in Sansa’s eyes. I’ll have to re-watch that really closely.

    There’s been a lot of discussion about Cersei’s position over Tommen. She is without a doubt the Queen Mother. As for other titles, Tommen appears to still be underage so he does require a regent but I haven’t found a shred of evidence that the regent MUST be his mother. I imagine it is up to the council to name the Regent in situations like this and then the King and the Regent would name the Hand? Or the other way around, the council names the Hand and then the King and Hand name the Regent? Either way, it isn’t automatically a parent, male or female, for either role and if the ruler is truly very young, it would be a function of a council to elect these important roles. Which is probably why Roose said how horrible it is to have a young heir. They are easily controlled and manipulated.

  32. Braincandy:
    RosanaZugey,

    ME TOO!My husband disagreed too.

    That was some spectacular acting on Sophie’s part!

    Wasn’t it?!?! Sophie is phenomenal! 🙂 Its funny because we were discussing that scene afterwards (when I was mentioning that she had a look like she was thinking about it), and I said to my friend that Sophie’s acting is in her eyes. Watch her eyes. Because they say what her mouth isn’t. So…for Gwendoline to come out today and confirm that it was indeed “in her eyes”, was a very *mic drop* moment. 😉 Glad you saw it too. 🙂

  33. RosanaZugey,

    I felt pretty proud too especially since my hubby is usually really good at figuring these things out.

    I feel in the minority catching Sophie’s nonverbal cues though. I wonder why that is?

  34. I can’t say I was happy with this episode. I don’t think we have had an episode yet that had so little book material in it, and it showed….for the worse. Many of the scenes were complete fan fiction (Sansa/Brienne, Jamie/Bronn, Tyrion/Varys) and most of the rest were so heavily adapted that they bore only passing resemblance to what occured in the books at the same point. The highlight of the show for me was Lady Mormont’s letter. Watching Stannis get smacked down by a little girl (and a kick-heiney book quote) brought a bright little spark to an otherwise dull affair.

    I watch this show with my unsullied wife, and after last night she basically believes Dany is an idiot….and I cannot say I disagree. Could she have cluster-bombed that situation any worse than she did? And did D&D have no better ideas than to just repeat the Karstark affair? If you are going to do fan fiction, at least do something new!

    Episode 1 had alleviated some of my concerns about this season. Episode 2 brought them all right back and then some.

  35. Chad Brick,

    You have to know it is only going to get worse for you. What did you expect to see starting next season, when there are no books to go by?

  36. Sean C.: While the monarch is a minor, the regent wields the full power of the throne (though Cersei was never really able to do that, because she’s not very good at her job).

    That’s from “our” history, not from the books. Again, “Queen Regent” is not an official concept in Westeros: it’s an ad hoc one. Moreover, it’s an ad hoc concept that some people do not appear to recognize: that was very much the point of the Kevan scene. And that is the crux of Cersei’s contribution to the story (and also one impetus in her plotline) this year.

  37. Chad Brick: Many of the scenes were complete fan fiction (Sansa/Brienne, Jamie/Bronn, Tyrion/Varys) and most of the rest were so heavily adapted that they bore only passing resemblance to what occured in the books at the same point.

    You do not understand the difference between fan-fiction and adaptation. Adaptation is telling the same story a different way: and every “new” scene in this episode is pretty clearly designed to contribute to the same story that GRRM wrote, but as you would do it on TV rather than in a book. Most fan-fiction is, well, random nothingness insofar as I can tell, but it does not attempt to tell the same stories as Rowling, Tolkien, Martine, etc. told. Instead, the few fan-fiction authors sophisticated enough write true stores or even plots (as opposed to narrating some arbitrary sequence of events) are trying to write their own stories using someone else’s characters and universe.

    Put another way: we just watched a bunch of arms and legs that correspond directly to fins we read in the books.

    Indeed, what was especially telling about the “invented” scenes is how much they really setup the storylines for each character: and how clear most of them made the point that it’s going to be the same storyline as in the books, albeit with fairly different plot-details.

  38. Chad Brick,

    The show is fan faction, fan fiction that is often better than the original story now. The most banal of all criticism’s towards this show is the “this isn’t like the book so it is bad”.

  39. Wimsey,

    No, it is an official concept. That’s why Cersei was referred to as Queen Regent in prior seasons, and not just by herself.

  40. GRRM says this is a “licensed adaptation” and anyone who calls it fan fiction doesn’t understand the term.

  41. Huge difference. Let me explain in simple terms.

    Fan-fiction is when someone with minimal to no talent steals someone else’s characters and world because they are incapable of creating their own and want to feel like a real artist.

    Adaptations are made to tell the same story, but in a fashion that better suits the chosen medium. For example, adapting Romeo & Juliet into the musical West Side Story or eliminating fifty Northern lords and giving their one line each to two regular characters in order to save money.

  42. VoldeMord:
    The looks that Olly have been shooting at Jon make me a bit worried…

    I was thinking while watching- why the fuck is this kid present at the election? And I then had the same revelation… oh yeah, that’s why. I hope not. But yeah, I guess I don’t know who else they could use.

  43. Good episode, not great but continues to set things up, not sure that all the scenes worked all that well though. Enjoyed the scene with Kevan putting Cersei in her place, but the Brienne/Pod/Sansa/LF scene seemed a bit contrived as if it was decided some action was required ( who knows, it could yet happen in TWoW though!).

    Love the little throwback to season 1 with Arya chasing pigeons 🙂

    Now TV was a bit poor for me so I missed a few minutes 🙁

    Flora Linden:

    The speculations about Jaqen being S2 Jaqen or the Kindly Man using Jaqen’s face is fun to read. Both theories have merit. It’s also possible JH was in the House and heard from the KM who turned away Arya that she arrived. JH went out searching for Arya, but used KM’s face as a disguise.

    That’s how I took it too, JH wanted to be sure it was Arya so he went out in disguise to check on her first.

  44. Sean C.,

    It is an official concept but it means just what is says: the mother of the king. It is not the same as Regent which could be any parent or even someone who is not a parent. So there is no official concept as Queen Regent. Cersei could be a Regent or she could be a Queen but she couldn’t be both. To be Queen means the King is still alive and there is no need for a Regent. To be Regent means the king is underage and his mother was the former queen but is now a widow. It is only in Cersei’s mind that a Queen Regent exists but in reality Westeros has no queen at the moment. They will when Tommen marries.

  45. Yung Wolf,

    Some butthurt book purist being butthurt,i hope you are not trying to use this in your argument that the episode is bad because that’s just a pathetic thing on your part .

  46. Looks like I stirred up a hornet’s nest of contradiction around here. I guess if I don’t know what “fan fiction” is, neither does anyone else. When I say it, I mean it in a derogatory sense. Not all fan fiction is contradictory garbage, but a lot of it is. In particular, I am becoming even more doubtful that either Sansa’s or Jaime’s plot lines this year can be made internally consistent. Jaime going to Dorne makes no sense (high probability of failure or even backfiring!), and Sansa’s next step seems nothing short of insane from not only her perspective but everyone else’s involved.

    Wimsey

    “You do not understand the difference between fan-fiction and adaptation.

    …..

    JamesL

    The show is fan faction, fan fiction that is often better than the original story now.

    …..

    Tyrion Pimpslap

    GRRM says this is a “licensed adaptation” and anyone who calls it fan fiction doesn’t understand the term.

    ……

    KM

    Huge difference. Let me explain in simple terms.

    Fan-fiction is when someone with minimal to no talent steals someone else’s characters and world because they are incapable of creating their own and want to feel like a real artist.

  47. Chad Brick:
    In particular, I am becoming even more doubtful that either Sansa’s or Jaime’s plot lines this year can be made internally consistent. Jaime going to Dorne makes no sense (high probability of failure or even backfiring!)…

    You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. However, I don’t know how you can claim that Jaime’s trip to Dorne “makes no sense” if we haven’t seen how it is carried out. Skepticism (about book to show changes) is fine but at least let the entire story arc play out before judging it as lacking internal consistency.

    At this point, you should be watching the show for what it is – a well-done adaption – and not for a point-by-point recreation of the books.

  48. mariamb,

    Jaime’s trip to the Riverlands made no sense either but of course the book purists don’t point this out. Why would a member of the kingsguard be sent to deal with a siege of a castle when there was no need for him to be there except for him interacting with the Blackfish and of course meeting Brienne again by a pure coincidence,but of course when Martin does it it’s ok,when D&D does it it’s fan fiction,typical book purist hypocrisy 101 .

  49. mariamb: You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. However, I don’t know how you can claim that Jaime’s trip to Dorne “makes no sense” if we haven’t seen how it is carried out. Skepticism (about book to show changes) is fine but at least let the entire story arc play out before judging it as lacking internal consistency.

    We already all but know how it turns out – failure. Myrcella will not be “rescued” by Jaime and Bronn in anything that remotely resembles the book plot, now matter how much D&D twist it. We also know that Jaime will get his heiney kicked from the trailers (not a surprise). It is also very highly likely that Bronn will die (replacing Oakheart in that respect). I don’t think Jaime will, though. Both in the books and the show, he and Brienne have unresolved issues and if they do not meet again on the show, then there is no way D&D can claim to be “going to the same place” as GRRM. Jaime and Brienne are major characters in the overall story and need to share the same basic fate on both TV and in the books, and that means them meeting again.

    In any case, we know the mission is a failure, so we can already judge that Jaime’s inexplicable and unexplained choice to embark on it was as idiotic as it appeared to be. He is not a ninja that can whisk himself into a palace in far-away land and whisk himself right back out again with a rescued princess. He is a warrior, and not even a good one anymore.

    At this point, you should be watching the show for what it is – a well-done adaption – and not for a point-by-point recreation of the books.

    It IS a well-done adaption, about 60% of the time. 30% of the time it is mediocre. And 10% consists of corpse-side rapes and the Ironborn best running from puppy dogs. I feel no reason to withhold my criticism when garbage appears on screen, especially when it wasn’t in the book.

  50. I really don’t understand purism, especially when you’re dealing with an adaptation. It might just be me, but many purists seem to have a sense of entitlement to the books and its characters (there’s a barely suppressed ‘how dare they’ attitude expressed in many of their reviews, I noticed this quite heavily in Elio’s latest articles.)

    Imagine someone back in the day taking Wace by the quill and saying, “Hey, it’s great that you’re writing about King Arthur and all… but what’s this Round Table stuff? It’s complete fan fiction! It’s not present in the last 500 years of Arthurian canon at all!” Ditto for Chretien de Troyes: “Great stuff! But who’s this Lancelot guy? He’s new and unnecessary!”

    I can’t really think of many literary works that were adapted into other literary works or formats (theatre, cinema, etc) that weren’t changed in some form by necessity or invention. Pretty much all of Shakespeare’s works were adaptations of older stories (he changed the ending to King Lear, which pissed off the diehards) and pretty much all of Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre began life as novels (and he changed them all!) To say to someone that you can’t change something because you don’t like it/it was different in the source material… is a stagnatory attitude, imo.

  51. Phalange:
    Chad Brick,

    I’m sorry, I immediately invalidate the criticisms of someone who replaces the word “ass” with “heiney”.

    I do not use those types of words on other peoples’ blogs. Excuse me for being civil. Now do you care to address my points?

  52. Funny, I watched an “extra” feature on The Walking Dead about how the story and characters were changed from the comic, sometimes drastically, and how enthusiastic one of the creator/writers was about the changes. Bet there are some viewers who still only want to piss mightily all over it because ” it was better in the comic”.

  53. Valaquen:
    I really don’t understand purism, especially when you’re dealing with an adaptation.

    I am not a purist. Obviously, many things need to be changed in a successful adaptation. That doesn’t imply that I need to accept every particular change D&D&crew make, even when they are poor choices that violate the character of the books they are supposedly adapting, or are nonsensical contradictions.

    Heck, there are times that I wish D&D made changes that they didn’t make. For example, I wish Theon would have received a Drowned Man purification (nearly drowning people, then bringing them back from the brink) than the regular Christian-like pseudo-baptism that normal Iron Islanders receive. The former is cut because the relative characters are cut, so transferring at least something cool the Iron Islanders would have been refreshing. Instead, they are the biggest wimps in the books – sucker punching the Starks only to get tricked and flayed or tricked and tortured, then getting sick, tricked, and flayed, and then running from dogs. Sheesh.

    It is generally the case that the best points in the TV series have closely matched the books, and the worst the reverse. I see no reason to believe that this trend will reverse and too many that indicate that it will only accelerate. Note that there are exceptions – Tywin and Arya being probably the best of all – but they are few and far between. Fortunately the three most important plot lines this season – Cersei, Jon, and Dany – seem to be the ones staying the closest to home. That’s something to pull a little hope from, at least.

  54. I’ll be really curious to see how Jagens relationship with Arya shall develop

    We never really knew why he was in the KL Dungeons in the first place

    I do wonder though why he is at the Citadel in the books, they perhaps aren’t doing whatever that arc is in the show, but part of me wonders if he is a rogue or if he is filling a spy role not an assassin role as part of the institutional agenda of the HoB&W.

    I wonder if he’ll end up protecting Arya if she breaks away from HoB&W, it’s curious that he seemed to be taking a liking to her in the first place, and knew her name etc

  55. Sean C.:
    Okay, Benioff again refers to Cersei as “Queen Mother”.Why is she suddenly not Queen Regent?

    Sean C.,

    Probably because they are American

    The use of the word “country” stands out like a sore thumb in this show, don’t know if it is ignorance or Hollywood influence that makes them unable to utter the proper term “Kingdom”

    The Patriot is the most blatant case of historical mis-representation I have seen in an American movie, not to mention the hilarity of some of the stereotypes in Pirates of the Caribbean.

    They are probably thinking of the late Queen-Mother,

    It’s worth mentioning Cersei is one of either the Queen Regent or the Lady of the Rock and not merely the symbolic role of “Queen-Mother”, this is the case even after Tommen is married to margaery given he is so young, but the show aged him up to the point where he barely looks younger than Joffrey

    Kevan wants her to go to Casterly Rock so he can be Regent so she doesen’t screw things up so it is a case of one or the other

    Generally I am really pleased they have included Ser Kevan, not sure they made it clear though why he is unhappy, if I hadn’t read the books I’d probably be a bit confused

    But I guess we’ll wait and see, there’s still the whole season to play out and I hope he makes a later appearance, really hoping the “winter” line will make it in before….

  56. I am not a native English speaker, so forgive my ignorance on this matter. I gather you think the word ‘country’ meaning ‘kingdom’ or ‘realm’ is anachronistic? Is that true? I seem to remember that Shakespeare used it.

  57. Chad Brick,

    I was responding to pursim in general, not calling you out. When it comes to “It is generally the case that the best points in the TV series have closely matched the books, and the worst the reverse” I think that’s really a matter of your opinion. For me, some of the greatest things were divergences: character pair-ups, amalgamated characters, excised characters, etc.

    Mr Fixit:
    Valaquen,

    Honorable mention goes to Blade Runner which is very different from Dick’s novel and also much better.

    Yes, it’s very different from the book! A good point of comparison is also Kubrick’s Shining and King’s TV movie version. Also see: Jurassic Park, Akira, Die Hard (yup, it’s based on a book), Hitchcock’s The Birds — one good quote from Hitchcock on the art of adaptation is: “What I do is read a story only once, and if I like the basic idea, I just forget all about the book and start to create cinema. Today I would be unable to tell you the story of Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds. I read it only once, and very quickly at that.” Cinema is cinema and the book is the book. Thankfully they are not the same and filmmakers are not beholden to the book on a verbatim basis. I think you can put GoT on the theatrical stage, make changes, and have something unique and interesting; it’s the same with turning it into a radio serial, a comic book, or yes, a film or TV series.

  58. Queen Regent vs. Queen Mother is a pretty besides the point argument for a show which has asserted that power resides where men believe it does. The power isn’t vested in a legal title, no matter how convenient. Cersei is regent because she has taken over. Kevan simply didn’t want to be her puppet, as he said. Cersei’s dilemma is that she actually wants Tommen to be king, since he is the nominal source of her power, but not Margaery through him.

  59. Tom mentions a ‘gift’ in one of those interviews. He mentions that the faceless men aren’t just assasins, but are sent to deliver the gift of mercy to dying people. One of the future episodes is titled ‘The Gift’ so maybe Arya is sent to give the gift of mercy to someone (it would be a nice callback to her scenes with the hound)

  60. So glad the book reader vs show watcher shit is back. Seriously, drop it…both sides.

    Not really sure why Cersei being the Queen Mother or Queen Regent makes a significant difference to the plot?!

  61. Mr Fixit:
    I am not a native English speaker, so forgive my ignorance on this matter. I gather you think the word ‘country’ meaning ‘kingdom’ or ‘realm’ is anachronistic? Is that true? I seem to remember that Shakespeare used it.

    This? Henry V

    KING. What’s he that wishes so?
    My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
    If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
    To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

  62. Valaquen:
    I really don’t understand purism, especially when you’re dealing with an adaptation.

    Especially when you are dealing with AFFC and ADWD. They made maybe the best season from the worts books.

  63. mau,

    Bit premature there surely! From the two episodes I’ve seen so far, it’s been alright but hasn’t set the world on fire…just Mance!

  64. Bits I Liked
    *KL calling bullshit on Cersei
    *Tyrion’s zinger about the futileness of the situation
    *Barristan’s “your father was a dick” lesson
    *Alexander Siddig as Doran, i wanna kiss Nina Gold
    * Daenerys is turning Mereen into “everyone hates Dany”

  65. Just wanted to say I loved this episode, the 2nd best follow up episode of any season thus far. Lord Commander was great to watch albeit a tad brief, could have used some build-up. Enjoyed the sparring scene with Doran and Ellaria, loved Aero running his finger on his axe (hint). Arya, say no more, Brienne and Sansa killed it, perfectly.
    My favorite scene was unexpected, Bronn/Lollys, Elizabeth Cadwallader was great and loved her take. If I were Bronn, I’d throw away Jaime’s gift and keep Llolys, she is a keeper, nice, pretty, enjoyable to hang around, gentle, but not stupid. When Bronn mentioned bad people get whats coming eventually, Llolys got the jest of it and perked up at the thought. She knew they would be moving into Stokeworth, sooner rather than later. I hope when see more of Bronn and Llolys next season, or later this year for the matter.
    Loved the exiles in a box scene, especially when Vary’s commented that the bug would be Tyrion’s first meal in quite awhile.

  66. tyjon,

    I agree, watched it today and it’s a fantastic episode; my viewing group was really pleased. Everywhere I looked these past days I saw people say it was a good but slow episode, but in my view this is totally off the mark. It was a perfectly paced, eventful, and richly characterised episode. I am impressed.

  67. TheTouchOfFrost:
    Not really sure why Cersei being the Queen Mother or Queen Regent makes a significant difference to the plot?!

    Probably because the Queen Mother has no power while the Regent (doesn’t matter if they’re queen or not) does.

  68. Mr Fixit,

    If no one dies they think its a slow episode…. Those people just don’t understand what is good story and good characterization.. Every Jon Snow scene with Stannis is better than any fight scene from S4E9…..

  69. Chad Brick,

    I’m sorry I don’t see your point or to put it otherwise your points seem to be nonsensical. Jaime: What a reaction would you expect from someone who lost his hand, lost his son, his father and brother and now is faced with a threat about the fate of his daughter. He is in such a lowdown psychological position that his sister and lover -one that he apparently still loves and cares about – can impose on him his actions. It is very clear in both scenes with the two. In the first in ep. 1 Cersei accusses him of not being capable of saving the ones he loves, that he helped his father being murdered. It is obvious that the circumstances and the accusation would be a strong psychological factor to make Jaimie feel very bad and not thinking of going out to fight some Blackfish or reunite with Brienne. It seems ridiculous. D&D can see the possibilities of such a psychological state of mind. In the second scene which is obviously set up so that Jaimie take the I want to save Myrcella decision makes it clear. A threat from people who have all the reason to take revenge, an infuriated mother who happens to be his sister and mother of his chlidren and moreover she seems to be in charge of things with his silent consent, remorse all these make up a good cocktail for the weak Lannister man to prove that he is a man, a husband, a father and a Lannister after all. Headeys performance instigates this behaviour especially after her outbreak moment in E2. A third factor is the continuation of the Dorne plot. There are juices there we don’t know what they taste and it would be too much to accuse D&D for stupidity just because they draw our attention to these an attention finely tuned with Dorne already in S4. So it seems perfectly sensible for Jaime to go to Dorne. What would you have done in his shoes? But tell us what are your arguments? What? That J’s actions are not in perfect agreement with his book counterpart? That it is doomed to failure? Come on! Noone can call them valid arguments andin no way do they adress or reflect on Jaime’s character as he has been developed so far?

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