George R.R. Martin writes about dealing with flawed historical figures and fictional characters in his Not A Blog

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George R.R. Martin took a break from writing The Winds of Winter earlier today (yes, guys, he really is hard at work on it) to share his thoughts on the reductive legacies of complicated historical figures and how to best reconcile their virtues with their shortcomings.

“Even the greatest of minds may disagree about what to do with those who came before us, fallible fellows all,” he writes on his Not A Blog, along with these two quotes:

Shakespeare

ghandi

Martin argues that Shakespeare was “[telling] it like it is,” in his quote (which is a Mark Anthony line from Julius Caesar) while Ghandi was describing the way the world could be, rather than the way it is.

Martin then contemplates how, as much as we want to sort people into good or bad categories after they die, everyone, be they living, dead or fictional, is an imperfect tangle of  contradictory characteristics.

“Dwelling where I am now, deep in the heart of Westeros, I find myself surrounded by my characters, the children of my mind and heart and soul. They are real to me, as I write them, and I struggle to make them real to my readers as well. All of them are flawed, from the best to the worst. They do heroic things, they do selfish things. Some are strong and some are weak, some smart and some stupid. The smartest may do stupid things. The bravest may have moments when their courage fails. Great harms may be done from the noblest motives, great good from motives vile and venal. Life is like that, and art should reflect that, if it is to remain true. Ours is a world of contradiction and unintended consequences.”

Martin goes on to list some of his favorite characters in fiction, noting that they’re all deeply flawed individuals but that it’s those very imperfections that make them so compelling. Martin says he has a similar reaction to the real-life subjects of histories, biographies and memoirs.

“I am not blind to the flaws of those who went before us, and I recognize the truth of Mark Antony’s words,” Martin writes in his last paragraph. “But Gandhi’s words are nobler, and those are the words I choose to live by… to treasure the memory of the good they did.

Our world needs more empathy, less anger.”


Okay, so … it’s difficult to know what to make of this post since Martin doesn’t offer any hints as to what inspired him to write this. However, while reading it, I was certainly reminded of the Hugo Awards ceremony Martin hosted last month, for which he garnered criticism for (among other things) waxing poetic about H.P Lovecraft and John W. Campbell, both of whom won posthumous awards that night and both of whom were well-documented bigots in life.

Martin issued an apology on File 770 and, obviously, I can’t be sure that the Hugo Awards controversy is in any way connected to this Not A Blog post but … well, the timing is what it is.

I don’t have much to add to the discourse myself, so I’ll end with an excerpt from Nnedi Okorafor’s blog post, Lovecraft’s racism & The World Fantasy Award statuette, with comments from China Miéville.

“Do I want “The Howard” (the nickname for the World Fantasy Award statuette. Lovecraft’s full name is “Howard Phillips Lovecraft”) replaced with the head of some other great writer? Maybe. Maybe it’s about that time. Maybe not. What I know I want is to face the history of this leg of literature rather than put it aside or bury it. If this is how some of the great minds of speculative fiction felt, then let’s deal with that… as opposed to never mention it or explain it away. If Lovecraft’s likeness and name are to be used in connection to the World Fantasy Award, I think there should be some discourse about what it means to honor a talented racist.”

297 responses

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    1. Fans, upon reading: “George R.R. Martin took a break from writing The Winds of Winter”…
      = the moment when all the smiles died.

        Quote  Reply

    2. George is worried we will not believe the characters will do “out of character” actions.
      “The smartest may do stupid things.” – Tyrion
      “The bravest may have moments when their courage fails.” – Arya
      “Great harms may be done from the noblest motives” – Daenerys
      “Great good from motives vile and venal.” Hard to say… But I think the 3eyed Raven fits.

        Quote  Reply

    3. Ten Bears: Fans, upon reading: “George R.R. Martin took a break from writing The Winds of Winter”…
      = the moment when all the smiles died.

      I think, for me, it’s hoping for the best but expecting a series of TWOW breaks at this point.

        Quote  Reply

    4. If Lovecraft’s little ditty had ended with an insult to the Jewish people or another group, I wonder how long this award would be named/modeled after him?

      Insults to some people are considered tragic, forgiveable flaws while insults to others are non-negiotiable and worthy of sanction.

      The question is who is considered valuable. Or powerful. Or worth caring about.

      And of course, the awardee has to balance the career benefits vs standing up on principle. Who wants to make a fuss and insult powerful people? What would your publisher say? If your readers are mostly of the same race and viewpoints as Lovecraft, why risk their loyalty? Who cares what a dead man wrote? Maybe if you behave well they will see that you are a “credit to your race” as they would say in the old days. Any who cares, this is good publicity, right? At least why rock the boat, the good money is green, right?

      Hypocrites.

        Quote  Reply

    5. Laura:
      Mango,

      Recipients of that bust as the award and others did speak out about it, and it was changed in 2016.

      It was used from 1975 – 2016!

      Do you think it would have lasted this long if the insults were to others…..(and the rest of the earlier post!)

        Quote  Reply

    6. Laura:
      Mango,

      I don’t know.I don’t think Lovecraft’s extreme racism really started to become widely known until around the time of Okorafor’s post in 2011.

      Well, I suppose the good news is that the problem was addressed and a change made.

      And even if it was known, a lot of stuff that was considered “OK” or just “naughty” in the mainstream society in the 1970, 1980 and 1990s (even today!) was quite appalling/painful to others.

        Quote  Reply

    7. Ten Bears,
      He’s ridiculously slow, but it does sound like he’s writing *something*. He’s talked about meeting with his editors. And at least some of the scenes were written even before the last book came out. But Rothfuss’ editor recently said she hadn’t seen a word of book 3.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Musical Interlude
      For Every Long-Suffering ASOIAF Reader

      🎶”Time goes slowly,
      but carries on
      And now the best years
      have come and gone
      You took me by surprise
      I didn’t realize,
      that you were laughing.”
      🎵

      ……………

      “Laughing “ (1969) The Guess Who (live on CBS; 3:25 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MyeHH5uJzY

      ——
      “Laughing” (1969) The Guess Who
      (audio; 3:06 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvzdtn43vnI

      📆⌛️⌛️⌛️🕰

        Quote  Reply

    9. Laura:
      loco73,

      At least GRRM does seem to write.Unlike Rothfuss whose editor hasn’t seen a word of the book he’s suppose to have been writing for the last decade.

      That’s why I haven’t started reading Rothfuss. If people want a reliable author, read Brandon Sanderson, he gives updates on his drafts and everything.

      I’ve recently started reading Scott Lynch, The Gentlaman Bastard Sequence is EXCELLENT, I would highly recommend them. Nothing like ASOIAF but GRRM is a fan. Oh and speaking of Rothfuss, he left a long review on Goodreads, which was quite surreal to read. Its the 2nd one down if you are interested, I think he spent more time ruminating on that than his own book lol https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29588376-the-lies-of-locke-lamora

        Quote  Reply

    10. ”Okay, so … it’s difficult to know what to make of this post since Martin doesn’t offer any hints as to what inspired him to write this. However, while reading it, I was certainly reminded of the Hugo Awards ceremony Martin hosted last month, for which he garnered criticism for (among other things) waxing poetic about H.P Lovecraft and John W. Campbell, both of whom won posthumous awards that night and both of whom were well-documented bigots in life.

      Martin issued an apology on File 770 and, obviously, I can’t be sure that the Hugo Awards controversy is in any way connected to this Not A Blog post but … well, the timing is what it is.”

      Georgie sure loves his Hugo Dramas.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Ten Bears,

      …. This isn’t the first time he’s gotten himself caught up in controversies or the internal political warfare of the Hugo Awards, is it?
      I recall a couple of years ago he was posting a whole bunch of screeds about “Sock Puppies”(?) hijacking the Hugo nominating process or something.

      C’mon, Big Guy! Focus!
      More Arya. Less Hugo.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Title of Post: “George R.R. Martin writes about dealing with flawed historical figures and fictional characters in his Not A Blog”
      Posted on August 27, 2020 by Petra

      ——-
      • Great write-up by Petra. 😎

      • Here’s a thought: Instead of writing about dealing with flawed fictional characters in his Not a Blog, what if George tried writing about flawed fictional characters in The Winds of Winter?

        Quote  Reply

    13. Jenny,

      Yup, Sanderson is reliably prolific. He takes breaks from writing things by writing other things. Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant also writes faster than I can keep up with. Lynch is another slow writer, but very good.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Laura,

      I haven’t read McGuire or Grant, I will look into them. I only recently got back into fantasy, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I thought about trying Robin Hobb but people seem a bit divided on that series, its apparently very slow? I might check it out one day. My recommendation to everyone is N.K. Jemisin

        Quote  Reply

    15. Mr Derp,

      Keep ‘em coming, Mr. D!
      Although Arya materializing out of thin air to “stick a knife in that horned f*cker” was not one of my favorite Arya moments, the Burlington Bar reaction to it was fun to watch.

      The fans erupted in cheers as if they were watching their hometown football team score the winning touchdown on an 80-yard bomb on 4th and 10 with 0:01 left on the clock in the fourth quarter to win the Super Bowl.

        Quote  Reply

    16. Jenny: That’s why I haven’t started reading Rothfuss.If people want a reliable author, read Brandon Sanderson, he gives updates on his drafts and everything.

      I’ve recently started reading Scott Lynch, The Gentlaman Bastard Sequence is EXCELLENT, I would highly recommend them.Nothing like ASOIAF but GRRM is a fan.Oh and speaking of Rothfuss, he left a long review on Goodreads, which was quite surreal to read.Its the 2nd one down if you are interested, I think he spent more time ruminating on that than his own book lolhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29588376-the-lies-of-locke-lamora

      Unfortunately, I did start reading Rothfuss and the “Kingkiller Chronicle” aka “The Name Of The Wind – Day One” and “The Wise Man’s Fear – Day Two”…and the books are great. Love his writing style, it’s almost lyrical prose if there’s such a thing. But maaaan the waiting!!!!!! The last thing he ever put out something related was a novella “The Slow Regard Of Silent Things”…in 2014…so there’s that. Honestly, I think soon I’ll give up on the entire series…it is only a trilogy….geeesh…

      As for GRRM, he “seems” to be writing something… emphasis on “seems”…LOL…

      I had a question, anybody here read Glenn Cook’s “The Black Company” novel series…any impressions, criticisms etc.? Is it worth investing the time to read then (I realise that is something quite subjective to ask)? I did some digging on them so, background, outline, read some reviews, but I’d like to hear some recommendations from here…

        Quote  Reply

    17. Mr Derp,

      I don’t want to steal your thunder. Let me just add one Burlington Bar reaction, as a prelude to a micro-whinge:

      • Burlington Bar, S5e10:
      Arya vs. MFT (Meryn F*cking Trant)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRSPHmz5ruU

      at 3:38 – end

      • Micro-Whinge: Watching this S5e10 scene of Arya (disguised as child prostitute) getting punched in the stomach by MFT, before unmasking herself and performing a little free plastic surgery on the sadistic pedophile, reminded me of what I call “a missed opportunity”
      in S7 for high thread count scenes portraying the Stark sisters’ reconciliation (beyond the one lovely but all too brief scene on the WF battlements at the end of S7e7).

      I did not like the whole contrived PychoArya vs. FranticSansa “drama” and the dumbed-down LF “scheme.” It required Sansa “Only a Fool Would Trust LF” Stark and Arya “Trained Lie Detector” Stark to behave out of character, as easily duped, gullible mean girls. (Both sisters should have easily exposed LF’s dumb “plan” right away, if only they had responded to each other’s simple questions with actual answers instead of an accusation or another question.)

      I also felt that the show could have made use of the actresses’ natural chemistry with each other from their real life friendship, including their endearing charm – not to mention their giggles and goofiness. (Sophie practically radiates love and charm when she’s interacting with Maisie.)
      Manufactured “conflict” with wasted screen time showing the Stark sisters threatening each other and being nasty to each other was neither credible nor enjoyable. (Really? Arya musing out loud about cutting off Sansa’s face? Sansa, goaded by LF, worrying that Arya might displace her or whack her? Ugh. So much for heeding their father’s warning – by Ned to Arya in S1, and reiterated by Jon to Sansa in S6e10: “We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves.”)
      But I digress…

      Back to the S5e10 karma meets MFT scene in the video:
      Watching MFT punch Arya in the stomach with that pervy grin on his face made me flash back to MFT punching defenseless Sansa in the stomach in early S2, along with punching her in the mouth, and beating her with his sword after trying to tear off her dress. (As if we needed reminders after MFT’s procession of rejected prostitutes as “too old” before auditioning the three terrified little girls by caning them, Bronn and Sandor had already told us that MFT “likes to beat little girls, likes to rape them.”)

      So, when Sansa and Arya first reunited in S7e4 and mentioned to each other obliquely that their tortuous paths from KL back to WF were quite unpleasant, I had expected at least a couple of brief scenes describing for each other their respective, harrowing experiences from the time they saw their father executed. I did not expect Sansa to boast about how “she” took back WF, while Arya was “training” – as if she had been away enjoying herself in summer camp.

      What I was expecting, among other discussions, were comparisons of each other’s parallel experiences (e.g., with the Hound as their guardian and defender: gruff in his words, noble in his deeds); and in particular, how MFT had enjoyed punching, beating and humiliating Sansa. The dialogue would have written itself for Arya to then describe how MFT punched and beat her too – and what happened next. Maybe that’d give a little closure to Sansa, or an opportunity for the sisters to hug it out or exchange high-fives. For both of them to realize that Arya had unwittingly avenged her sister while exacting retribution for MFT killing Syrio Forel, would have been a satisfying, narratively appropriate bookend scene.

      It could have also showed Sansa’s appreciation for her little sister’s lethal skills. (Sansa’s ineffable facial expression while watching Arya’s sparring match with Brienne left it unclear if Sansa was impressed, distressed, upset, or something else.)
      At the same time, Arya could appreciate the trauma Sansa suffered as a tormented hostage in KL.

      That would have provided some substance to justify the shift from “You never would have survived what I survived” in mid-S7 to “I never would have survived what you survived” in S7e7. If we were supposed to assume that type of conversation must have occurred off screen, then I question devoting so much screen time to unconvincing, extended scenes of them bashing and threatening each other.

      Most important, a heart to heart talk would’ve provided a chance for the sisters to show some empathy for each other and bond with each other. Neither one of them was any longer the squabbling sibling she was in S1.

      Finally, in retrospect, I would have liked something to justify Arya suddenly and wholeheartedly jumping on board Team Sansa in S8, and something to show us – and not just have Arya tell us and Jon Snow – that Sansa was ““the smartest person I’ve ever met.” Whatever that was, we never saw it. Arya’s declaration felt unearned and came out of left field.

      Call me a sentimentalist. I enjoy and appreciate characters revealing themselves to each other with rich, well-written dialogue instead of just saying stuff. It’s why I personally preferred Sandor’s wonderful speech to Arya in S4e7, briefly letting down his guard and describing how Gregor burned him – and concluding with his empathetic expression of shared loneliness: “You think you’re on your own?” As much as I enjoyed their insultfests throughout their road trip, it was scenes like that (and “I fought for you, didn’t I?” in S8e2) that stick with me.

      I thought Sansa as a character and Sophie Turner as an actress were somewhat shortchanged by not giving Sansa at least a few scenes to bond with Arya, and demonstrate her own evolution from naive little girl to the family matriarch, trusted leader and “savvy politician” we were told she had become.

      Am I wrong for wanting our two heroines to have the equivalent of the “bromance” and reconciliation scenes that were not in short supply among the men? (Jon & Tormund; Sam & Jon; Tyrion & Bronn; Varys & Tyrion; Sandor & Beric; Jaime & Tyrion; Davos & Gendry. I could go on and on.) Former adversaries becoming fast friends; odd couples forming dynamic duos; sworn enemies hashing out their differences. All of these relationships were given time and space to develop and evolve with rich dialogue, humor, wit and compassion. [One personal favorite: Jon unchaining Tormund in S5e5. I almost got Humphrey Bogart-Claude Raines “Casablanca” concluding scene vibes from that.] The show did not skimp on any of the bromances.

      Why not the two sisters and two lead actresses?
      [I’ll save my critique of another “missed opportunity” – Dany & Arya – for another time.]
      Was it a dearth of female writers or a lack of female sensibilities? I don’t know…

        Quote  Reply

    18. Ten Bears,

      This rant came out of nowhere.

      The Arya vs. Sansa storyline wasn’t one of my favorites, either, but it could have been, if it had been given more time to develop. However, Littlefinger wasn’t dumbed down, people simply over exaggerate his intelligence.

        Quote  Reply

    19. Young Dragon,

      LF wasn’t dumbed down? Cousin Orson could have “answered the charges” against him and won a quick acquittal. LF folded like a cheap suit, and confessed like a stupid idiot. That was not a matter of people overexaggerating [sic] his intelligence. It was a matter of LF suddenly turning into a lobotomized, whimpering jellyfish.

      Want an example?

        Quote  Reply

    20. Ten Bears,

      When up against an omnipotent god, Littlefinger’s skills are useless. And Sansa was there when he murdered Lysa.So no, he wasn’t dumbed down. And people most certainly exaggerate his intelligence. He’s not a genius. He’s simply a man who throws a wrench in the works, steps back, and sees what happens. It worked out for him during the War of Five Kings, but it could have just as easily blown up in his face.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Tron79:
      Adrianacandle,

      I just saw HDM season 2 starts in November!

      WOW!!!! Thank-you, Tron!!!

      (Great thing to come back tonight! I spent the day being at the table saw with my dad who’d yell at me before each cut, “I’M STEERING, NOT YOU. YOU SUPPORT. DADS STEER. KIDS LISTEN.”)

        Quote  Reply

    22. Tron79,

      AHHHHH I loved that trailer!! (So many caps today!!!) You even get a glimpse of Bella Ramsey at 0:53!!

      (And considering that we learn from the third book why Mrs Coulter sought out Lyra in the first place, I really loved the line, “There are multiple worlds out there. And people will be looking for her. Not all of them good.”)

      It’s going to be a great season!

        Quote  Reply

    23. Young Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      This rant came out of nowhere.

      The Arya vs. Sansa storyline wasn’t one of my favorites, either, but it could have been, if it had been given more time to develop…

      P.S. • Almost all of my rants “come out of nowhere.” 😈

      • The Arya vs. Sansa storyline absolutely could have been better. It was not necessary to turn Arya into Hannibal Lecter, and Sansa into a delusional nitwit. That was my main gripe. They both acted out of character, and the perpetuation of LF’s flimsy “stolen letter” plot depended on Arya not giving a straight answer to the simple question from Sansa: “Where did you get this?”
      (Oh, and after all that “training” in HoB&W, Little Miss Lie Detector couldn’t tell that LF was scamming Maester Wolkan – and surveilling her surveilling him? Peeking around corners…like a crappy soap opera.)
      • Besides, that stupid letter was old news. It was like a POW propaganda video, made under duress. Everybody knew Cersei made Sansa write it. Nobody held it against her.

      • That storyline might have been able to develop, and might have worked, except one small books-to-show change in S1 prevented it:

      As I understand it, in the books Sansa ran to Cersei and ratted out Ned’s plans to get his daughters out of KL. (Apparently book! Sansa wanted to be able to say goodbye to her beloved Joffrey or something.) Because of Sansa, Cersei got a head’s up and was able to foil Ned’s plans.

      That did not happen on the show.

      Now, had Arya found out in S7 – perhaps via LF -that Sansa had selfishly or stupidly blabbed to Cersei and f*cked up their father’s plan to get them safely back in WF before the sh*t hit the fan, then Arya could have justifiably blamed Sansa for:
      (a) trapping them both in KL; (b) forcing Arya to go on the run as a hunted fugitive for the next 6+ years; (c) allowing Cersei to use Sansa as a hostage to leverage Ned; (d) directly or indirectly compelling Ned to falsely confess to treason; and (e) being a horrible daughter, a crappy sister, a selfish moron, and a traitor to House Stark.

      It is even conceivable that GRRM is planning something like that if and when the sisters reunite in the books.

      However, since Sansa blabbing to Cersei was not included in the show, Sansa freaking out about the letter’s possible disclosure made no sense; nor did Arya getting so bent out of shape after stealing it and reading it. (Show! Arya was Tywin Lannister’s cupbearer out of compulsion and necessity. Show! Sansa was Cersei’s stenographer out of compulsion and necessity. Neither girl could be blamed for (only) that.) Ratting out their father for selfish reasons? That would have been an entirely different story, considering the tragic consequences. Arya would then have had good reason to be pissed off at Sansa.

      If LF had knowledge of that bit of incriminating information about Sansa from his time in KL, he could have then planted that tidbit for Arya to “discover” – inciting her to threaten to expose Sansa as a co-conspirator or worse. How would Sansa justifying yapping to Cersei? That would be a tough sell.

      Without that omitted factoid S7 Arya vs. Sansa was a contrived, illogical sh*tshow, and in my view, a waste of screentime.

      End (Another) Rant. 😈

        Quote  Reply

    24. Young Dragon,

      At the end of the day LF’s strategy of lying everyone and trying to turn everyone against everyone will eventually backfire and leave him with no allies and no options to play his games.

      That’s what happens with a lot of politicians in real life. Using the same strategy can’t work forever.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Adrianacandle,

      Is “His Dark Materials” on HBO? I have not read the books or watched the TV series. Maybe I should? (I’ve got SO many hours of TV and movies on my “To Watch List” as it is though…)

        Quote  Reply

    26. Ten Bears: Is “His Dark Materials” on HBO? I have not read the books or watched the TV series. Maybe I should? (I’ve got SO many hours of TV and movies on my “To Watch List” as it is though…)

      Yes! I highly recommend both the show and the books (and it’s a completed series!) Although, from Tron’s experience, it seems reading the books helps to understand the show.

      I can’t work without something to entertain me on the side (usually a series of some sort, podcasts, or audio books), thus why I’ve watched way too many shows and movies 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    27. Ten Bears,

      A lot of people completely miss the point of that letter, probably a lot of them read the leaks and made their mind about it without seeing the context.

      It is clear from the show that Arya doesn’t think that that letter is some unforgivable crime by Sansa, she even said that Jon would understand. But it was just there to awake her past feelings about Sansa and her thoughts about Sansa’s loyalty to her House.

      Arya thinks that Sansa wanted that letter hidden. Arya knows how bad that letter will look in the eyes of Northern lords. As she said she can’t say Lyanna that she was just a child.

      She already didn’t trust Sansa, especially after she saw how Sansa reacted no Northern lords shiting on Jon, she saw that Sansa was tempted by it in later scenes, she took their parents room, so that’s also there to bring back old prejudice.

      And LF is there with Sansa, so why is she so scared about the letter? Arya thinks Sansa wants to undermine Jon and take the crown.

      So the letter is not the point as so many people think. The point is political context of that letter and why Sansa wants to hide it and since Arya is not good at politics she has no tolerance for Sansa’s relationship with LF or her reaction to Northern lords and this letter just pushes the prejudice that Arya already has. So in her mind it all makes sense. Sansa wants to betray Jon and that’s why she wants to hide that letter.

        Quote  Reply

    28. mau:
      Young Dragon,

      At the end of the day LF’s strategy of lying everyone and trying to turn everyone against everyone will eventually backfire and leave him with no allies and no options to play his games.

      That’s what happens with a lot of politicians in real life. Using the same strategy can’t work forever.

      As long as it’s done logically, I’d be fine with LF going down like that. He prided himself on being a gambler – taking big risks for big payoffs. The odds will eventually catch up with him, and as you
      suggested, he might find himself without a back-up plan or other options to wiggle his way out of trouble.

      Good comparison: Devious politicians sometimes get away with lies and schemes so often that they get sloppy or become overconfident, and wind up returning to the same playbook once too often.

      Same thing with moralizing, holier-than-thou hypocrites who somehow think their unsavory secret lives will never be exposed.

      I never judge anyone else’s kinks and fetishes. Most everyone’s got them.

      But sanctimonious folks who invoke “the Lord” and condemn others for being less than upright? Well, they’re just asking to be pilloried and mocked when it’s revealed they’re just as freaky and imperfect as everyone else.

      Oh Jerry! Oh Becki!

      😬

        Quote  Reply

    29. Iul: “Great good from motives vile and venal.” Hard to say… But I think the 3eyed Raven fits.

      Slander! *preens self*

      Ten Bears: The fans erupted in cheers as if they were watching their hometown football team score the winning touchdown on an 80-yard bomb on 4th and 10 with 0:01 left on the clock in the fourth quarter to win the Super Bowl.

      Quote Reply

      Remember Rory McCann’s reaction to this part at the table reading? 😀

      Ten Bears: Am I wrong for wanting our two heroines to have the equivalent of the “bromance” and reconciliation scenes that were not in short supply among the men? (Jon & Tormund; Sam & Jon; Tyrion & Bronn; Varys & Tyrion; Sandor & Beric; Jaime & Tyrion; Davos & Gendry. I could go on and on.) Former adversaries becoming fast friends; odd couples forming dynamic duos; sworn enemies hashing out their differences. All of these relationships were given time and space to develop and evolve with rich dialogue, humor, wit and compassion. [One personal favorite: Jon unchaining Tormund in S5e5. I almost got Humphrey Bogart-Claude Raines “Casablanca” concluding scene vibes from that.] The show did not skimp on any of the bromances.

      Why not the two sisters and two lead actresses?
      [I’ll save my critique of another “missed opportunity” – Dany & Arya – for another time.]
      Was it a dearth of female writers or a lack of female sensibilities? I don’t know…

      You’re not wrong. Hopefully, more women in the writers’ room, and behind the camera will lead to fewer such missed opportunities.
      Slightly OT, whatever happened to the project that Nnedi Okorafor was meant to be developing with HBO?

        Quote  Reply

    30. People seem to think that because Bran said “chaos is a ladder” that will automatically lead LF (who doesn’t even believe in magic) to realize that Bran is now magical entity that can see past and present, even future, that he is the memory of the world.

      Bran is just a creepy boy that said creepy line. Maybe it was just a coincidence, maybe he thinks he said it to Sansa at some point and she said it to Bran. Imagine if in real life someone told you something that you said in the past, you won’t automatically assume that that person is now magical creature. Lol You will try to find a rational explanation.

      And also character’s downfall should be rooted in character’s critical flaw. His flaw is his arrogance and obsession with Sansa. There is no way he will leave her, he has nowhere to go and there is no way that he will assume that this creepy kid will be the end of him. Sansa, Arya and Bran are just stupid children that he will play.

      He was able to play games with Tywin, Ned, Cersei, Olenna, Tyrion, Varys and the rest. There is no reason for him to think that after so many victories these children will be his downfall.

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    31. Sansa’s mistake is that she thinks that letter came from Cersei. Which in a way makes sense. Cersei forced her to write it and she benefits with them fighting.

      But she realized the truth once LF pushed too hard and made suggestion that Arya wants to be the Lady of Winterfell.

      As she said, she is slow learner but she learned.

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    32. mau,

      Okay. Thanks for that perspective: “It is clear from the show that Arya doesn’t think that that letter is some unforgivable crime by Sansa, she even said that Jon would understand. But it was just there to awake her past feelings about Sansa and her thoughts about Sansa’s loyalty to her House.”

      It seemed to me that Sansa was (too) worried about the possible disclosure of the letter, when it had already been received, addressed, and acknowledged as ghostwritten by Cersei years ago. (I seem to recall a scene with Robb, Cat and Northern lord(s) in which they expressly stated that though the handwriting was Sansa’s, the words were Cersei’s.)

      That’s why I characterized it as “old news.” Sure, that letter written by tween hostage Sansa might be a little embarrassing to adult Sansa – just as a first-hand account of young Arya yucking it up with Tywin about idiot girls and chatting about Targaryens and their dragons might be unpleasant for Arya if portrayed out of context.*

      * Come to think of it, Arya did take some ribbing from Gendry when he confronted her for not using one of her three Jaqen kills on Tywin. Gendry had a good point: Arya might have ended the Lannister-Stark war had Tywin been taken out.
      (Wait a second… Didn’t Arya urgently try to get Jaqen to whack Tywin before Tywin rode off from Harrenhal? I thought she implored Jaqen that it had to be done “now!”, but Jaqen could not commit to executing the hit right away. I think he came back with some excuse like “death is certain, but the time is not; it could be days, it could be weeks,” etc. I’m not sure if I’m remembering correctly. Wasn’t it after that when Arya parlayed the third kill into a get out of jail free card for Gendry, Hot Pie, and herself by giving Jaqen his own name?)
      Sh*t. I may be confused about the chronology.)

      Also, there was that scene in which Tywin invited Arya to sit down and eat the mutton. (“It’s bad manners to refuse a lord’s offer.”) Arya had a knife in her hand and was scoping out his neck as his back was turned to her. Had someone witnessed that, it could later be portrayed as Arya acting as if she were compromised or disloyal for not trying to kill Tywin Lannister when she had the chance.

      • In any event, thanks again for your assessment. Perhaps I just was not invested in the sister vs. sister squabbling, or would have enjoyed it more had their reconciliation been given “equal” screen time.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Ten Bears,

      Northern lords were not in that scene in S1. Only Cat and Robb.

      But again, as I said, the context matters. Sansa was Lannister and Bolton’s bride. She thinks that can be problem for her.
      And Sansa also said that a lot of these lords are not happy that Jon is gone, they can use that letter only as an excuse to turn their backs again. If doesnt even matter if they are really offended. As she told LF they will be happy to get any excuse. Or maybe not. She is not sure in their loyalty. Which makes sense after S6.

      When it comes to Arya serving Tywin… well maybe she is just a hypocrite? I mean it this case. Fans often use characters contradicted themselves as proof of writing flaw. Arya knows what she is, that she was always loyal to her House. She doesn’t have that level of trust in Sansa and she has a different standard for her.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Adrianacandle: Yes! I highly recommend both the show and the books (and it’s a completed series!) Although, from Tron’s experience, it seems reading the books helps to understand the show.

      I also liked both books and show of His Dark Materials. The Book of Dust trilogy is good so far too. The first book is a prequel to the original trilogy. The second is after HDM. You may want to hold off until the third comes out because the second is pretty cliffhangery.

        Quote  Reply

    35. Adrianacandle: Yes! I highly recommend both the show and the books (and it’s a completed series!) Although, from Tron’s experience, it seems reading the books helps to understand the show.

      I can’t work without something to entertain me on the side (usually a series of some sort, podcasts, or audio books), thus why I’ve watched way too many shows and movies 🙁

      There are multiple trailers on YouTube with lots of content in them!! I did see a glimpse of Bella Ramsay on the trailer I posted. Wow, that was a good catch!! It was very quick.

      random movie recommendation with loose tie in…

      in book 3 as you know Lyra and Will visit the land of the dead. I watched the new Bill and Ted movie yesterday… ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ on Amazon prime.. They have some movies that are currently in theaters… It was a hoot…
      and of course they have to visit hell.

      Keeanu Reeves still has it playing his middle aged self… I was laughing pretty hard, and it was a nice sequel 30 years in the making. Can you imagine a Game of Thrones movie 30 years from now with some of the current actors??

        Quote  Reply

    36. Dear Sue…

      WordPress is definitely blocking my main IP 216.196.163.216.
      In order for me to post, I have to login from a different provider with a different IP address. There is a list of blocked IP’s inside WordPress somewhere. It can add people automatically. I’m not sure what it thought I did. Perhaps it didn’t like one of my links. Can you find the list and unblock me? I can still post switching to a different provider (like I’m doing now), but it’s quite inconvenient to have to switch back and forth.. Thanks..

        Quote  Reply

    37. Laura: I also liked both books and show of His Dark Materials. The Book of Dust trilogy is good so far too. The first book is a prequel to the original trilogy. The second is after HDM. You may want to hold off until the third comes out because the second is pretty cliffhangery.

      Thanks for the suggestion, Laura! I have the first two in the Book of Dust trilogy but haven’t delved into them yet — sounds like I should wait per your post 🙂

      Tron79,

      Oh, nice connection!

      Particularly since the land of the dead Will and Lyra visit is particularly hellish. Sounds like Bill and Ted had a better time 😉

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    38. My own personal theory is that George published this post after he finally wrote the end of Jaime Lannister. As Hamilton would say, “who lives, who dies, who tells your story”

        Quote  Reply

    39. For those who can’t get enough Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, I recommend The Silencing on Amazon prime. Nikolaj has a huge role. He’s in 90% of the scenes. He’s a reformed hunter who runs a nature sanctuary honor of his missing daughter. He seems to be a legend as one of the best hunters ever. There is a serial killer on the loose in the sanctuary woods. I enjoyed watching Jaime, but for me the problem was they didn’t do enough to show his master hunter skills. They gave him a couple chances to show a hunter trick or two but I was hoping for more. And when they make the final reveal, the serial killer’s hunting skills seemed to go down 20 notches. I would still recommend it for Nikolaj Coster-Waldau fans. I cracked up in the opening credits. I’ve never seen a movie with so may film companies in the credits. They just kept coming. I remember two; A Sabin film and XYZ films. There were 4 or five film companies involved Altogether and they just kept coming. A film by so and so in association so and so.

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    40. 3eyes,

      Half the Male characters at times were trying to kill each other before they put aside their differences. So basically women must get along or it’s bad storytelling? Just became you have a female writer doesn’t suddenly ake for good storytelling. There is plenty of female writers who write females really bad. Even if ya didn’t like the Sansa and Arya fued it was literally only two episodes 5 and 6 people act like they fought the entire seventh season when they weren’t even reunited until episode 4 and ny episode 7 they were on each others side.

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    41. mau:
      Sansa’s mistake is that she thinks that letter came from Cersei.

      There is no indication of that whatsoever in the show. Nor would Cersei have the letter in the first place.

      Though incidentally, that’s another example of how contrived this whole storyline was, because the writers try to create a workaround and claim the letter in Season 7 is a Luwin-created record of the original letter (which Robb and Catelyn had with them on the march south) — but then in subsequent dialogues Arya treats it like it’s the original and sneers about Sansa’s handwriting, when if it was a Luwin-created record it wouldn’t be in Sansa’s handwriting, unless Luwin invented the photocopier offscreen.

        Quote  Reply

    42. mau,

      LF downfall started the moment he took interest in Sansa. Way back when season 4 aired I said when he was being a creep this is going to be his downfall his weird obsession with the Stark women.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Fireblood87:
      3eyes,

      Half the Male characters at times were trying to kill each other before they put aside their differences. So basically women must get along or it’s bad storytelling? Just because you have a female writer doesn’t suddenly make for good storytelling. There is plenty of female writers who write females really bad. I am all for more female writers but that won’t magically make a story better. Even if ya didn’t like the Sansa and Arya fued it was literally only two episodes 5 and 6 people act like they fought the entire seventh season when they weren’t even reunited until episode 4 and ny episode 7 they were on each others side.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Fireblood87,

      I may regret getting involved but here goes:

      I don’t think that having women writers aboard would magically make a story better without rhyme or reason. However, when people have authentically faced situations in their real lives, they have authentic sources to draw from, which could be a good resource. Some writers can capture this stuff well without having faced this experience. Some can’t. Regardless, I think extensive research when dealing with experiences out of their scope is always beneficial when it comes to this.

      Women writers are likely to have better insight into relations between women and girls and experiences women and girls face because they’ve likely had those experiences — as women — and can offer views, insights, and experiences (which can vary). I think this could have benefitted the Sansa and Arya situation in season 7 for example. I don’t expect smooth sailing between them upon their reunion and there are a number of ways they can explore their real issues with each other… but I don’t think it was well done on the show. I felt it was more contrived. Similarly, with stories relating to issues other groups of people face, people having authentic experiences and relaying their experiences to draw upon (or at least provide points to consider) is probably to the benefit of the story a writer is trying to tell.

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    45. Adrianacandle,

      So my sister said it didn’t feel contrived I use her as an example because I’m a man. I said before I’m all for more female writers but that doesn’t magically make it better and even if I hated the fued it was only two episodes and squashed. I say that only because fans act like the entire season was the two girls fighting. When I see people and articles saying D&D are sexist assholes for having to female characters fued I think that’s a problem. People can hate the story all they want but trying to equate hating it to saying the two writers are sexist is ridiculous.

        Quote  Reply

    46. mau,

      I will jump in and say I don’t think he dies in TWOW. George just has way too much story to get through since he added so many side characters that he seems more interested in writing than our main characters.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Sean C.: There is no indication of that whatsoever in the show

      SANSA: Do you know how happy Cersei would be if she saw us fighting? This is exactly what she wants. This is what she’s always wanted, to tear us apart —

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    48. mau,

      I don’t mind if they yet along but this is GOT almost all characters Male or female fued with each other. Jon and Sansa did. Dany and Jon did. Tyrion and Jorah did. The list goes on and on. Absolutely a woman writer might add perspective but that doesn’t automatically make the story better. Harry Potter I never read so I can’t comment on that all I know is people seek to really hate JK Rowling these days so I’m kind of glad I’m not apart of that fandom. I have no knowledge of why people hate her now I don’t really care I just notice entertainment articles being recommended to me and all of them are negative towards whatever she did.

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    49. Fireblood87:
      Adrianacandle,

      So my sister said it didn’t feel contrived I use her as an example because I’m a man. I said before I’m all for more female writers but that doesn’t magically make it better and even if I hated the fued it was only two episodes and squashed. I say that only because fans act like the entire season was the two girls fighting.When I see people and articles saying D&D are sexist assholes for having to female characters fued I think that’s a problem. People can hate the story all they want but trying to equate hating it to saying the two writers are sexist is ridiculous.

      I’m glad your sister didn’t feel it was contrived! 🙂 Still, others didn’t feel the same as your sister. As your sister’s opinion is valid, I’d say the same for opposing opinions. I’d also say the conflict was a major feature of Sansa and Arya’s season 7 storyline. As I said, I never thought it was going to be smooth sailing upon Sansa and Arya reuniting, I think they have real issues to work out and I didn’t expect them to get along famously. Their individual experiences and being torn from their families have made each appreciate the other far more and they do really want to reunite… but it doesn’t erase everything in their past, their discordant views and experiences, and I think (in the books) it’s going to be a fairly complex relationship in which they may not always get along still. However, I didn’t really enjoy the way it was done in the show personally where Arya was threatening to kill Sansa.

      Perhaps some viewpoints from writers who are sisters and who had some difficult relationships with their own sisters may have helped out here. Sister-sister relationships can be pretty tricky and complicated.

      I’m not trying to vilify D&D, I don’t think anyone in this discussion is calling them sexist, but are pointing out the issues they had with the portrayal and are speculating what could have been the problem. And I think a woman writer could have helped out.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Fireblood87,

      Harry Potter fandom is a mess right now, like every other big fandom, only anger and misery. It will be interesting to see what’s going to happen with Fantastic Beasts 3.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Adrianacandle,

      Was there really any difference in episodes written by Vanessa Taylor in earlier seasons? Is there any example where you would say “this is a scene where you can feel it was written by a woman”?

      Do you think that Vanessa Taylor would write those scenes in Beyond the Wall better?

      I’m asking honestly. I’m interested in your perspective.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Adrianacandle,

      I should clarify I know you didn’t vilify D&D but many fans and media have vilified them. I have read tons of articles that straight up call them sexist and racist. I just think one can criticize something without also accuses the creator whatever their gender of being sexist or racist. When I see articles saying D&D think wome are too emotional to rules because of what they did to Dany I roll my eyes. I think some women writers write men poorly but I don’t think it makes them sexist towards men. I think it’s fair to say GOT the show has tons of females characters that are loved by many people so I give credit for that.

        Quote  Reply

    53. mau,

      D&D said they wanted to keep her on as a writer but she was offered to write the Shape of Water so they said they didn’t blame her for wanting to leave to go write an oscar winning film.

        Quote  Reply

    54. mau: Was there really any difference in episodes written by Vanessa Taylor in earlier seasons? Is there any example where you would say “this is a scene where you can feel it was written by a woman”?

      Do you think that Vanessa Taylor would write those scenes in Beyond the Wall better?

      I’m asking honestly. I’m interested in your perspective.

      I don’t know much about Vanessa Taylor. If she had a sister who she had bad childhood relationship with, yeah, I think that could have helped!

      I’m not saying being a woman by itself makes one better equipped to write or has them produce a better scene. My point is having real experiences to source from when representing those experiences as women, who have faced these situations in their own lives and have those perspectives, would likely provide the benefit.

      Fireblood87: I should clarify I know you didn’t vilify D&D but many fans and media have vilified them. I have read tons of articles that straight up call them sexist and racist. I just think one can criticize something without also accuses the creator whatever their gender of being sexist or racist. When I see articles saying D&D think wome are too emotional to rules because of what they did to Dany I roll my eyes. I think some women writers write men poorly but I don’t think it makes them sexist towards men. I think it’s fair to say GOT the show has tons of females characters that are loved by many people so I give credit for that.

      I can’t really speak for these people because I’m not them. However, I think personal accusations against D&D have gotten far too extreme and I think there are some arguments that are coming from an emotional place. I think I’ve spoken about my problems with the writing enough, it’s not a debate I enjoy any longer and I cringe when a headline includes “season 8” and/or the debate arises again. I also agree that many women don’t write men well either!

      I’m not saying that gender makes a woman a better writer. That’s not true. I’m saying that having somebody on the writing team with these real experiences could have helped — not simply because they’re a woman but because if they’ve been there as a woman, that perspective could have provided a benefit.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Adrianacandle,

      That’s fair I agree the media has vilified them to the extreme. There isn’t any evidence suggesting they act like sexist men behind the scenes. We have seen showrunners being called out for their horrible behavior behind the scenes and there hasn’t been a word about anything like that about D&D. So I’m all for people complaining even though I mostly disagree. I just dislike the comments about them being sexist and racist when there is zero evidence to back any of that up. I think a good critic can criticize something without attacking the creator on a personal level unfortunately I saw many critics acting that way towards them. Them wanting to make a controversial show call “Confederate” which had black writers attached doesn’t make them tone def and racist. They were vilified for something that nobody even got a chance to watch. Maybe it would have been a ridiculously racist show and then I think they would deserve all the criticism aimed at them. Instead making hashtags during an episode of GOT airing to get a show canceled which was obviously successful is not ok in my opinion. I just think people have treated them pretty unfair for many years now.

        Quote  Reply

    56. mau,

      I said this before and I know it’s controversial but I tend to like shows with only a few writers unless it’s comedy. I noticed most drama shows I tend to dislike have massive writers rooms. I think overall D&D were pretty consistent. Nobody’s perfect everyone can improve but overall I think they did a great job and basically changed the entire TV landscape and I don’t see them getting any credit for that. Just the entire story of how GOT came about is pretty incredible. I admire their ambition and that they took big swings. Did some of those swings miss for some people yes but most of them for me landed.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Fireblood87,

      Yes, I disagree with the personal attacks and accusations and I certainly think one can criticize their work without getting personal. I don’t know D&D as people so I can’t comment on them either way and without any of that information, I can really only comment on how I perceive their work rather than them as individuals (which isn’t something I’d love to do anyway ^^;;). I do think the personal verbal attacks, name-calling, and accusations have gone too far.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Fireblood87,

      I think they did insanly good job if you realize that they wrote 70% of the show, which is something no showrunner ever does .Especially if you consider scale and scope of the show.

      But still I feel having two more people with them would probably help a lot. Even just Vanessa if she stayed. There are things that needed to be polished IMO.

        Quote  Reply

    59. What people forget is that organizing a writers room is also a craft. I tried writing with other people and it never really works.

      Benioff wrote his books and all his scripts before GoT alone. I think just writing with Weiss was a huge change for him.

      They never worked on television before, they never had experience of working in writer’s room. In order for that to work you can’t just bring a bunch of writers. You have to know how to make a big team that works together.

      But to be honest GoT was better than majority of shows that had far more writers like House of Cards, Westworld, Witcher and the rest.

        Quote  Reply

    60. mau,

      I believe they would each write a script then pass it the each other and edit and polish the script the other one wrote. I think comedy benefits from a bunch of people in a room essentially seeing what makes people laugh.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Adrianacandle,

      YES.

      That is why Anna & Elsa in “Frozen” worked: Written by Jennifer Lee, who has a sister, and fine-tuned with “Sister Summit” brainstorming sessions to capture realistically the dynamics between sisters. Excerpts below.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_(2013_film)

      “…. To construct Anna and Elsa’s relationship, Lee found inspiration from her own relationship with her older sister. Lee called her older sister “my Elsa” in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, and walked the red carpet with her at the 86th Academy Awards. Lee explained, “[h]aving to … lose each other and then rediscover each other as adults, that was a big part of my life”.

      ——-

      Girls Who Code 2016: A conversation with Jennifer Lee, Director and Screenwriter, Walt Disney Animation Studios – Disney Internships & Programs Blog

      Jennifer Lee (Director and Screenwriter of “Frozen”):

      “An example of brainstorm we had for Frozen was a Sister Summit. We were in a meeting and talking about sisters because Anna and Elsa didn’t really have a connection at all. So, we talked about sisters — older and younger and making it a relationship we actually care about. So, we had a Sister Summit and those women who had sisters came in and we just let it out about what it’s like to have sisters — the good and the bad. And the stories that came out, it was an energy; you could feel what’s at stakes with siblings and what that feels like. It really helped the movie.”

      ——————
      (*Struggles to resist temptation to post link to Maisie Williams singing “Let It Go”*)

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    62. Fireblood87:
      Ten Bears,

      While I’m glad they did that I mentioned my sister in a earlier comment and she hates frozen. I never saw the movie so I have no opinion on it.

      You ought to check out “Frozen.” S7 Sansa & Arya could have benefitted from the Elsa & Anna treatment.

      P.S. Arrgggghhh!
      Yielded to temptation…

      Audi commercial -Maisie Williams sings “Let It Go” from “Frozen”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB2RwDokNMY

      Idina Menzel as Elsa in “Frozen” sings “Let It Go”

        Quote  Reply

    63. Ten Bears,

      Have you ever seen Kristen Bell preform these songs live? She’s exceptionally good, I think, especially for somebody who doesn’t bill herself as a singer (though I know she is classically trained). Starts at 1:13!

      (I also love the man’s lip-singing behind them as they sing — I believe he’s one of the composers!)

      (Also, I never noticed until now that young Anna has a white-blonde streak in her hair!)

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    64. Typo!

      preform –> *perform

      Ten Bears,

      Great excerpts! And great connection to Frozen! That sounds like a really great (and cathartic) idea, a Sister Summit! Having three sisters, all of whom I have very different relationships with, I think sister relationships can be pretty complex, varied, but it’s an experience many share — that summit sounds like a great idea 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    65. Fireblood87: I never saw the movie so I have no opinion on it.

      I know I’m going off topic here but if you ever have the desire, I think it is a pretty good movie 🙂 It does lose its novelty at around viewing 500 (for those subjected to repeated viewings of Frozen due to kids/younger siblings/cousins etc.) but the first watch is pretty good!

        Quote  Reply

    66. Adrianacandle,

      Yes, I’ve seen and heard Kristen Bell sing live (on video). I have a ten year-old niece. So I’m up at close to 500 viewings of “Frozen,” and probably exceeded it if I include the sing-along clips Disney was so kind to provide. 🥶

      Here’s a clip of Kristen Bell as Anna singing
      “For The First Time In Forever.” I enjoyed her singing as much as her voice acting.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Adrianacandle,

      And why haven’t we heard promos like, “From the makers of Frozen, Disney brings you, It’s Frozen Here Too: The Aventures of Sansa & Arya in Winterfell. Coming soon in 2021.”

      (Just kidding. Though I would not mind seeing the “Frozen” team make an animated musical with Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner as voice actors reprising their roles. I’d take my niece to see that 500 times…as long as there’s less killing and more singing.)

      https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e4/d5/1e/e4d51ecebd7870af0a01b1b09e5c6b68.jpg

        Quote  Reply

    68. mau,

      She’s referring to the general strategic situation and desire to focus on Cersei, not that she thinks Cersei somehow delivered the letter. As we see in her later scene with Littlefinger, she still has no idea where the letter came from and doesn’t voice any theories as to its provenance.

      Ten Bears:
      Why not the two sisters and two lead actresses?
      [I’ll save my critique of another “missed opportunity” – Dany & Arya – for another time.]Was it a dearth of female writers or a lack of female sensibilities? I don’t know…

      On this point, I will say that, while GOT fumbled a lot of relationships quite badly, the source material is not known for strong, rich female dynamics. GRRM created a lot of indelible female characters, but virtually all of his leading ladies’ positive/significant relationships in the narrative are with men, female supporting characters are either villains or throwaway. There’s nothing remotely like, say, the relationship between Jon and Sam in the five books published so far.

      Now, conceivably the Stark sisters are meant to evolve into such a dynamic at some point, but they haven’t shared page space since 1996 and when they did it was uniformly negative. Catelyn and Brienne are pretty much the only example of a relationship between female POVs (though Brienne wasn’t a POV at the time) that is positive for both characters and given some meaningful time in one book (and guiding Brienne’s actions in subsequent ones).

      The writers made some sporadic, largely unsuccessful attempts to add in a few of these around the margins, but these all ended up largely abandoned, which is partly just bad writing and partly that the overarching narrative had no room for them (see, e.g., the Sansa/Shae bond that the writers used to give Shae more screentime in Seasons 2/3, at the expense of Sansa’s character development, and who Sansa completely forgot about the second she left King’s Landing).

      As to the Stark sisters’ dynamic on the show in the final seasons, the prospect of meaningful character development/interaction went out the window the second the writers decided that the plot was going to be built around a “gotcha” moment, since that prioritized the Scooby Doo twist at Littlefinger’s trial over the meat of the sisters’ reconciliation.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Ten Bears: Yes, I’ve seen and heard Kristen Bell sing live (on video). I have a ten year-old niece. So I’m up at close to 500 viewings of “Frozen,” and probably exceeded it if I include the sing-along clips Disney was so kind to provide. 🥶

      Here’s a clip of Kristen Bell as Anna singing
      “For The First Time In Forever.” I enjoyed her singing as much as her voice acting.

      Ah, so you have been exposed to 500 viewings of Frozen!!

      Yes, I really really like Kristen Bell! And I agree, great singer, great voice actress!! I’m also a fan of Idina Menzel thanks to her originating the role of Elphaba on Wicked 🙂

      Great art of Sansa and Arya too!! I hope you’re going to include that in your calendar!

        Quote  Reply

    70. Fireblood87,

      I can’t remember the exact words but JKR said something controversial as to whether transwomen were real women or not. I don’t want to bring drama to this board by going off on that tangent though. I didn’t look into the issue in detail personally.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Adrianacandle,

      My last full-time job was in a museum. One of my colleagues was a young American woman married to a Briton. Once they took one of his young nieces to see a Chipmunk (as in Alvin and co). The youngster became somewhat concerned because the Chipmunks weren’t wearing pants though she was somewhat appeased when they took her to a local park and showed her that the squirrels there weren’t wearing bottoms (or tops for that matter).

        Quote  Reply

    72. Dame of Mercia: My last full-time job was in a museum. One of my colleagues was a young American woman married to a Briton. Once they took one of his young nieces to see a Chipmunk (as in Alvin and co). The youngster became somewhat concerned because the Chipmunks weren’t wearing pants though she was somewhat appeased when they took her to a local park and showed her that the squirrels there weren’t wearing bottoms (or tops for that matter).

      Very adorable story!! I’m glad she was appeased, if only somewhat!!

      Btw, Dame of Mercia, you’re #100! 🙂

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    73. Laura:
      Ten Bears,

      Love the Star Wars Stark sisters!

      Me too!

      Since the show ended, I’ve come across several beautifully made anime, manga, and “cartoon” illustrations of GoT characters. Arianacandle and I have posted links to some of them in other recent threads discussing photographic images and illustrations for possible inclusion in a proposed personal 365-day 2021 GoT desk calendar.*

      I will have to try to assemble them all in one place. If and when I do, perhaps I’ll post them in the Forum Section, and invite submissions of links to other images.

      Though it may prove to be too ambitious, my tentative goal is to select 365 images to re-size and reproduce, with a pertinent quote or message for each in the caption. With 73 episodes and lots of gorgeous art to choose from, identifying 365 iconic images won’t be a problem.
      Finding appropriate – and concise – verbiage for each of the 365 images may be much more challenging.

      Some images “write” their own captions.

      • For example, for this image of Jon and Arya from S1e2, I’ll likely use the dialogue from that moment on screen…

      https://nerdist.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/arya-jon-540×305.jpg

      … So the caption might read:

      First lesson: Stick ‘em with the pointy end.”
      “I know which end to use.”

      • Likewise, I have already found good photographs of Syrio Forel from the moment he tells MFT and his goons: “I am Syrio Forel. And you will be speaking to me with more respect,” and when he responds to Arya’s plea (“Come with me! Run”) with his declaration: “The First Sword of Braavos does not run.” [One of many “emotionally evocative” moments in GoT.]

      • Similarly, I’ve got a photo of Oberyn holding a torch in Tyrion’s cell in S4e7 when he concludes his long soliloquy by announcing: “I will be your champion.” [I loved that moment!]

      • Or, to be a little snarky, the calendar page for Sunday, June 20, 2021 might have an image of Tyrion firing a crossbow bolt into Tywin’s gut, with the caption: “Happy Father’s Day!”
      For October 10, 2021, designated by ophthalmologists as “World Sight Day,” I could use an image of Arya in S5e10 performing battlefield eye surgery on Meryn F*cking Trant. 🤕

      I’m hoping at the appropriate time I will be able to rely on the collective wisdom and resourcefulness of the fandom to help me come up with 365 images + 365 captions. I fear that I have neither the time nor the creativity to tackle this time-consuming project on my own.

      * P.S. Obviously the calendar would not be for commercial use. I would not dream of infringing on the creative work and intellectual property of artists and photographers, or exploiting the likenesses of the actors I admire. There are already too many unauthorized uses of actors’ likenesses on tee shirts and memorabilia being hawked for sale on the internet. Unfortunately, the selection of officially licensed products available from the HBO Store is rather limited. I am not sure why.

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    74. Adrianacandle,

      I had a “Musical Interlude” teed up – a possible dedication to Tyrion Lannister and his drinking – when a news item appeared that’s relevant to the Gordon Lightfoot song “Sundown” that I had used in a Jaime Lannister dedication a few weeks ago. I was thinking maybe I should update that one…

      Should I post both of them? I would not want to clog up the comments section…

        Quote  Reply

    75. Ten Bears: Should I post both of them? I would not want to clog up the comments section…

      I’d like to see them so I’m going to vote yes! 🙂

      Also, great set-up for the calendar so far!

        Quote  Reply

    76. I found this video where a YouTuber predicted the third twist at the end of GoT/ASOIAF (wrongly). https://youtu.be/mSd98VN0qC8 He does say that the twist was predicted to be a shocker (though some people had guessed it). Now I’ve never met GRRM in person or discussed the series (book or show) with him but he is said to have sympathy with Richard III (of England). Some people speculate that Daenerys may be in part at least based on Henry VII Tudor, so GRRM’s liking of writing something counterfactual to what happened in real life could have sprung into action – the invader getting close to the throne but not actually living to rule. Of course in real history Henry VII did rule over England for quite some time. The counterfactual narrative in this sense does make sense (to me at least). I did start off liking both book and show Dany.

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    77. Dame of Mercia: How very dare you, I’m a mere slip of a lass in my early 70s. (Couldn’t resist – I know you were referring to the number of my comment.

      LOL 😆

      Btw, you mentioned your last job was in a museum! I too once worked in a museum several years ago! I assisted in their school programs and worked on their website 😀

        Quote  Reply

    78. Sean C.,

      Just because Sansa never mentions Shae doesn’t mean she forgot about him. So if she had a throwaway line it would make things better? Also Sansa are Arya argued for two episodes that’s it. The completely had each others back from then on.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Any desire for a grand reconciliation scene between Arya and Sansa misses the point of those characters. As Martin himself has said, they were created to be in conflict with each other:

      “So that was the roots to create these two characters who were very different from each other, and who then necessarily chafed against each other in the context of the books.”

      Thematically, Baelish had to die in the North, because he and Ned were counterparts, with complementary arcs: Ned started in the North, went South, got in over his head, and lost it. The same thing happened with Baelish, a creature of the South, when he went North.

      As noted by another commenter, above, the downfall of Baelish had to involve the Stark girls. It also made perfect sense for court intriguer Baelish to try in Winterfell what he had in King’s Landing, but the pack stayed together and outmaneuvered him. We can argue over how well or ill this was handled in the scripts, but faulting the scripts for having conflict between Arya and Sansa is a bit like watching a buddy movie and then complaining it contained too much bromance.

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    80. That’s exactly how I feel. People can dislike how it happened but to think Arya and Sansa were just going to have some perfect relationship was never going to happen.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Sean C.,

      Yup. I agree. The stupid hostage letter scheme was a contrivance. (See my extended rants above.)

      • I had not even considered the point you brought up about the retconning of a photocopy of the original scroll. That original, which Sansa was coerced to write, was sent via raven to Robb and Catelyn. Unless I’m mistaken…

      That original was not airmailed to WF, was it? I thought Robb and Cat were in a field tent somewhere else when they received it, and immediately recognized that while it was in Sansa’s handwriting, the words were 100% Cersei’s. (That was one of the reasons I felt Sansa’s fear of its disclosure in S7 was overblown and unreasonable. Nobody would possibly hold it against Sansa, an abused pre-teen young girl held hostage by their enemy. Not Lyanna Mormont. Not the Northern Lords. Just as nobody ever accepted at face value (adult) Ned’s public confession to treason. Like Sansa, he uttered those words under compulsion and out of desperation in the hopes of saving a loved one.)

      • Maybe Littlefinger invented photocopiers and carbon paper along with jet packs?

      Otherwise, why would there be a copy of Sansa’s letter in WF’s maester’s archives? (Conveniently, that duplicate record-keeping detail was never mentioned until S7e4, I believe – just in time for LF’s silly plan.)

      • And as you suggested, even a transcribed copy would not be in Sansa’s handwriting – unless the maester who sent the original from KL was an expert forger and cc’d the recipient’s home base’s maester on all communiques. None of that was part of book! or show! canon.

      • Allow me to whinge a little more about this “plot,” because other commenters have alluded to Sansa’s ignorance of the provenance of the (photocopied) letter.

      The very first thing that Sansa did when Arya confronted her with the scroll she conveniently found in LF’s room after LF put on his little show for Arya’s benefit (i.e., Lf lying out loud to Wolkan that he was asking for the scroll on Lady Sansa’s behalf – again, something that Little Miss Lie Detector should have been able to spot after spending two years getting clobbered in Braavos playing the Game of Faces) was to ask Arya: “Where did you get this?”

      That LF would have predicated his “plan” on Arya never disclosing where she got it made no sense whatsoever, especially considering the fatal consequences if his subterfuge was revealed to Sansa by Arya or by Wolkan.

      – As I recall, when Sansa asked Arya point blank “Where did you get this!”, Arya responded by asking a question. Inexplicably, Sansa never pressed for the answer to her own straightforward question.

      All Arya had to say was “I saw LF get it from Wolkan at your request” and LF’s ruse (and his life) would be over right away. There was no reason Arya would be reluctant to answer that question, and no reason why Sansa would just drop the subject and never follow up on her question. That was unnatural human behavior.
      (Compare with Sansa questioning Arya about the facemasks Sansa found snooping in Arya’s room. Sansa demanded to know “What are these!” Sansa didn’t just drop it after Arya responded evasively with her own subject-changing question.)

      It was also kind of strange that Sansa was not the least bit curious about the presence of a forged or copied version of her letter in WF’s maester’s archives. Even if we were to assume that sending exact duplicates for archiving was routine ravengram procedure, Sansa would have immediately retrieved and destroyed it herself upon retaking WF if its existence was so potentially compromising to her. Isn’t that something a “savvy politician,” “the smartest person I’ve ever met” would think of?

      I’ve really tried to reconcile the purloined letter scheme with established show canon and common sense. I cannot do it. Every time I try, and every time I read cogent observations like yours, the whole thing just defies logic.

      • After all this time, no matter how many layers of tinfoil I wrap around my head, I still cannot figure out LF’s objective for pitting “sister against sister.” What was he trying to accomplish?

      If it was just to create chaos because he was bored, well okay. That would be lame. (If that were the case he ought to have poisoned Jon and framed someone else; set fire to the grain stores; delivered Arya or Sansa to Cersei; fed Bran some bulls*it story about the dagger; or something else to cause pandemonium and keep himself entertained.) Igniting a sibling rivalry seemed counterproductive no matter how I look at it. At the very least he was putting his prize pawn in peril.

      Does anybody have a theory to explain WTF Littlefinger hoped to accomplish?

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    82. Ten Bears,

      You’re misremembering. The letter arrived at Winterfell. It was Maester Luwin who said it was in Sansa’s hand, but the queen’s words.

      On another note, I saw New Mutants. Despite the negative reviews, I enjoyed it. I would put it in the good, but not great, category. As expected, Maisie Williams was born to play Wolfsbane.

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    83. Ten Bears: Does anybody have a theory to explain WTF Littlefinger hoped to accomplish?

      I think it was as Sansa said in 7×07, LF wanted to turn sister against sister — which isn’t the worst plan, especially if LF viewed Arya as a wrench in his plans but I don’t think it was done well.

      Ten Bears: I thought Robb and Cat were in a field tent somewhere else when they received it, and immediately recognized that while it was in Sansa’s handwriting, the words were 100% Cersei’s.

      I think Young Dragon is right, Robb received the letter at Winterfell in 1×09.

      It had happened this way in the books too but Robb’s on-screen reaction isn’t shown since Robb wasn’t a POV character. When the letter is discussed, Robb has met Catelyn at Moat Cailin after calling the banners to march when he heard Ned was arrested. From the way the parchment was crumpled, it appears Robb was angry up receiving it but it’s Catelyn who figures out these are Cersei’s words, not Sansa’s. In the 1×09 scene with Robb and Luwin, Luwin realizes they are Cersei’s words in Sansa’s hand.

      The corresponding scene from AGOT:

      “There was a letter,” Robb said, scratching his direwolf under the jaw. “One for you as well, but it came to Winterfell with mine.” He went to the table, rummaged among some maps and papers, and returned with a crumpled parchment. “This is the one she wrote me, I never thought to bring yours.”

      Something in Robb’s tone troubled her. She smoothed out the paper and read. Concern gave way to disbelief, then to anger, and lastly to fear. “This is Cersei’s letter, not your sister’s,” she said when she was done. “The real message is in what Sansa does not say. All this about how kindly and gently the Lannisters are treating her … I know the sound of a threat, even whispered. They have Sansa hostage, and they mean to keep her.”

      “There’s no mention of Arya,” Robb pointed out, miserable.

      “No.” Catelyn did not want to think what that might mean, not now, not here.

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    84. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      ”…As noted by another commenter, above, the downfall of Baelish had to involve the Stark girls. It also made perfect sense for court intriguer Baelish to try in Winterfell what he had in King’s Landing, but the pack stayed together and outmaneuvered him…”

      How did they outmaneuver him?

      If, as Isaac H-W described the scene scripted and filmed but deleted from the episode as aired – to preserve the big surprise! when Sansa turned to LF – then Sansa had been duped by Baelish (yet again); it was only at the last minute when she remembered she had a “CCTV system” as Isaac described his 3ER’s time-tripping surveillance cameras, that she realized LF was running a con.

      Forget the deleted scene for a moment. Perhaps the showrunners didn’t want Sansa to be rescued from her gullibility by the fortuitous intervention of another character – a magical birdie ex machina, like the the Brienne ex machina in S6e2.

      What exactly did the show demonstrate that the Stark siblings did to outmaneuver LF?

      The “charges” against LF in his trial by ambush seemed that they could only come from Bran conducting a full historical sweep of all of LF’s actions from S1 to the present. (Even then, LF should have been able to talk his way out of the charges, but that’s a topic for another day.)

      What brilliant maneuvers did the Starks execute, individually or as a pack, to outwit LF?
      Theories are fine, though I’d prefer something based on what we actually saw on screen.

      (I am not trying to be sarcastic. I am genuinely curious. As you know, my dear Tensor, I relish our civil debates, and admire your willingness to take contrarian positions to test your own and others’ interpretations.🤓)

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    85. Ten Bears,

      He was trying to get control of the north if he could convince Sansa Arya was a threat it’s just another person out of his way towards his goal of getting the North and marrying Sansa. He creepy obsession with Sansa is what ended him. Chaos is a ladder is a great speech but it’s not going to work forever.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Young Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      You’re misremembering. The letter arrived at Winterfell. It was Maester Luwin who said it was in Sansa’s hand, but the queen’s words.

      On another note, I saw New Mutants. Despite the negative reviews, I enjoyed it. I would put it in the good, but not great, category. As expected, Maisie Williams was born to play Wolfsbane.

      • Fair enough. I stand corrected. I thought I remembered Robb and Cat reading Sansa’s hostage letter in a tent somewhere. I have no recollection whatsoever of Maester Luwin receiving it, reading it aloud, or opining on its origins.

      Geez, my memory must be f*cking shot. Must be the six straight months in my Sky Cell. Lysa was right. It always breaks you.

      • I’m so glad you saw New Mutants and you liked it! Where I live it’s not safe for me to go sit in the movie theater. At least I’m not willing to take that risk.

      Cool! Maisie “was born to play Wolfsbane”! Can I impose on you to give me your take (in spoiler coding if you prefer) on the Wolfsbane – Dani Moonstar relationship? There was lots of hype about that from the director and the actresses. However, the mostly spoiler-free early reviews I’ve read thus far are divided, ie, some say it was given short shrift, and others say it was the highlight. As you know, I’m a sucker for interpersonal moments as opposed to superheroes in action against CGI monsters.

      Thanks in advance!

        Quote  Reply

    87. Adrianacandle,

      Okay. I’ll try to post the Musical Interlude and the “Update” later tonight. (I’ve also got that video of an upbeat song performed live by Elton John: the one that I described a few days ago that made me feel wistful watching a carefree audience smiling and dancing together…)

        Quote  Reply

    88. Ten Bears,

      I understand not wanting to go to the movies at this time, but I couldn’t resist. Luckily, my theatre wasn’t crowded.

      Without going into spoilers, I really liked the romance. The two actresses had good chemistry. I felt the movie put more focus on the characters than the action.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Young Dragon,

      Thanks! And I wouldn’t mind spoilers (I suggested spoiler coding for anyone else who doesn’t want to know any details).

      I don’t mind knowing what happens:

      First, as film critic Roger Ebert once said in defending his positive review of a controversial movie [paraphrasing], it’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it’s about it.

      Second, without getting into politics, suffice it to say I live in the epicenter of an uncontrolled, raging pandemic here in my state and country. I’m not sure where you live; in just about any other state I would probably be willing to go to a theater so long as it wasn’t crowded. For at least the next six months nothing here is going to get any better. I figure New Mutants will be available on On Demand before then.

      [If there is any upside, drive-in movies are making a comeback down here. (So far, showings have been reserved for big blockbuster movies. New Mutants apparently doesn’t qualify.) There is one drive-in set up on the playing field of the Miami Dolphins football stadium, with the film projected on the JumboTron scoreboard. The sound is piped into your car stereo if it has bluetooth, or to your tablet, cellphone or other device.
      One enterprising promoter is experimenting with a drive-in theater for boats! ⛵️ I think it’s in a marina or an inlet off the intracoastal waterway. That sounds like fun!]

      Anyway, now I’m looking forward to seeing New Mutants.
      There’s been great buzz about Maisie Williams’s upcoming series “Two Weeks to Live” on Sky TV in the UK. I believe it starts next week. So far, however, it’s not available in the U.S.

      P.S. I don’t know if anyone saw Natalie Dormer’s Showtime series, “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.” I hope not. I just read that Showtime pulled the plug on it after just one season. Poor Margaery can’t catch a break. 😢

        Quote  Reply

    90. Ten Bears: • Fair enough. I stand corrected. I thought I remembered Robb and Cat reading Sansa’s hostage letter in a tent somewhere. I have no recollection whatsoever of Maester Luwin receiving it, reading it aloud, or opining on its origins.

      Your memory has conflated two different scenes. It’s initially received at Winterfell in a scene with Robb, Maester Luwin and Theon. The letter turns up again when Catelyn rejoins Robb’s army on the march south:

        Quote  Reply

    91. Sean C.,

      Thank you for spotting that conflation on my part.

      I blame RWPTSD (Red Wedding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It’s been hard for me to re-watch, let alone remember scenes with Robb and Catelyn after witnessing their slow and agonizing deaths in gruesome detail. As a “pre-books,” show-only fan, I got blindsided. I mean, I suspected Robb wouldn’t get away with repudiating his bridge-crossing deal with Walder without any repercussions. But talk about overkill…

      (Didn’t the show add infanticide, i.e., the murder of pregnantTalisa and her unborn child, to the parade of horribles in the books? I thought that unlike show! Talisa, in the books Robb’s wife (Jeyne Westerling?) wasn’t at the Red Wedding, and may not have even been confirmed to be pregnant. As if I needed I needed the show to give me another nightmarish visual on top of the bloodbath described in the source material…)

      In any event, since you’ve clarified that Sansa’s letter was “initially received at Winterfell in a scene with Robb, Maester Luwin and Theon. The letter turns up again when Catelyn rejoins Robb’s army on the march south”, the original letter was still not in WF the last time we saw it, and neither Robb nor Catelyn ever returned to WF.

      Does that mean we are to assume Maester Luwin copied the original before giving it to Robb in WF? Are we also to assume Luwin took the time to forge Sansa’s handwriting to make an exact duplicate before handing over the original to Robb?

      Argh! Who knows??? Luwin, Robb and Cat perished long before the WF photocopy archive factoid first surfaced in mid-S7. The original never made it back to WF.

      I should know better than to get caught up in minutiae. I still say the LF vs. Arya vs. Sansa “plot” made no sense. And had Arya mentioned to Sansa that oh, by the way, all of the RW perpetrators had been terminated with extreme prejudice by her “very strange and annoying” little sister, they wouldn’t have squabbled over a stupid letter.

      No use arguing about it anymore…

        Quote  Reply

    92. Sean C.: Your memory has conflated two different scenes. It’s initially received at Winterfell in a scene with Robb, Maester Luwin and Theon. The letter turns up again when Catelyn rejoins Robb’s army on the march south:

      I need to thank you too, Sean 🙂 I had forgotten this scene happened in the show, I only remembered the book scene.

      Ten Bears: Okay. I’ll try to post the Musical Interlude and the “Update” later tonight. (I’ve also got that video of an upbeat song performed live by Elton John: the one that I described a few days ago that made me feel wistful watching a carefree audience smiling and dancing together…)

      Thanks, Ten Bears!!!

        Quote  Reply

    93. Musical Interlude
      Joint Dedication to Arya & Melisandre for successfully concluding “The Long Night,” and to talvikorppi for recently christening Arya as “our darling”

      🎶Little darling 👸🏻
      It’s been a long cold lonely winter❄️
      Little darling,
      It seems like years
      since it’s been here.
      Here comes the sun,⛅️
      Here comes the sun,☀️
      And I say, it’s all right.
      ”🎶🌈

      – “Here Comes the Sun” (1969) (audio) by George Harrison from The Beatles’ Abbey Road* album

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQetemT1sWc

      – “Here Comes the Sun” – George Harrison (live, acoustic version with Pete Ham of Badfinger)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNS_SUmCJm4

      * (*Contemplates gratuitously appending link to Maisie Williams recording at Abbey Road Studios in 2019*)

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    94. Seeing that Littlefinger debate up there, my personal opinion/theory on Littlefinger is that trying to find any motivation or complex plan in Littlefinger’s actions would lead to dead end because there isn’t one. When I look at his overall story, I think his only firm motivation was creating chaos. Chaos on as much scale as he could. Because no matter how much power he gained, whether it’s Master of Coin, Lord of Harrenhal, Lord paramount of the Trident, Lord of the Eyrie and then later trying to take over the North too, he never stopped bringing chaos. He pretty much single-hand triggered the War of the Five Kings which no one could trace back to him. And there was no other motivation beyond driving entire kingdom into despair.And I think that’s what makes him so dangerous and twisted. I was wondering myself the first time around how does Littlefinger’s S7 story fit into overall scheme and then I rewatched the scene of his execution and remembered Sansa’s words to him: “This is what you do” and in my mind, it became an answer to everything Littlefinger did. And him trying to put Sansa against Arya… I have theory here that both outcomes would have been satisfying for him. With Arya gone, he would gain more control over Sansa. Or with Sansa gone (in case if Arya killed her)… well, Sansa more and more rejected his advances throughout S6 and S7 and in the mind which is as twisted as Littlefinger’s, I only imagine what thoughts would Sansa’s actions spark and if it indeed ended with Arya killing Sansa, that’s again chaos embodied. That’s my personal interpretation of Littlefinger after seeing the entire story. The only aspect I still didn’t fully make my mind on is in what twisted sense he loved Sansa but I imagine I’ll have the answer on that when I get to rewatch the show.

        Quote  Reply

    95. And regarding the debate about the letter, transcribing letters apparently is a thing considering Tywin was able to dig up Jorah’s royal pardon with Robert’s signature on it. Another theory is that Sansa simply wrote more letters as backup in case if one doesn’t arrive to destination. So more than one raven were sent to Winterfell.

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    96. Adrianacandle,

      My job in the museum wasn’t all that exciting. A group of us were transferring some records from museum registers on to the Microsoft Access database and they would then go for correction (if necessary) and be migrated into the museum’s dedicated database. It was a 23 month contract. Not all that exciting – and we started with lower invertebrates (I mean how many specimens of crangon crangon does one museum need?). But we could get into some of the paid exhibitions in certain museums (not private museums though) buckshee. It was near a couple of other museums so I could go into one of those and look at exhibits in my lunch hour.

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    97. Adrianacandle,

      Being able to interest young people is a gift – as is maintaining a website. I think most people have realised that less can be more these days but I remember some of those sites from the late ’90s early 2000s when the people making the sites used well nigh every animation available on the application(s) in question. I almost have to screw my eyes up just remembering.

        Quote  Reply

    98. Dame of Mercia,

      Not all that exciting – and we started with lower invertebrates (I mean how many specimens of crangon crangon does one museum need?).

      I think the answer is…. many? 🙂

      But we could get into some of the paid exhibitions in certain museums (not private museums though) buckshee. It was near a couple of other museums so I could go into one of those and look at exhibits in my lunch hour.

      That was a perk I had too! Especially since tickets for feature exhibitions could be pretty expensive.

      Being able to interest young people is a gift – as is maintaining a website. I think most people have realised that less can be more these days but I remember some of those sites from the late ’90s early 2000s when the people making the sites used well nigh every animation available on the application(s) in question. I almost have to screw my eyes up just remembering.

      Oh, I was never particularly good at it ^^;; My classroom management skills and ability to maintain a calm environment were… lacking… My voice is quite soft and high while I don’t exactly exude authority, which feels alien to me. However, there are those with these same qualities who do have excellent classroom management skills and can develop a rapport in which they can assert themselves well. But that was something I was never good at, able to figure out, and my interest in doing so (for classroom purposes in managing K-grade 8 kids) was waning… so I put myself more into assistive work and developing aids.

      But yeah! Website design has really evolved. Ideally, now, it’s supposed to be about engaging the user as well as visual and functional accessibility. Making visual choices with type, images, and layout that are designed to juice the reader’s eye and not make text/images a burden to read or view. I think additional typography options for web have really helped with that especially. The whole point of typography is meant to optimize the visual appearance of type for readability.

      Judging from the lime green backgrounds with neon pink text in size 14 Times New Roman, sparkling gifs, rainbow headings, and blinking headlines of some 90s websites…. I don’t think that was the goal 😉

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    99. It’s Monday. I’m sure we could all use something to bring a smile to our faces. I give you the Purple Wedding:

      Game of Thrones has to be the only show that’s ever made a room full of people cheer for the poisoning death of a child.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Mr Derp:
      It’s Monday. I’m sure we could all use something to bring a smile to our faces. I give you the Purple Wedding:

      Game of Thrones has to be the only show that’s ever made a room full of people cheer for the poisoning death of a child.

      At least we all got to witness the joyful event, and are able to (re-)watch the look on Joffrey’s eyes when he choked to death. There were those unable to smile and cheer because only heard about Joffrey’s death second-hand:

      Arya: “I thought it’d make me happy, but it doesn’t. Not really.”

      Sandor: “Nothing makes you happy.”

      Arya: “Lots of things make me happy.”

      Sandor: “Like what?”

      Arya: “Killing Polliver, killing Rorge.”

      Sandor: “So you’re sad because you didn’t get to kill Joffrey yourself. Is that it?”

      Arya: “At least I could have been there to watch. I wanted to see the look in his eyes when he knew it was over.”

      👸🏻 🐓

        Quote  Reply

    101. Young Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      I understand not wanting to go to the movies at this time, but I couldn’t resist. Luckily, my theatre wasn’t crowded.

      Without going into spoilers, I really liked the romance. The two actresses had good chemistry. I felt the movie put more focus on the characters than the action.

      New Mutants looks like it’s geared towards 15 year olds/the YA type. I’m also tired of the superhero/elite team movies. It’s been overdone.

      I haven’t had any interest in watching it, but I’d watch Maisie in anything, so I might check this one out when it’s on HBO or something.

        Quote  Reply

    102. Jack Bauer 24:
      #ForTheThrone

      For the throne?

      🎶”Come down off your throne
      and leave your body alone
      Somebody must change
      You are the reason I’ve been waiting so long
      Somebody holds the key
      Well I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time
      And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home”
      🎵

      “Cant Find My Way Home” (1969)
      Blind Faith with Steve Winwood

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jlLBs6YawM

      Steve Winwood (live acoustic 2012)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoSn2Y-b6wI

      #ForTheThrone

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    103. Ten Bears,

      How did they outmaneuver him?

      They got him to attend his own funeral, didn’t they? 😉

      Seriously, he sat there whilst Arya sauntered into the Great Hall, fully armed and not guarded, and he still thought she was going on trial. Nice work, sisters!

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    104. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Seeing that Littlefinger debate up there, my personal opinion/theory on Littlefinger is that trying to find any motivation or complex plan in Littlefinger’s actions would lead to dead end because there isn’t one. When I look at his overall story, I think his only firm motivation was creating chaos.

      I agree. He wasn’t a mastermind, he just created problems and tried to act on any opportunities which may have emerged.

      He pretty much single-hand triggered the War of the Five Kings which no one could trace back to him.

      But killing Jon Arryn didn’t mean there had to be a war. Baelish may have suspected, correctly, that Arryn’s death would cause Robert to name Ned his Hand. After that, starting the war required both Robert’s death *and* Ned’s disobeying Robert’s final order. Robert, on his deathbed, had ordered Ned to become Lord Protector of the Realm, to rule as regent until Joffrey came of age. Instead, Ned changed Robert’s will, and sent a letter to Stannis, effectively offering Stannis the throne. Those events started the war, and neither were in any way under Baelish’s control.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Mr Derp: New Mutants looks like it’s geared towards 15 year olds/the YA type. I’m also tired of the superhero/elite team movies.It’s been overdone.

      I haven’t had any interest in watching it, but I’d watch Maisie in anything, so I might check this one out when it’s on HBO or something.

      I too would watch Maisie Williams in anything, even a derivative teen superhero flick.
      What intrigued me by “New Mutants” was the buzz about the romance subplot.

      https://s31242.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/maisie3-1024×538.jpg

      Besides, after Game of Thrones did not deliver the Dany + Wolf Girl squeefest I was expecting, I have been hyped to see Dani 💕 Wolf Girl in New Mutants.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending:
      Ten Bears,

      How did they outmaneuver him?

      They got him to attend his own funeral, didn’t they? 😉

      Seriously, he sat there whilst Arya sauntered into the Great Hall, fully armed and not guarded, and he still thought she was going on trial. Nice work, sisters!

      Tell you what. Let’s call it a question of semantics. I’d say the sisters ambushed him. I suppose one could also call if “outmaneuvered.”

      LF still shouldn’t have caved so quickly to the flimsy “charges” leveled against him.

      And aside from not sensing something was amiss when a “fully armed” ASNAWP sauntered into the Great Hall, shouldn’t LF have been “confused” as soon as Sansa declared “you stand accused of murder, you stand accused of treason” before she turned her head and named “Lord Baelish” as the accused?

      (Bear with me here…) I’ll assume LF believed he had convinced Sansa that Arya had committed “treason” by scheming to undermine or get rid of Sansa.
      However, as far as anyone knew Arya had not “murdered” anyone. And if her escapades in the Riverlands had somehow become public knowledge, Sansa and the rest of the North would throw a party in her honor for avenging the Red Wedding – not accuse her of “murder” for killing Walder Frey, his damn moron sons, and “the men who helped slaughter the Starks at the Red Wedding.”

      How could Arya “stand accused of murder”?

        Quote  Reply

    107. Ten Bears,

      Tell you what. Let’s call it a question of semantics. I’d say the sisters ambushed him. I suppose one could also call if “outmaneuvered.”

      That works for me!

      LF still shouldn’t have caved so quickly to the flimsy “charges” leveled against him.

      He understood perfectly well there was nothing he *could* say. As Cersei had demonstrated to him very nicely, “Power is power.” He was in Winterfell, without his own corps of personally loyal guards. If the Lady of Winterfell said he was guilty, then he was guilty. Westeros has no citizens, only subjects; it has no written Constitution, no Fifth Amendment. The local ruler is judge and jury (although this one never dirties her own hands with executioner’s duties).

      …shouldn’t LF have been “confused” as soon as Sansa declared “you stand accused of murder, you stand accused of treason”…

      Not really. As Baelish would have known, the tale grows in the telling. If Sansa was now accusing Arya of murder, then (from Baelish’s point of view) the silly girl had fallen for his fabrications completely, and now believed the worst about her younger sister.

      Again, we can argue if it was written well or poorly, but as already noted, Baelish’s death had to satisfy several thematic criteria. It had to happen:

      + in The North;
      + due to his obsession with Sansa;
      + by having his own intrigues rebound on him.

      His swift judgement and execution, by Sansa and Arya respectively, satisfied all three criteria.

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    108. Ten Bears,

      There’s a couplet that children say in the UK (they did when I was a child at least)

      ” “I’m the King of the castle”
      “Get down you dirty rascal” ”

      There was a children’s game in the ASOIAF books that was something about capturing a castle but I can’t remember its name (is there anyone here who has read and re-read the books – I only went through them once who can jog my 70-something year old memory?)

        Quote  Reply

    109. Dame of Mercia: There was a children’s game in the ASOIAF books that was something about capturing a castle but I can’t remember its name (is there anyone here who has read and re-read the books – I only went through them once who can jog my 70-something year old memory?)

      Are you thinking of come-into-my-castle? 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    110. Dame of Mercia:
      Ten Bears,

      There’s a couplet that children say in the UK (they did when I was a child at least)

      “I’m the King of the castle”
      “Get down you dirty rascal”

      There was a children’s game in the ASOIAF books that was something about capturing a castle but I can’t remember its name…

      • I never heard that children’s rhyme about a king of a castle. It sounds catchy though.

      • For a moment my brain’s “inner ear” toggled to lyrics from a Supertramp song:

      🎶 Like a king without a castle,
      Like a queen without a throne.
      🎵

      This is not a pretext to segue into a Musical Interlude. That song, “Goodbye Stranger,” is one of the few tracks from the multi-hit “Breakfast in America” album that I didn’t like all that much. And as much as I’d otherwise be tempted to dedicate “Goodbye Stranger” to Sandor Clegane and his horse, I’m not sure I could extract appropriate lyrics.*

      • I don’t know about a children’s game in ASOIAF. I suspect Adrianacandle identified that already in her early morning reply at 5:15 am.

      …….

      * ⚠️ Sorry for going off on a tangent here about adaptation decisions and horses. 🐴
      Please feel free to ignore my ramblings that follow:

      One of my favorite Rory McCann scenes on the show was Sandor’s parting with Arya in S4e10 (when Sandor, grievously wounded, tried unsuccessfully to induce Aris to euthanize him: alternatively instructing, inviting, daring, goading, mocking, pleading, begging, shouting – and sobbing).

      After Arya left him there to die, there was no follow-up scene in which Sandor parted ways with his horse.

      That could have supplied an excuse to quote the song:
      🎶Goodbye Stranger, it’s been nice.
      Hope you find your paradise.”
      🎵 🐎

      It is my understanding that in the books, there are several hints that the limping novice monk/gravedigger Brienne sees during her visit with Septon Meribald or the Elder Brother (?) on the Quiet Isle (?) is really Sandor, metaphorically “reborn.” [Very cute. Answering Brienne’s inquiry with the figuratively true but literally false explanation that “the Hound is dead” and Sandor Clegane is “at rest.”]

      It’s also my understanding that there are hints that Stranger the Horse is also on the Quiet Isle. (I’ve read fan theories that the temperamental horse in the monastery stables would only have followed Sandor; nobody else could have led him there.)

      I take it then that in the books, Sandor is never really parted from Stranger? I recognize that there are many, many scenes in the books that take place with characters on horseback, which were faithfully adapted for the show except without the relatively inconsequential detail of the horses – which would have added unnecessary time and substantial expense in filming. (I’ve read many humorous accounts of the headaches and hassles encountered by GoT’s directors in staging scenes with stubborn, uncooperative and restless “equestrian actors.” I can imagine a frustrated production assistant wishing they could just substitute squires hitting coconut shells together: Monty Python’s elegant, cost-effective solution.🙂)

      Anyway, if “bonding” between rider and his mount was a feature in the books that was pared down for the TV adaptation, I take it that show! Brother Ray carted off the body of (apparently dead) show! Sandor without his horse, solely as a budgetary decision.
      That could be why we never saw Sandor’s horse again after the face-off between Arya’s faithful guardian Sandor and the interloper Brienne of F*cking Tarth, the Lannister operative trying wrest custody of Arya by force after spouting a dubious story about abiding by Arya’s parent’s instructions (exactly like Meryn F*cking Trant tried to do in S1).

      I still do not know what to make of recurring images of Arya with a succession of white ponies and white horses, though I am not complaining: I liked the imagery.

      – End Equine Tangent – 🛂

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    111. Dame of Mercia,

      Since you’re in the UK, are you able to watch Sky TV or its associated streaming service?

      The six-episode series “Two Weeks to Live” starring Maisie Williams and Sian Clifford as her mom, premieres tomorrow, Sept. 2, on Sky TV. Are you planning on watching it? If so, can I impose on you to tell me/us if you liked it? It is not available here in the U.S. 😡

      I believe there are six half-hour episodes, all of which will air back to back tomorrow on SkyTV, or will be available for binge watching on the associated streaming platform starting tomorrow.

      The early teasers and trailers* look like it will be a fun action-comedy. I’m a little ticked off it’s not airing in the U.S. – especially these days with the dearth of new programming.

      * ASNAWP with a gun? Her mom with a crossbow? A car chase/gun battle (Mom: “I’ll drive. You shoot“)?

      Sign me up! Take my money!

        Quote  Reply

    112. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Seeing that Littlefinger debate up there, my personal opinion/theory on Littlefinger is that trying to find any motivation or complex plan in Littlefinger’s actions would lead to dead end because there isn’t one. When I look at his overall story, I think his only firm motivation was creating chaos.

      I agree. He wasn’t a mastermind, he just created problems and tried to act on any opportunities which may have emerged.

      He pretty much single-hand triggered the War of the Five Kings which no one could trace back to him.

      But killing Jon Arryn didn’t mean there had to be a war. Baelish may have suspected, correctly, that Arryn’s death would cause Robert to name Ned his Hand. After that, starting the war required both Robert’s death *and* Ned’s disobeying Robert’s final order. Robert, on his deathbed, had ordered Ned to become Lord Protector of the Realm, to rule as regent until Joffrey came of age. Instead, Ned changed Robert’s will, and sent a letter to Stannis, effectively offering Stannis the throne. Those events started the war, and neither were in any way under Baelish’s control.

      Yes, I don’t think either that Littlefinger could have directly predicted an outcome. But I’m sure however the events would have unfolded, Littlefinger would have found a way to instigate chaos. I feel like the whole thing was some sort of a sick game for him.. the way he created chaos out of supposedly controlled or peaceful situations and benefited on his own behalf. We don’t know Littlefinger’s POV thoughts but I’m sure this all originated from his failed duel with Brandon… that’s when I believe the twisted story of Littlefinger began.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I feel like the whole thing was some sort of a sick game for him.. the way he created chaos out of supposedly controlled or peaceful situations and benefited on his own behalf.

      He was from the most minor of noble houses, on the far northern edge of the South, and rose, mostly on his own talents, to become “one of the Great Lords of Westeros,” as Roose Bolton said. The troublesome relations he had with the Tully girls, obsessing over Cat whilst Lyssa obsessed over him, was obviously part of it, too.

      …his all originated from his failed duel with Brandon… that’s when I believe the twisted story of Littlefinger began.

      I agree. Here is this physically small nobleman from a very minor house in the South, contesting for the love of a (Southron) Tully girl — and his rival is the scion of the greatest of all Northern Houses, descended from the legendary Kings of Winter. His envy of more powerful Houses, his obsession with Cat, his ambition to become a Great Lord of Westeros — all collided in his duel with Brandon Stark, a duel which might well have killed him. It left him scarred for life in more ways than one. It seems to have convinced him never to fight openly, physically, or fairly — and to hate the Stark men, in particular.

      Baelish was always one of my favorite characters, and Aiden Gillen’s portrayal of him was delightful. In a story with many grey characters and outright villains, he had one foot firmly in each type. He got what he deserved, but he was fun to watch, right until that end.

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    114. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      On the show at least, in that “controversial”* sexposition scene in S1, I recall LF telling his sex worker that he aimed to “f*ck” the Starks. I’d have to go back and listen to exactly what he said; he may have recounted his duel with Brandon or getting jilted by Catelyn.

      *[I do not know why it was so “controversial.” His sex workers were rehearsing their techniques
      in the background as he coached them. There was nothing that salacious about it. I’m not sure what the furor was all about.]

      So maybe when it all came down to it, LF’s ambition for power, wealth and status; his purported “love” for Sansa; and even his self-preservation, all took a back seat to his irrational desire to redress a perceived humiliation from his youth by destroying the Starks. [Giving away his prized pawn’s virtue to a stranger instead of taking it for himself was hard to reconcile though.]

      That’s the only way I can begin to explain LF’s Arya vs. Sansa scheme. LF had no compunctions about betraying his “beloved” Cat, killing her wacko sister, and double-crossing her husband.
      Why not screw around with her daughters too?

        Quote  Reply

    115. Ten Bears,

      …his irrational desire to redress a perceived humiliation from his youth by destroying the Starks.

      Erik and I have speculated that was the root of his twisted scheming, yes. But he worked in his own interest, at least as he perceived it, throughout the story.

      LF had no compunctions about betraying his “beloved” Cat, killing her wacko sister, and double-crossing her husband.

      He was never going to have Cat the way he’d wanted, not even with Ned out of the way. Once she was worth more to him dead than alive, he betrayed her trust in him. Lyssa became an expensive liability when she started babbling about how she’d killed Jon Arryn. Ned was a dolt, but Baelish was willing to scheme with him; when Ned persisted in his stupid plan to give the throne to Stannis, Baelish acted out of self-preservation. None of those actions were irrational or contrary to his perceived self-interest.

      Giving away his prized pawn’s virtue to a stranger instead of taking it for himself was hard to reconcile though.

      The “sexposition” scene seems to imply Baelish has some sexual dysfunction, and his delivery of Ros to Joffrey implies he understood Joffrey’s sexual dysfunction. (At the very least, neither character acted per our expectations of how a normal adult male of our species would behave if given unlimited access to a very large number of desirable female bodies!)

      The Boltons had betrayed the Starks, and now ruled the North. Aside from liking the Boltons for the irrational reason they’d overthrown the family Baelish had hated, getting his “prize pawn” installed as a figurehead ruler of the North fitted Baelish’s plans perfectly. The Lannisters held most of the South, so he worked to get control of the North. (Baelish was effectively playing the role of Sansa’s parents when he acted as her matchmaker, so in his mind, he’d replaced both Ned and Cat.)

      Baelish was a very convoluted character, and I greatly enjoyed watching Aiden Gillen play him.

        Quote  Reply

    116. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      What I meant by Giving away his prized pawn’s virtue to a stranger instead of taking it for himself was hard to reconcile though
      … was LF’s Bolton marriage plan.

      I’m aware that was the show’s merger of Sansa into the book! Jeyne Poole – Theon WF storyline.
      The showrunners said they didn’t want to leave Sophie/Sansa on the bench (i.e., hanging out in the Vale getting tummy flutters, as some readers described it).

      I’ve whinged in the past about that adaptation decision, in part because it felt like a regression of poor Sansa’s character back into (yet another) psycho’s punching bag; in part because prematurely sending her north screwed up the books’ chronology and character locations. [This is pure speculation on my part: I suspect book! Sansa will still come north to help take back WF; however she won’t have to do odd things like conceal the KotV from Jon because she will not leave the Vale and arrive in the north until right before or during the books! Battle of the Bastards.]

      With respect to LF, I felt there was no way he would marry off virginal Sansa to some schlub – especially a recently legitimized bastard he knew nothing about. That part of the attempt to shoehorn Sansa into Jeyne’s storyline just did not comport with LF’s obsessiveness, or in other terms, his warped view of Sansa as Cat 2.0 and a second chance to pursue his romantic quest, with a better outcome.

      I am not a shrink. I do not know if LF is priority classified as a psychopath, a sociopath, a narcissist, or an amoral man motivated by envy and a lust for power. Even if he viewed Sansa as a commodity, natural human jealousy and possessiveness (amplified in a selfish pr*ck like LF), would preclude him from even contemplating letting some other man have her first.

      As Sansa confided to Arya in S7e7 [paraphrasing] she believed that LF, in his own twisted way, loved her. You (?) or another commenter above suggested that in large part LF’s obsession with Sansa doomed him.

      How does that square with letting some random guy take her virtue?

      Others have suggested LF viewed other people as playthings; pieces on his game board. Gregor burned his brother for playing with his wooden toy. I can’t imagine LF being okay with another man unwrapping and playing his his brand new toy.

      If his ultimate objective was to destroy Catelyn’s doppelgänger to carry out his “f*ck the Starks” agenda, that would make some sense. However, I did not get the impression he wanted to punish Sansa for the humiliation and rejection he suffered at the hands of her mother and uncle.

      Then again, what do I know? I’ve never been hopelessly in love with a woman and then chased after her lookalike daughter. (I’m not a serial killer either, so there’s that….)

        Quote  Reply

    117. Young Dragon,

      Thank you for this notice! I’m really excited about seeing “The Three-Body Problem” adapted to the screen. In case you’re not familiar, the story starts within the chaos of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, a strange and bewildering time as has ever been seen in the history of any nation. It’s a time and place utterly alien to most everyone who might read the books or watch the screen adaptation, and it will be interesting to see how they start. Dropping the viewer in “cold” might be the best way, as they did with the opening of Game of Thrones.

      Science/Speculative Fiction is a very “Western” genre, and the “Three-Body Problem” gives a different take on it. It will be interesting to see what B&W do with it.

        Quote  Reply

    118. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      Oh, I just saw your comment that ”getting his “prize pawn” installed as a figurehead ruler of the North fitted Baelish’s plans perfectly. The Lannisters held most of the South, so he worked to get control of the North.”

      Yeah, I did not get how dumping off Sansa in WF with no actual plan – and then leaving her there defenseless – served to “install“ her as de facto ruler of the North. LF promoted his plan to Sansa by reminding her of the injustices perpetrated on her family, and pitched the marriage as a chance to “avenge them.”

      How? If he’d given her some untraceable poison I to get rid of Roose, I could understand that. (I’ll accept as “canon” that he really didn’t know Ramsey was a sadistic nut job.)

      LF dangled the prospect of Sansa becoming Wardeness of the North, and as he told her, he was betting on Stannis ousting the Boltons. Why not keep Sansa safe on the sidelines until the dust settled? How would Sansa becoming “Lady Bolton” endear her to Stannis?

      I just did not get how the marriage “installed” Sansa as “figurehead ruler of the north,” at least not without giving her the means to depose Roose or convince Stannis to trust her enough to appoint her as Wardenness.

      To me, the writers’ machinations to shoehorn Sansa into the role of book! Jeyne/fake Arya may have seemed like a clever idea on paper, but didn’t work very well in its execution. It was a dumb plan hatched by show! LF to begin with. No way Big G would construct something like that.

      P.S. Was I the only one who felt duped after seeing confident, self-assured new and improved Sansa ascending the staircase silhouetted by sunlight at the end of S4e8… only to watch her revictimization as a human pin cushion/crash test dummy in S5? (F*ck, she didn’t even use that corkscrew she filched in S5 to defend herself. She became an accessory to Reek/ Theon’s “redemption” story.)

        Quote  Reply

    119. Ten Bears,
      I said this before, that Littlefinger throws a wrench into the works, steps back, and sees what happens. Marrying Sansa to Ramsay was no different than poisoning Jon Arryn. It gave Littlefinger the excuse to mobilize the Vale army and broke the Bolton/Lannister alliance, leaving the Boltons exposed.

      How do you know that this isn’t something Martin would write? I thought you haven’t read the books.

      No, I wasn’t duped. I didn’t expect Sansa to do a complete 180 just like that, the same with the Hound, Theon, and Jaime. In reality, people regress. That’s what made the series so captivating. The characters behaved realistically.

        Quote  Reply

    120. Young Dragon,

      “It [marrying Sansa to Boltons] gave Littlefinger the excuse to mobilize the Vale army and broke the Bolton/Lannister alliance, leaving the Boltons exposed.”

      Good point. It did give LF the excuse to mobilize the Vale army.
      Did you get the feeling that LF might leave his options open, i.e., and decide at the last minute whether to back the Boltons or back the Starks?
      I suppose LF also could have mobilized the KotV to back Stannis ensure the outcome he had predicted, though it would be more like LF to sit back and let Stannis and the Boltons hash it out themselves before committing to either side.

      ”How do you know that this isn’t something Martin would write? I thought you haven’t read the books.”

      I have not read the books. That is why I prefaced my comments with a disclaimer. Nevertheless, aside from the fact that GRRM left Sansa playing around in the Vale instead of transporting her north to occupied WF, Sansa agreeing to marry into the family who butchered hers – the predicate for show! Sansa to step into the shoes of book! Jeyne – defied logic. It did not comport with Sansa’s evolution from gullible young girl to wary young woman. And it did not provide any means of achieving the supposed objective to “avenge them.” GRRM would at least try to justify LF’s plan and Sansa’s assent to it, even if it blew up in their faces.
      Marrying into the family of traitors that butchered her own was a leap in logic too far to rationalize. Further, I suspect GRRM would not have devoted so much effort to portraying Sansa’s character evolution, only to have her regress into hapless victim yet again.
      That is one reason why I felt that S4e8 Sansa was consistent with the trajectory laid out by GRRM – and the show’s subsequent detour to WF to give the actress and her character “something to do” in S5 was not only a departure from Sansa’s book! storyline, but a regression of her character development.

      Leaving Sansa marooned in the Vale may not have appealed to the showrunners, who sought to bring characters together geographically to prepare for the events of the final few seasons. (Some book readers have expressed concern that the main characters in the books are still dispersed all over the world, and GRRM has not even begun bringing them together. By contrast, the show commenced that consolidation in earnest by the end of S6, eg, Dany & Co. sailing from Mereen and heading home; Arya dropping out of Braavos Murder School and paying a visit to Walder in the Riverlands; and Jon unifying the North, the Wildings, the Vale, et al. in WF.).
      Sansa’s premature northward relocation may have been consistent with the show’s “world constriction.” Yet, to me, shoehorning Sansa into Jeyne came off as forced.

      I suppose that the showrunners could have cut short Arya’s stay in Braavos so as not to leave that character and actress marooned by herself in a faraway land. I guess they figured there was enough interesting material in the books to justify portraying Arya’s two-year stay in Braavos.

      Look, if the LF-Sansa Bolton marriage detour worked for you, that’s great. For me, it was unenjoyable and illogical.

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    121. Ten Bears: That is one reason why I felt that S4e8 Sansa was consistent with the trajectory laid out by GRRM – and the show’s subsequent detour to WF to give the actress and her character “something to do” in S5 was not only a departure from Sansa’s book! storyline, but a regression of her character development.

      I was not a fan of merging Sansa’s storyline with Jeyne’s either. I’m also of the mind that it felt contrived (to me) and I could see D&D doing what they said they were doing when they made these changes:

      We really wanted Sansa to play a major part this season,” Benioff said. “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.”

      So this change, admittedly, didn’t work for me either and it does sound like there was quite a departure between Sansa’s book storyline post book 4 and Sansa’s show storyline post season 4 to give Sansa a more major role. As of AFFC, Sansa is only just beginning to doubt Littlefinger and what he says (realizing Littlefinger is also lying to her as he’s lying to everyone).

      I expect Sansa will be spending quite a bit more time in the Vale or at least around Littlefinger, learning how to use her mind and wits as GRRM explains here because I think this journey has just begun for her. I think she’ll undoubtedly eventually head North again. It might be to claim Winterfell in her name, perhaps she’ll be the one working on spearheading alliances behind Littlefinger’s back to raise her own army and take control over her own fate and what she wants. She may be the one making marital alliance arrangements for herself and to meet her own goals instead of having to go along with another’s arrangement for their goals.

      I don’t know but here’s what GRRM has said about Sansa’s strengths here:

      She is beginning to at least try to understand how she can play the game of thrones and be not a piece, but a player. With her own goals, and moving other pieces around. And she’s not a warrior like Robb, Jon Snow. She’s not even a wild child like Arya. She can’t fight with swords, axes. She can’t raise armies. But she has her wits! Same as Littlefinger has.

      But all of this is just my own speculations 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    122. Young Dragon,

      P.S. I don’t disagree that “In reality, people regress.”. Straight-line character evolution from Point A to Point B could be too simplistic.

      There was a line from a great movie with a b*****sw**t ending in which two characters declared their love for each other, but realized they could not simply run away together and live happily ever after because: “People can’t escape their nature.” Their respective past traumas, and how they coped with them, shaped who they were and kept them grounded. [I don’t want to spoil the movie by naming its title.]

      Similarly, fictional characters, like real people, often relapse and revert back to their bad behaviors, despite every effort to better themselves. Jaime couldn’t overcome his “addiction.” Sandor, unable to get past his childhood trauma, could not embrace a second chance at life.

      But these regressions made sense. Sansa’s didn’t. It was more a function of the necessity to try to explain the shoehorning of Sansa into Jeyne’s storyline, rather than a believable backslide.

      Why the showrunners were so enamored with the Ramsey-Theon-Jeyne storyline that they just had to keep it in, instead of writing a different one for Sansa/Sophie… I cannot understand.

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    123. Adrianacandle,

      Oh! I did not see your 11:29 pm comment until a few minutes ago. This quote by Benioff or Weiss which you excerpted is exactly what I had in mind:

      We really wanted Sansa to play a major part this season,” Benioff said. “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.”

      As I asked (rhetorically) at the end of my 12:00 am “P.S.” reply to Young Dragon, I did not understand why the showrunners were so enamored with the Ramsey-Theon-Jeyne storyline that they just had to keep it in, instead of writing a different one for Sansa/Sophie.

      In their words, they “loved” the subplot from the books that used [Jeyne], a character not in the show. Why?

      What was it that they “loved” about it? From descriptions I’ve read, it was hard-core torture porn.

        Quote  Reply

    124. Ten Bears: In their words, they “loved” the subplot from the books that used [Jeyne], a character not in the show. Why?

      What was it that they “loved” about it? From descriptions I’ve read, it was hard-core torture porn.

      I think that’d be a good question to ask them. I’m wondering if maybe it had to do with Theon’s role in the Jeyne storyline. When Jeyne arrives, she is Theon’s bit of first real human companionship in a long time and though he refuses to help her out of fear for Ramsay, he eventually does (albeit reluctantly as he is still encumbered by fear) and they escape Winterfell together. I think this is the start of Theon coming back from Reek.

      So…. maybe it had something to do with that and the opportunities it’d provide for Sophie Turner’s portrayal of Sansa and wanting to expand her role from her book counterpart’s, per D&D’s quote above? I don’t know but I think it’d be a good question to ask them why they loved the Jeyne/fArya subplot.

        Quote  Reply

    125. Ten Bears:
      Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      Oh, I just saw your comment that ”getting his “prize pawn” installed as a figurehead ruler of the North fitted Baelish’s plans perfectly. The Lannisters held most of the South, so he worked to get control of the North.”

      Yeah, I did not get how dumping off Sansa in WF with no actual plan – and then leaving her there defenseless – served to “install“ her as de facto ruler of the North. LF promoted his plan to Sansa by reminding her of the injustices perpetrated on her family, and pitched the marriage as a chance to “avenge them.”

      How? If he’d given her some untraceable poison I to get rid of Roose, I could understand that. (I’ll accept as “canon” that he really didn’t know Ramsey was a sadistic nut job.)

      LF dangled the prospect of Sansa becoming Wardeness of the North, and as he told her, he was betting on Stannis ousting the Boltons. Why not keep Sansa safe on the sidelines until the dust settled? How would Sansa becoming “Lady Bolton” endear her to Stannis?

      I just did not get how the marriage “installed” Sansa as “figurehead ruler of the north,” at least not without giving her the means to depose Roose or convince Stannis to trust her enough to appoint her as Wardenness.

      To me, the writers’ machinations to shoehorn Sansa into the role of book! Jeyne/fake Arya may have seemed like a clever idea on paper, but didn’t work very well in its execution. It was a dumb plan hatched by show! LF to begin with. No way Big G would construct something like that.

      P.S. Was I the only one who felt duped after seeing confident, self-assured new and improved Sansa ascending the staircase silhouetted by sunlight at the end of S4e8… only to watch her revictimization as a human pin cushion/crash test dummy in S5? (F*ck, she didn’t even use that corkscrew she filched in S5 to defend herself. She became an accessory to Reek/ Theon’s “redemption” story.)

      For me, it actually makes perfect sense now that Littlefinger just left Sansa in Winterfell and I also believe he indeed knew about Ramsay. And I also don’t see Sansa’s story as just another relapse into the victim. She was always a lot more than that in my eyes in S5. In my eyes, the good things that happened due to her being in Winterfell:

      – Ramsay never actually broke her. Unlike Theon and book Jeyne who got completely subitted to him, to the point of exhibiting Stockholm syndrome out of fear, Sansa never did such thing. In all the episodes of being there, she stayed true to herself and was plotting to escape. I would say for someone who spent years under King’s Landing torment where all that she could do was lie, this was a sign of big internal strength for me and I think that’s what Sansa’s story is about in first place

      – Sansa actively got to Theon. Jeyne in the novels does nothing to get to him. She’s just there, completely submitted to Ramsay and Theon just “sobers himself” on his own. Sansa on other hand actively confronted him in 5.8 and I’m sure that conversation is crucial to him finally snapping out of Ramsay’s grasp in 5.10. So TV-show-wise, she did a big thing there.

      – Let’s not forget she also planted a seed that eventually ended up with Ramsay killing Roose. And before someone argues that Ramsay would have done it either way, I’m sure that discussion when Sansa pretty much taunts Ramsay about his bastard status (and let’s not forget, that’s already after she’s been repeatedly abused by him) is there for a reason. So why should I dismiss this scene if it could clearly be there in order to plant the seed?

      – And as the writers said, this story gave an opportunity for Sansa to finally get Littlefinger-free and return to the North. Whatever GRRM has in plans for her, it’s obviously something that would not give her much role which is why the writers planned from S2 onwards (they said so themselves) to bring her story from Vale to the North (hence the name Myranda… after Myranda Royce in the Vale who is hinted to have some rivarly with Sansa in future).

      So if I’m given a choice of her just sitting in the Vale and doing absolutely nothing (which is what she does in book 4) or going North, experiencing traumatic story but ending up reuniting with Jon in S6 and forming a beautiful friendship with Theon that reflected as far as into S8, I would pick her S5 story million times over.

        Quote  Reply

    126. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      About Sansa “….ending up reuniting with Jon in S6”, I’ve got to say that their reunion scene in S6e4 (at 1:30 – 2:30 of the clip below) was just delightful.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gMv73Oyvl4

      Everything about it – the camera angles, the sound effects, the music, the initial look of disbelief on the characters’ faces as they spot each other across the courtyard, and then rushing into each other’s arms… was perfect.

        Quote  Reply

    127. Laura: When last we saw book!Sansa, Littlefinger was planning to marry her to Harry the heir (Robin Arryn’s cousin).

      Yeah, I think that was part of Littlefinger’s plot (killing Robert via sweet milk, making Harry the Lord of the Eyrie, marrying Sansa to him):

      “Petyr arched an eyebrow. “When Robert dies. Our poor brave Sweetrobin is such a sickly boy, it is only a matter of time. When Robert dies, Harry the Heir becomes Lord Harrold, Defender of the Vale and Lord of the Eyrie. Jon Arryn’s bannermen will never love me, nor our silly, shaking Robert, but they will love their Young Falcon . . . and when they come together for his wedding, and you come out with your long auburn hair, clad in a maiden’s cloak of white and grey with a direwolf emblazoned on the back . . . why, every knight in the Vale will pledge his sword to win you back your birthright. So those are your gifts from me, my sweet Sansa . . . Harry, the Eyrie, and Winterfell. That’s worth another kiss now, don’t you think?”

      ___

      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: So if I’m given a choice of her just sitting in the Vale and doing absolutely nothing (which is what she does in book 4)

      I believe Sansa’s storyline in book 4 is supposed to correspond with season 4. We don’t know what Martin has planned for Sansa in book 6 and beyond but I don’t think it’ll be sitting around in the Vale, doing nothing 🙂

      As for Jeyne, I think she did actually plead with Theon to help her but Theon (still Reek) refused. I think eventually helping Jeyne did play a role in starting to bring Theon back to himself.

        Quote  Reply

    128. Adrianacandle: Yeah, I think that was part of Littlefinger’s plot (killing Robert via sweet milk, making Harry the Lord of the Eyrie, marrying Sansa to him)

      Yes, and revealing that she is Sansa Stark, not LF’s natural-born daughter, and finally getting the Vale involved in things.

        Quote  Reply

    129. Ten Bears,

      I just did not get how the marriage “installed” Sansa as “figurehead ruler of the north,” at least not without giving her the means to depose Roose or convince Stannis to trust her enough to appoint her as Wardenness.

      As Erik noted, Sansa herself provided the means to depose Roose! Baelish had started this whole mess, via assassination-by-proxy of a Great Lord of Westeros. He did it again, with another Stark/Tully woman as his agent.

      Stannis appoionting her as his Wardeness of The North would have nothing to do with Stannis ‘trusting’ Sansa. Stannis was nothing if not unimaginatively predictable, and once he’d routed the usurping Boltons, he’d appoint a Stark, because the Starks have ruled the North forever, and therefore to Stannis, that is the way it should always be. Baelish wasn’t taking a huge risk on that one!

      Marrying into the family of traitors that butchered her own was a leap in logic too far to rationalize.

      “There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.”

      Was I the only one who felt duped after seeing confident, self-assured new and improved Sansa ascending the staircase silhouetted by sunlight at the end of S4e8… only to watch her revictimization as a human pin cushion/crash test dummy in S5?

      NCW said he thought Jaime would leave Cersei at the end of S6, but Jaime departed at the end of S7. Each character had more to do in the place she or he was, before moving on. Again, as Erik pointed out, Sansa had a dramatic effect on characters and story whilst the Boltons ruled Winterfell, so her time there was not wasted.

        Quote  Reply

    130. Adrianacandle: Yeah, I think that was part of Littlefinger’s plot (killing Robert via sweet milk, making Harry the Lord of the Eyrie, marrying Sansa to him):

      ___

      I believe Sansa’s storyline in book 4 is supposed to correspond with season 4. We don’t know what Martin has planned for Sansa in book 6 and beyond but I don’t think it’ll be sitting around in the Vale, doing nothing

      As for Jeyne, I think she did actually plead with Theon to help her but Theon (still Reek) refused. I think eventually helping Jeyne did play a role in starting to bring Theon back to himself.

      No idea about book 6 but considering the producers’ statements that they had a plan to bring Sansa’s story to the North as early as S2, then what GRRM provided to them was apparently not “big enough” for one of the major TV characters. And I could see that considering there are numerous POV characters present in book 6 and like a dozen stories. So I imagine Sansa can’t have some big amount of chapters by default in book 6 and if the pace of book 6 resembles that of book 4 and 5… well, I can’t see something good for TV coming out if it.

      As for Jeyne, it’s been 4 years since I last read ADWD and I doubt I ever will again but the scene that very much stayed in my mind is that Mance and his spearwives literally cornered and forced Theon to rescue Jeyne and when they came to get her, she was reacting almost the same as THeon did in S4 when Yara came to rescue him. So for me at least, Sansa’s S5 story was quite different .

        Quote  Reply

    131. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      No idea about book 6 but considering the producers’ statements that they had a plan to bring Sansa’s story to the North as early as S2, then what GRRM provided to them was apparently not “big enough” for one of the major TV characters. And I could see that considering there are numerous POV characters present in book 6 and like a dozen stories. So I imagine Sansa can’t have some big amount of chapters by default in book 6 and if the pace of book 6 resembles that of book 4 and 5… well, I can’t see something good for TV coming out if it.

      I expect Sansa’s storyline was probably expanded given D&D’s words on why they made the choices they did for her story in season 5. However, I think it’s hard to know what Sansa’s book storyline post-AFFC is, what it comprises of, or if it’d be any good for TV… because we don’t know what it is.

      As for Jeyne, it’s been 4 years since I last read ADWD and I doubt I ever will again but the scene that very much stayed in my mind is that Mance and his spearwives literally cornered and forced Theon to rescue Jeyne and when they came to get her, she was reacting almost the same as THeon did in S4 when Yara came to rescue him. So for me at least, Sansa’s S5 story was quite different .

      How GRRM wrote Jeyne in book 5 and how D&D wrote Sansa in season 5 are different. Jeyne is not Sansa or D&D’s depiction of Sansa. Jeyne is quite a bit more afraid, more broken, and more despairing, she is not a lord’s daughter and nobody really has any cause to fight for her.

      I think Jeyne served a narrative purpose in AFFC. I think her character was meant to force Theon into a choice when he’s been broken down into Reek: to choose between his Reek persona (succumbing to fear of Ramsay to survive) and his own identity as Theon (helping Jeyne in spite of his fear as a risk).

      I don’t think it’s accurate to say, “Jeyne in the novels does nothing to get to him. She’s just there, completely submitted to Ramsay and Theon just “sobers himself” on his own,” as if Jeyne didn’t beg Theon to help her or Jeyne had no impact on Theon. Jeyne pleads with Theon, especially upon arriving, to help her and it does pull at Theon, who is still overcome by Reek. Eventually, after Theon refuses to help Jeyne due to fear, he is given a final opportunity by the spearwives and Theon relents despite his misgivings over their plan. This time, it’s Jeyne who refuses as she fears she is being tested by Ramsay and it’s Theon who convinces her that this is her chance at escape.

      Even here, when Theon talks to Jeyne and she realizes this isn’t a test, she begs him to take her away:

      “Get her up, turncloak.” Holly had her knife in hand. “Get her up or I will. We have to go. Get the little cunt up on her feet and shake some courage into her.”

      “And if she screams?” said Rowan.

      We are all dead, Theon thought. I told them this was folly, but none of them would listen. Abel had doomed them. All singers were half-mad. In songs, the hero always saved the maiden from the monster’s castle, but life was not a song, no more than Jeyne was Arya Stark. Her eyes are the wrong color. And there are no heroes here, only whores. Even so, he knelt beside her, pulled down the furs, touched her cheek. “You know me. I’m Theon, you remember. I know you too. I know your name.”

      “My name?” She shook her head. “My name… it’s…”

      He put a finger to her lips. “We can talk about that later. You need to be quiet now. Come with us. With me. We will take you away from here. Away from him.”

      Her eyes widened. “Please,” she whispered. “Oh, please.”

      Theon slipped his hand through hers. The stumps of his lost fingers tingled as he drew the girl to her feet. The wolfskins fell away from her. Underneath them she was naked, her small pale breasts covered with teeth marks. He heard one of the women suck in her breath. Rowan thrust a bundle of clothes into his hands. “Get her dressed. It’s cold outside.” Squirrel had stripped down to her smallclothes, and was rooting through a carved cedar chest in search of something warmer. In the end she settled for one of Lord Ramsay’s quilted doublets and a well-worn pair of breeches that flapped about her legs like a ship’s sails in a storm.

      With Rowan’s help, Theon got Jeyne Poole into Squirrel’s clothes. If the gods are good and the guards are blind, she may pass. “Now we are going out and down the steps,” Theon told the girl. “Keep your head down and your hood up. Follow Holly. Don’t run, don’t cry, don’t speak, don’t look anyone in the eye.”

      “Stay close to me,” Jeyne said. “Don’t leave me.”

      “I will be right beside you,” Theon promised as Squirrel slipped into Lady Arya’s bed and pulled the blanket up.”

      In the books, Theon is POV and major character in this storyline. I believe the choices he makes with Jeyne serve the struggle Theon is experiencing between Reek and himself. When Jeyne pleads with Theon to help her and Theon is forced to confront a choice, he chooses to succumb to fear. Theon rationalizes that Jeyne will be okay if she just does what she is told, that nobody can escape Ramsay, and even contemplates mercy killing Jeyne to spare her what is to come.

      When the spearwives arrive and confront Theon with another choice and new opportunity, Theon must decide again. He is reluctant because he’s still encumbered by that fear, he’s seen what Ramsay is capable of, but upon seeing how far Mance and the spearwives have come and that they’re determined to leave with “Arya” no matter what, Theon seems to acquiesce. Despite his own misgivings over how well their plan will work, Theon — after his own struggles with this choice and refusal to act — is able to get Jeyne to act. Where the spearwives are offering Jeyne a way to escape Ramsay and Jeyne is sure this is a trick, it’s Theon who makes Jeyne realize this isn’t a trick and she pleads for Theon to take her away.

      In the show, it’s Sansa — rather than Theon himself and the choices he makes with Jeyne — who prompts Theon to act.

      What version a reader/viewer prefers is probably up to them.

        Quote  Reply

    132. Ten Bears,

      Marrying into the family of traitors that butchered her own was a leap in logic too far to rationalize.

      Lacking time, I fobbed this off with the catch-phrase, “There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.” It is worth examining in more detail.

      Winterfell was Sansa’s childhood home, the last place she’d ever really been safe. While Winterfell under the Boltons was never going to be any kind of picnic for her, she knew she’d have at least some support there (Another catch-phrase! “The North Remembers”) and where else would she go?

      Her entire life, Sansa had been raised to know her choice of husband would not be hers. Her parents (or brother) would decide for her. Dynastic, political, and social considerations would always take precedence over anything she might want. Hence her excitement upon learning of her betrothal to a prince, and that she would bear an heir to the Iron Throne.

      When that turned out to be false hope, she eventually made her way back to Winterfell, finding it full of enemies. (Odyeseus, is that you?) Even married to Ramsay the sadist, she was still “Sansa Stark, of Winterfell,” and still did what she could to remove the Boltons.

      I also happen to believe Baelish told the truth when he said he had no idea what a sadist Ramsay was. Much earlier in the story, Roose mentions (to his fellow Northerners, if I recall correctly) that Ramsay was an, ahem, interesting person. Roose Bolton never said anything unless he perceived a need to say it, and thus we can conclude he would not have felt the need to say this unless he believed it was not common knowledge in the North. Baelish was a creature of the South, and his informants in the North may have been minimal.

        Quote  Reply

    133. Adrianacandle:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I expect Sansa’s storyline was probably expanded given D&D’s words on why they made the choices they did for her story in season 5. However, I think it’s hard to know what Sansa’s book storyline post-AFFC is, what it comprises of, or if it’d be any good for TV… because we don’t know what it is.

      How GRRM wrote Jeyne in book 5 and how D&D wrote Sansa in season 5 are different. Jeyne is not Sansa or D&D’s depiction of Sansa. Jeyne is quite a bit more afraid, more broken, and more despairing, she is not a lord’s daughter and nobody really has any cause to fight for her.

      I think Jeyne served a narrative purpose in AFFC. I think her character was meant to force Theon into a choice when he’s been broken down into Reek: to choose between his Reek persona (succumbing to fear of Ramsay to survive) and his own identity as Theon (helping Jeyne in spite of his fear as a risk).

      I don’t think it’s accurate to say,“Jeyne in the novels does nothing to get to him. She’s just there, completely submitted to Ramsay and Theon just “sobers himself” on his own,” as if Jeyne didn’t beg Theon to help her or Jeyne had no impact on Theon. Jeyne pleads with Theon, especially upon arriving, to help her and it does pull at Theon, who is still overcome by Reek. Eventually, after Theon refuses to help Jeyne due to fear, he is given a final opportunity by the spearwives and Theon relents despite his misgivings over their plan. This time, it’s Jeyne who refuses as she fears she is being tested by Ramsay and it’s Theon who convinces her that this is her chance at escape.

      Even here, when Theon talks to Jeyne and she realizes this isn’t a test, she begs him to take her away:

      In the books, Theon is POV and major character in this storyline. I believe the choices he makes with Jeyne serve the struggle Theon is experiencing between Reek and himself. When Jeyne pleads with Theon to help her and Theon is forced to confront a choice, he chooses to succumb to fear. Theon rationalizes that Jeyne will be okay if she just does what she is told, that nobody can escape Ramsay, and even contemplates mercy killing Jeyne to spare her what is to come.

      When the spearwives arrive and confront Theon with another choice and new opportunity, Theon must decide again. He is reluctant because he’s still encumbered by that fear, he’s seen what Ramsay is capable of, but upon seeing how far Mance and the spearwives have come and that they’re determined to leave with “Arya” no matter what, Theon seems to acquiesce. Despite his own misgivings over how well their plan will work, Theon — after his own struggles with this choice and refusal to act — is able to get Jeyne to act. Where the spearwives are offering Jeyne a way to escape Ramsay and Jeyne is sure this is a trick, it’s Theon who makes Jeyne realize this isn’t a trick and she pleads for Theon to take her away.

      In the show, it’s Sansa — rather than Theon himself and the choices he makes with Jeyne — who prompts Theon to act.

      What version a reader/viewer prefers is probably up to them.

      Well, that’s why I’m glad the writers scrapped Jeyne because that’s exactly what she is…a plot device, used mainly for abuse. And I well remember that when reading ADWD, I never actually cared about her as a character. I felt completely alienated and as horrific abuse as she must have experienced, I didn’t feel a thing regarding her… Theon being completely different story on other hand. So I can only imagine how would the TV version translate to me if they just used one XYZ girl in THeon’s story. I guess that one conversation between Theon and Sansa in Hardhome was more impactful to me than anything I read in ADWD so I’m in full support of TV story and S5 as a whole.

        Quote  Reply

    134. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      ”… hence the name Myranda… after Myranda Royce in the Vale who is hinted to have some rivarly with Sansa in future.”

      Ah, Myranda, my beloved!
      I’ve got to assume that show! Myranda, Ramsey’s freaky girlfriend, has no counterpart in the books. As I recall, the showrunners were so impressed with Charlotte Hope’s portrayal of Myranda that they expanded her role considerably. Myranda was quite a piece of work. There was nothing she wouldn’t do…

      Musical Interlude 9/2/20
      Dedicated to Myranda 💘

      🎶”She’s a very kinky girl,
      The kind you don’t take home to mother
      ….
      That girl is pretty wild now
      (The girl’s a super freak)

      That girl is pretty kinky
      (The girl’s a super freak)”
      🎵

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYHxGBH6o4M

      “Super Freak” (1981) – Rick James

        Quote  Reply

    135. Ten Bears,

      I did enjoy Sansa’s season 5 storyline more than her book storyline. I felt like her storyline was a parallel of Arya’s. Both suffered abuse, one mental, the other physical, and yet both of them refused to break. Sansa was instrumental in snapping Theon out of his Reek persona and aided in her own escape, unlike in King’s Landing. In the books, Sansa really hasn’t progressed at all and continues to be Littlefinger’s pawn.

      Despite not having read the books, you seem to have a lot of faith in Martin. I’ll just say there’s a very good reason D&D had to go their own way with the story and leave it at that.

        Quote  Reply

    136. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Well, that’s why I’m glad the writers scrapped Jeyne because that’s exactly what she is…a plot device, used mainly for abuse. And I well remember that when reading ADWD, I never actually cared about her as a character. I felt completely alienated and as horrific abuse as she must have experienced, I didn’t feel a thing regarding her… Theon being completely different story on other hand. So I can only imagine how would the TV version translate to me if they just used one XYZ girl in THeon’s story. I guess that one conversation between Theon and Sansa in Hardhome was more impactful to me than anything I read in ADWD so I’m in full support of TV story and S5 as a whole

      Great! I’m glad this merging Sansa’s story with Jeyne’s worked for you! (I mean that genuinely!) Unfortunately, it didn’t for me.

      I wouldn’t agree with the characterization that Jeyne was “a plot device, used mainly for abuse” because it wasn’t for plot purposes or simply for abuse but to prompt character choices, exploration, struggle, and change in Theon (and to provide the Arya test for Jon, which he failed). This is typically what characters do for each other — especially minor characters like Jeyne. Every story involves having other characters and minor characters serve these purposes for another because character interactions and relationships are meant to inform character choices, experience, change, and developments.

      In the show, as you illustrated, this change was brought on by Sansa for Theon.

      I also fully acknowledge I didn’t love Jeyne’s story (I did feel sorry for her and I wanted Theon to help her but I can’t say I enjoyed this storyline) but I also admit I liked Sansa’s less for some of the reasons discussed above. Though I appreciate how you, Tensor, and Young Dragon have analysed this storyline for Sansa and what purposes it may have served/what worked for you, this just didn’t work for me. It felt off to me. However, it seems you and others did like it. I’m not trying to change that. The initial purpose of my reply to you was a disagreement about some details in the book storyline.

      Again, whatever version you prefer of this story is up to the viewer/reader.

        Quote  Reply

    137. Ten Bears:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      ”… hence the name Myranda… after Myranda Royce in the Vale who is hinted to have some rivarly with Sansa in future.”

      Ah, Myranda, my beloved!I’ve got to assume that show! Myranda, Ramsey’s freaky girlfriend, has no counterpart in the books. As I recall, the showrunners were so impressed with Charlotte Hope’s portrayal of Myranda that they expanded her role considerably. Myranda was quite a piece of work. There was nothing she wouldn’t do…

      Musical Interlude 9/2/20
      Dedicated to Myranda

      ”She’s a very kinky girl,
      The kind you don’t take home to mother ….
      That girl is pretty wild now
      (The girl’s a super freak)

      That girl is pretty kinky
      (The girl’s a super freak)”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYHxGBH6o4M

      “Super Freak” (1981) – Rick James

      I’m not sure if TV Myranda has no counterpart to the books. COnsidering the writers were already planning to bring Sansa’s story to the North during the time S2 aired, it wouldn’t be that strange if Myranda was named after Myranda Royce from the novels. WHen Myranda and Violet were introduced in S3, I recall GRRM saying he has a scene in mind for these two characters which is likely the one where one girl would be hunted by Ramsay and the other girl… but as Stephanie Blacker got pregnant, Violet was replaced by Tansy in 4.2. Then again, I don’t know when exactly GRRM made those statements… was it before their inclusion to the story in S3 or after.

      If Myranda sharing the name with Myranda Royce is just a coincidence, then it’s interesting how there are paralels between them… Sansa being sent to marry Ramsay and Myranda being jealous. And book Sansa being sent to marry Harry the Heir and Myranda Royce giving some weird vibes there too, which makes me think the story as a whole could have a bit resemblance with S5 story. But of course, TWOW is not out so it’s all speculation from my side now. The writers obviously knew enough about Sansa’s book story that they decided to firmly rewrite it for S5.

        Quote  Reply

    138. Ten Bears,

      Similarly, fictional characters, like real people, often relapse and revert back to their bad behaviors, despite every effort to better themselves. Jaime couldn’t overcome his “addiction.” Sandor, unable to get past his childhood trauma, could not embrace a second chance at life.

      But these regressions made sense.

      While I personally agree with you, please feel free to converse with fans of those characters about whether their regressions — which directly caused their painful deaths! — “made sense” or not. I suspect opinions may vary somewhat from ours. 😉

      Sansa’s didn’t. It was more a function of the necessity to try to explain the shoehorning of Sansa into Jeyne’s storyline, rather than a believable backslide.

      I found it most “believable” that a very young person might have some trouble “finding her feet” in a difficult and dangerous situation, and fall back on allowing her good family friend (*snicker*) Baelish to make her marriage choice. Once home in Winterfell, she slowly overcame the shock of her sadistic husband, and plotted her family’s return to power as best she could. Even the defeat of Stannis did not cause her to lose hope — she gained an opportunity to flee, and she took it. (Bye bye, mye Myeranda!)

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    139. Adrianacandle,

      ”In the show, it’s Sansa — rather than Theon himself and the choices he makes with Jeyne — who prompts Theon to act.”

      • I may be misunderstanding what you mean. In the show, wasn’t it Myranda threatening to maim Sansa that prompted Theon to (finally) act? Up until that moment he was still Reek, although he had shown a few signs of snapping out of it.
      – Or did you mean it was Sansa’s defiance of Myranda (paraphrasing: “Go ahead. Shoot me. At least I’ll die in one piece”) that compelled Reek/Theon to launch Myranda over the railing?
      Or did you mean it was Sansa’s reminding Reek of Theon’s transgressions against his foster family
      that forced Reek to “feel” guilt, and start reverting back into Theon?
      – I could be confused about this; it’s been a while. On the show at least (not sure about the books), it looked like Theon didn’t plan to escape with Sansa until he made the spur of the moment decision to toss Myranda to her death. At that point there was no turning back. At that moment he was willing to risk incurring the wrath of Ramsay.
      – I realize his transformation must have been a “slow burn.” I just sensed that the immediacy of the threat to Sansa was the tipping point.

      – Since Theon was a POV character in the books, I’m guessing that book readers might have been privy to internal monologues (or more aptly, internal dialogues) between dual personalities of brainwashed Reek and whatever vestiges remained of his former self. (This is all rank speculation on my part: in the TWOW sample chapter,

      I thought GRRM a masterful job of narrating through the internal thoughts of Mercy… until the very end when her inner voice switched back into her real identity.)

      I’d think Big G would have used a similar technique for Reek and Theon.

      The show was limited to Alfie Allen’s facial expressions and body language to convey the inner turmoil of terrified Reek vs. suppressed Theon. I am not saying Alfie didn’t do an excellent job of it. He did.

      (I did not mean to go off on a long-winded tangent… I had two additional questions I was intending to frame. .. I’d better try a little later after a nap.) 💤

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    140. Ten Bears: – I could be confused about this; it’s been a while. On the show at least (not sure about the books), it looked like Theon didn’t plan to escape with Sansa until he made the spur of the moment decision to toss Myranda to her death. At that point there was no turning back. At that moment he was willing to risk incurring the wrath of Ramsay.

      Right. I think it was here that Theon defied his fear of Ramsay and acted against his Reek persona… but I think, like you said, it was a slow burn and Reek-Theon showed signs of a transformation before that point.

      My impression was that Sansa confronting Reek-Theon about what (Theon) did probably started the initial promptings of that development in Reek to Theon again, as you referenced in one of your points. I think, in that scene, this is when Theon confesses he didn’t kill Bran and Rickon but two farm boys in their place and that Bran and Rickon are still alive. I believe, at this point, Sansa starts to forgive Theon.

      Since Theon was a POV character in the books, I’m guessing that book readers might have been privy to internal monologues (or more aptly, internal dialogues) between dual personalities of brainwashed Reek and whatever vestiges remained of his former self.

      Yeah, there is that kind of struggle — between being Reek and acknowledging his former identity as Theon and the fear associated with that. Here are some passages demonstrating this struggle, I think 🙂

      The fear came bubbling up inside him, and he moaned. “Talk to me. Tell me your name.”

      My name. A scream caught in his throat. They had taught him his name, they had, they had, but it had been so long that he’d forgotten. If I say it wrong, he’ll take another finger, or worse, he’ll… he’ll… He would not think about that, he could not think about that. There were needles in his jaw, in his eyes. His head was pounding. “Please,” he squeaked, his voice thin and weak. He sounded a hundred years old. Perhaps he was. How long have I been in here? “Go,” he mumbled, through broken teeth and broken fingers, his eyes closed tight against the terrible bright light. “Please, you can have the rat, don’t hurt me…”

      “Reek,” said the larger of the boys. “Your name is Reek. Remember?” He was the one with the torch. The smaller boy had the ring of iron keys.

      Reek? Tears ran down his cheeks. “I remember. I do.” His mouth opened and closed. “My name is Reek. It rhymes with leek.” In the dark he did not need a name, so it was easy to forget. Reek, Reek, my name is Reek. He had not been born with that name. In another life he had been someone else, but here and now, his name was Reek. He remembered.

      The Lord of the Dreadfort did not have a strong likeness to his bastard son. His face was clean-shaved, smooth-skinned, ordinary, not handsome but not quite plain. Though Roose had been in battles, he bore no scars. Though well past forty, he was as yet unwrinkled, with scarce a line to tell of the passage of time. His lips were so thin that when he pressed them together they seemed to vanish altogether. There was an agelessness about him, a stillness; on Roose Bolton’s face, rage and joy looked much the same. All he and Ramsay had in common were their eyes. His eyes are ice. Reek wondered if Roose Bolton ever cried. If so, do the tears feel cold upon his cheeks?

      Once, a boy called Theon Greyjoy had enjoyed tweaking Bolton as they sat at council with Robb Stark, mocking his soft voice and making japes about leeches. He must have been mad. This is no man to jape with. You had only to look at Bolton to know that he had more cruelty in his pinky toe than all the Freys combined.

      “Who is this?” she said. “Where is the boy? Did your bastard refuse to give him up? Is this old man his … oh, gods be good, what is that smell? Has this creature soiled himself?”

      “He has been with Ramsay. Lady Barbrey, allow me to present the rightful Lord of the Iron Islands, Theon of House Greyjoy.”

      No, he thought, no, don’t say that name, Ramsay will hear you, he’ll know, he’ll know, he’ll hurt me.

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    141. Young Dragon,

      ”Despite not having read the books, you seem to have a lot of faith in Martin.”

      I have read bits and pieces: The “Mercy” sample chapter he posted on his blog; the “Broken Man” speech; Arya’s “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue; and Arya’s “Harwin! You have to know me!” scene with the BwoB. Those are among the top choices in internet surveys of readers’ “favorite scenes.”

      Admittedly this is a small sample size. You may be right that I should not have so much faith in G
      based only on these famous passages

      Also, from the intelligent discussion and analysis book readers have engaged in here, with illustrative excerpts, I’ve probably read the equivalent of several hundred pages of ASOIAF.

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    142. Ten Bears: BTW, I meant that (I assumed) book! Ramsay didn’t have a counterpart to the cute but whacked out girlfriend he had on the show. I could be wrong about that.

      I think that’s right. Book!Myranda and Show!Myranda are pretty different characters. In the books, Myranda has no connection to the Boltons and resides in the Vale, meeting Sansa in AFFC. Myranda is a Royce, she’s friendly with one of Robert’s illegitimate children Mya Stone, she’s gossipy, lively, and Littlefinger warns Sansa to be careful of what she says around Myranda as Myranda is quite shrewd (and Myranda does try to suss out information from “Alayne” about herself and her father) — so she’s not so much the torture assistant/Ramsay’s jealous girlfriend character as she was in the show 😉

      I don’t think there’s a book counterpart for Show!Myranda’s role in the show’s Ramsay storyline.

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    143. Adrianacandle,

      Yes! That is exactly what I was referring to! “Wordless” internal thoughts like you quoted.

      “…Reek, Reek, my name is Reek. He had not been born with that name. In another life he had been someone else, but here and now, his name was Reek. He remembered.”

      There’s no way I know of that something like this can be adapted into spoken dialogue for TV – at least not without cheesy voiceovers; having a character talk to his reflection in a mirror; using time travel or “spirits” to show a character speaking with the ghost of his future self or past self; giving “voice” to his conscience or insecurities;
      or like Gollum, having the character’s split personalities alternately emerge and argue with each other in a schizophrenic frenzy.🤯

      I’m glad the writers didn’t resort to such devices.
      They are hard to pull off successfully.

      I have seen manifestations of split personalities used for comic effect, like when a character faces temptation and a miniature angel and devil appear on each shoulder and start whispering in his ears. 😈 🤷🏻‍♂️😇

      I’m trying to think if I can remember any film or TV show – a serious psychological drama and not a screwball comedy – that was able to adapt “inner thoughts” and internal monologues into spoken dialogue. (Conveniently inserting a shrink or confidante as a sounding board doesn’t count.)

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    144. Adrianacandle, :

      In Memoriam: Myranda
      She was fearless. There was nothing she wouldn’t do.

      This is as good a time as any to revisit Ramsay’s heartfelt eulogy for Myranda:

      (S6e1: Ramsay, with Maester Wolkan, looking at Myranda’s body laid out on a table)

      Ramsay: “She was 11 the first time I saw her. The kennelmaster’s daughter. She smelled of dog. I wasn’t much older, but everybody was already afraid of me.”
      [To Wolkan]: “You certainly were.

      “Myranda wasn’t though. What could I do to her that those hounds couldn’t? She was fearless. There was nothing she wouldn’t do.”

      (Ramsay, touching Myranda’s forehead, addresses her): “Your pain will be paid for a thousand times over. I wish you could be here to watch.”

      RIP Myranda
      We shall never see her like again

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    145. Ten Bears,

      I’m trying to think if I can remember any film or TV show – a serious psychological drama and not a screwball comedy – that was able to adapt “inner thoughts” and internal monologues into spoken dialogue. (Conveniently inserting a shrink or confidante as a sounding board doesn’t count.)

      Hamlet, be it thou? 😉

      Seriously, I’d argue The Sopranos did it a few times. Although the primary dynamic of the story was Tony Soprano in conversations with Dr. Melfi, there was at least one sequence where he talks with smug honesty to her about being satisfied at another character’s death; the viewer then discovers Tony is merely fantasizing about being that frank with her. Tony also had several dream sequences; in at least two of them that I can recall, other characters appear as aspects of his personality, in conflict.

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    146. Ten Bears: There’s no way I know of that something like this can be adapted into spoken dialogue for TV – at least not without cheesy voiceovers; having a character talk to his reflection in a mirror; using time travel or “spirits” to show a character speaking with the ghost of his future self or past self; giving “voice” to his conscience or insecurities;
      or like Gollum, having the character’s split personalities alternately emerge and argue with each other in a schizophrenic frenzy.🤯

      It’s definitely a tricky thing to do in TV and something the book medium has a definite advantage in when relaying the inner monologues of characters (whereas TV has other strengths). I’ve never seen The Sopranos but Tensor makes a case for that show being able to successfully navigate into that area.

      Outlander would do it a lot, especially in the first season, as if the character narrating the episode was looking back on their life. But I don’t know if that’d work for a real-time narration of inner thoughts like the one Theon/Reek was experiencing in which he had to disconnect from one identity to adopt another as survival.

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    147. Ten Bears: I have seen manifestations of split personalities used for comic effect, like when a character faces temptation and a miniature angel and devil appear on each shoulder and start whispering in his ears. 😈 🤷🏻‍♂️😇

      Going off topic again and back into soaps, when I think of this device (a consciously divided bad self/evil self), I think of that storyline from All My Children in which the character Janet (lovingly nicknamed ‘JaNut’ by the then-90s-fandom) would try to be good but her evil self would appear in the mirror and encourage Janet to resort to her burying-sister-in-the-mines self. The 90s fandom nicknamed her mirror self “MirrorNut.”

      The things you can learn from Google Groups news archives 🙂

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    148. As we’re on the topic of Theon/Reek, one of the biggest surprises I had upon my first re-watch of S3 was how few of the torture scenes it had. The first time I had watched, I had thought there was such a scene in every episode; on re-watch, there are just three scenes total! That is some effective, economical storytelling. (And poor Theon doesn’t ever really recover…)

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    149. loco73:
      I had a question, anybody here read Glenn Cook’s “The Black Company” novel series…any impressions, criticisms etc.? Is it worth investing the time to read then (I realise that is something quite subjective to ask)? I did some digging on them so, background, outline, read some reviews, but I’d like to hear some recommendations from here…

      Dang, just seeing this: Have read them, been a while. It´ s totally different from GRRM, way not as deep. Interesting read, however. POVs from the trenches, with unreliable narrators and grittiness. Cook may be the pioneer of gritty fantasy; he started this cycle when everyone else was still doing Tolkien. The books are pretty short, following a pretty loose arc over time, with changing protagonists. The world building is pretty unique; lots of influences from Asia and India.

      Try the first omnibus (vol 1-3). It is pretty self-contained. If you like it, you can go for the rest. If not your thing, no damage done.

      However, if Black Company IS your thing, you are definitely a case for Erikson ´s Malazan Book of the Fallen. Erikson freely admits he was heavily influenced by Cook and MBotF is like Black Company on steroids and acid.

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    150. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending:
      As we’re on the topic of Theon/Reek, one of the biggest surprises I had upon my first re-watch of S3 was how few of the torture scenes it had. The first time I had watched, I had thought there was such a scene in every episode; on re-watch, there are just three scenes total! That is some effective, economical storytelling.

      Initially, I perceived the torture porn scenes as going on far too long, in excruciating detail.
      In retrospect, you may well be right: It’s hard not to keep thinking about what poor Theon was going through even after the scenes concluded.

      Another thing: It’s my understanding that in the books Theon’s genital mutilation (cockectomy?) was implied, and never described as it occurred.

      The show, on the other hand, made it clear that Theon had his “favorite toy” taken off, and did so with scenes that were not too graphic, but still invoked a universal male psychological fear (according to shrinks, a “castration complex”) capped off with Ramsay’s famous sausage-waving feint: in other words, “effective, economical storytelling” as you put it.

      Here’s what I mean:
      (First, I admit to some personal bias up front because of my Myranda crush. Seriously, I’m a big fan of Charlotte Hope. Also, except for the sadism and hunting humans for sport, it’s hard not to admire a woman who “was fearless; there was nothing she wouldn’t do.” For me, those are attractive qualities.)

      • The scene when Myranda and her companion (I forgot her name) showed up in Theon’s room turned a common fantasy into nightmare. It started out with two attractive young women getting undressed and initiating a three-way, taking out his “toy” to play with. And then…they chopped it off! 😳
      (That was infinitely worse than Tyrion’s colorful metaphor for the unreliability of prophecies, i.e., like receiving exquisite pleasure from a fellating whore – until she suddenly bites down with her teeth.)

      • As if the physical mutilation weren’t bad enough, afterwards Theon was greeted to Ramsay seated at a table with what looked like a cooked phallus on his dinner plate. Then Ramsay, with a goofy smile, picked it up and wiggled it in the air: a moment that produced this massively popular gif:

      https://i.pinimg.com/originals/74/a8/ff/74a8ffc61b95f00b02e6546ddf841953.gif

      (Small consolation for Theon when Ramsay insisted he wasn’t a savage, and disclosed it was just a sausage.) Taunting and tormenting Theon amplified the impact of the physical torture.

      • Theon’s dismembered toy later make a cameo appearance when it was delivered in a gift box to his dad. We didn’t need to see inside the box. It was a reminder of his disfigurement, as well as his emasculation in his father’s eyes. Balon effectively disinherited him. Sterilized Theon was no longer a prince, an heir or a son.
      Yet another awful, disproportionate consequence of Theon choosing to betray the Starks to embrace his “Greyjoy” heritage.

      To get back to your observation about effective, economical storytelling, for me the scenes of Theon howling in pain, e.g., as Ramsay flayed skin from his finger, seemed gratuitous. Yet, like you, I realize there were not as many such scenes as I (thought I) remembered.

      I’ve got to give the show credit for playing up the longer-lasting psychological harm and aftershocks. If what I’m saying makes sense.

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    151. Ten Bears: I’ve got to give the show credit for playing up the longer-lasting psychological harm and aftershocks. If what I’m saying makes sense.

      Got to give Alfie credit too for making Theon/reek’s character so compelling. So much of the acting in GoT was criminally underrated, Alfie being a prime example, IMO.

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    152. Adrianacandle: Going off topic again and back into soaps, when I think of this device (a consciously divided bad self/evil self), I think of that storyline from All My Children in which the character Janet (lovingly nicknamed ‘JaNut’ by the then-90s-fandom) would try to be good but her evil self would appear in the mirror and encourage Janet to resort to her burying-sister-in-the-mines self…

      Oh! I think I remember a Star Trek episode, “The Enemy Within” involving Captain Kirk, that did a take on split personalities much more nuanced than simply Good Kirk and Evil Kirk.

      I’ll try to explain later… Gotta go now.

        Quote  Reply

    153. Mr Derp,

      My quick take: I didn’t like Alfie at first because I hated Theon. My bad.
      As I wrote at (too much) length above, without cheesy devices, it’s got to be difficult to adapt for TV a book character’s inner monologues and internal conflicts, especially when the character is isolated, alone – or shell shocked like Theon.
      For the most part, i.e., during his “enhanced interrogation” and enslavement, Alfie had to convey Theon’s PTSD and Reek vs. Theon identity conflict – and self-loathing – with his eyes, posture, and facial expressions. (Reading book! quotes excerpted by Adrianacandle made me appreciate Alfie’s portrayal.)

      P.S. My personal Alfie highlight was in S6e2: Theon’s willingness to sacrifice himself (and his remaining body parts) to save Sansa from the Bolton posse + Theon’s speech explaining why he did not want to be forgiven.

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    154. Ten Bears,

      Yet another awful, disproportionate consequence of Theon choosing to betray the Starks to embrace his “Greyjoy” heritage.

      Characters who might just quibble with the use of “disproportionate” include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

      Ser Roderick Cassell
      Bran
      Osha
      Two Farm Boys & Family
      Hodor!

      … and every other resident of Winterfell who suffered under Theon’s brief — yet utterly incompetent — “rule” of the place.

      I’ve got to give the show credit for playing up the longer-lasting psychological harm and aftershocks. If what I’m saying makes sense.

      It does. The show did a very effective job of showing the effects of torture, both immediate and chronic. And, since everything must be worse on Westeros,

      Balon effectively disinherited him. Sterilized Theon was no longer a prince, an heir or a son.

      In the long and bitter fight for the unwanted title of Worst Father on Westeros, even Balon’s tremendous effort ultimately could not unseat Craster, who institutionalized not merely physical and psychological torture, but also child abuse and rape — and, ensuring he took the prize, inadvertently enlarged the Army of the Dead to the point where it could, once again, threaten the Realms of Men.

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    155. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      ”Characters who might just quibble with the use of “disproportionate” include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

      Ser Roderick Cassell
      Bran
      Osha
      Two Farm Boys & Family
      Hodor!”

      Yes, you are right. Poor choice of words. By “disproportionate consequences” I did not mean to imply that Theon’s punishment did not fit his crime(s).

      I intended to convey that his decision to “rejoin” his Greyjoy family and abandon the Starks (including his mission to try to forge an alliance with the Greyjoys on behalf of Robb) set in motion a chain of events with disastrous consequences Theon did not foresee at the time.

      When Theon decided to burn his draft ravengram
      to Robb, I don’t believe he intended at that moment to sack WF, execute Rodrick, Luwin, and others (?), burn the farm boys, force Bran, Osha, Rickon and Hodor to become refugees – and get his own schlong cut off.

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    156. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      ”In the long and bitter fight for the unwanted title of Worst Father on Westeros, even Balon’s tremendous effort ultimately could not unseat Craster…”

      Ha! “Worst Father” title. 🤔 Now that’s a worthy topic for discussion and debate.

      • I had almost forgotten about that daughter-raping, White Walker-supplying, Baby Sam-siring Craster.

      • Didn’t Balon get most of his sons killed by mounting ill-advised rebellions? (I thought that’s why Theon wound up as a Stark hostage/ward.)
      Yeah, he probably loses out to Craster for the title.

      • Tywin Lannister should be in the mix for the way he mistreated his son (and would have executed him after participating in a frame-up for a “murder” he didn’t commit), as well as raising his daughter to be a hateful witch who unfairly blamed Tyrion for killing their mother. That’s all on Tywin. He taught his little girl to despise her little brother. And for all his preoccupations with building a family “dynasty” and his own legacy, he exploited his own children like commodities (in Cersei’s case, as a “broodmare.”)

      • There has even been lots of buzz over the years
      about the “honorable” Ned Stark’s f*ck-ups as a father.

      • Would Mace Tyrell warrant a few write-in votes? (Olenna rightly described Mace’s support for Renly as treason; Mace got blown up along with his kids for trying to be a player.)

      • I’d nominate Rhaegar, though it’d be helpful if we had a little more information.
      – Rhaegar abandoned his two little kids and their mother without any regard for their safety,
      while he went off gallivanting with his new teenybopper girlfriend.
      – I’m not sure how this works in the fictional ASOIAF universe: Wouldn’t annulment of Rhaegar’s marriage to Elia mean his two kids were considered illegitimate, i.e., bastards? I thought “annulment” means there never was never a valid marriage to begin with. If so, Prince Rhaegar gets bonus points in the Worst Father Sweepstakes.
      – One could argue that Rhaegar’s failings as a father were the direct cause of the near-extermination of his family and the deaths of thousands in a civil war.
      – And what kind of father-to-be leaves his pregnant young wife alone in a tower in the middle of nowhere, with only two or three of his buddies as security guards for the baby?

      • Does Randyll Tarly merit honorable mention? He effectively disinherited his first-born son by threatening to stage a fatal “accident” – and worst of all, mercilessly fat-shamed him.

      • If we had more details I might propose Sandor’s father as a third-party candidate. After all, he raised a monster like Gregor, and covered for him when he burned the Valonqar- I mean, little brother.

      • I’d like to throw Walder Frey into the mix, except… he did kind of try to advance the social status of his damn moron sons, didn’t he?

      • Finally, as much as it pains me because I like Stephen Dillane, shouldn’t Stannis be on the ballot? While I blame Melisandre for misleading Stannis about his divine “destiny” and the necessity to barbecue people, Stannis did burn his own daughter alive.
      Is that enough to topple Craster?

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    157. Ten Bears,

      I intended to convey that his decision to “rejoin” his Greyjoy family and abandon the Starks (including his mission to try to forge an alliance with the Greyjoys on behalf of Robb) set in motion a chain of events with disastrous consequences Theon did not foresee at the time.

      I had figured as much, but I decided to have a little fun by intentionally taking your phrase just a little too literally. 😉

      GRRM is a student of history, and it shows nicely in how some of his characters’ actions have many long-after consequences — and so many of those consequences are not even suspected at the time the decision is made. When I first visited Westeros, I kept trying to fit the story into standard fantasy “boxes,” and thus felt weary of how everything just seemed to keep falling apart after the characters left Winterfell. Now, when I re-watch, Theon’s decision to assault Winterfell makes for a huge turning point in the story:

      When Theon decided to burn his draft ravengram to Robb,

      That image was also a turning point for me. That is, in my humble eyesight, the first truly great visual moment in the series. No dialog, no other actors, just Alfie Allen quietly embodying Theon as he makes the worst decision of his life. The actor, the director, the director of photography, the lighting crew, the warm light of the flame, and the sound of the paper crackling as it burns — all of these performances combined into nothing short of a feast. There were many more great images ahead of us, but that was the one which first had me think, “Hmm. Perhaps this show really does live up to the hype!”

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    158. Mr Derp:
      It’s Monday. I’m sure we could all use something to bring a smile to our faces.I give you the Purple Wedding:

      [Link]

      Game of Thrones has to be the only show that’s ever made a room full of people cheer for the poisoning death of a child.

      Are you only posting Burlington Bar reaction videos on Mondays?
      I hope the return of the Hound (S6e7 cold open) is in your queue of upcoming videos. That was a good one.

      After the limping carrying the log all by himself turned around, and the camera panned up to show his face…the crowd erupted in cheers.

      Like many fans watching at home, some of the bar patrons looked disoriented at first by the odd scene of the villagers at work, without the usual GoT intro and theme music. I remember thinking “Oh f*ck! Am I on the wrong channel? Where’s the damn remote!” Though as soon as I saw Ian McShane directing the sept’s carpenters, I knew it was GoT; and McShane,

      in his infamous pre-S6 “it’s only tits and dragons” interview, had already spoiled the return of Sandor.

      😡

      I await your next Burlington Bar reaction video.

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    159. Mr Derp,

      • Love it! I still enjoy rewatching that moment when Sandor’s surly face appears, followed by the theme music + intro … even though the big surprise was ruined for me the first time around.

      (Gee… blabbermouth McShane disclosing he would only appear in one episode, playing a reformed soldier-turned-priest who brings back a character we thought was dead + “The Broken Man” episode title. Thanks for nothing. 😡)

      • Watching the two videos you posted back to back (Jon Snow resurrection + Sandor’s return), and comparing the bar patrons’ reactions, didn’t it appear that there was more joy from “the Hound is alive!” than “Jon Snow is alive!”?…

      6:32 pm [to be continued in a few minutes]

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    160. Mr Derp,

      (Continued from 6:32 pm)

      The reaction to the return of the Hound reminded me that when I first started watching GoT (during HBO’s pre-Season 4 replay of all 30 episodes in S1 – S3) I never could have imagined that the nasty-looking bodyguard with hardly any dialogue who seemed to be a secondary or even tertiary character, would end up being such a beloved figure.

      I wonder if that’s a tribute to the actor, the author, or both. And maybe the showrunners and casting director. For me, Rory McCann as Sandor Clegane wins Best Lead Actor hands down.

      -End Sandor Fanboying –

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    161. Ten Bears: • Watching the two videos you posted back to back (Jon Snow resurrection + Sandor’s return), and comparing the bar patrons’ reactions, didn’t it appear that there was more joy from “the Hound is alive!” than “Jon Snow is alive!”?…

      Of all the GoT reaction videos I’ve ever seen, IMO, the one scene that gets the most visceral reaction is Jon Snow getting stabbed. Well, other than the Red Wedding, of course.

      The most emotional reaction has to be Hodor (r.i.p.). That was just straight up gut-wrenching. Sometimes I wish that show had commercials just so I could have some time to process everything, but the Hold-the-Door scene happened at the end of the episode. I had nothing but time to process that one, and it was rough.

      IMO, the return of Sandor might’ve received a bigger reaction than Jon Snow’s return because Sandor was more surprising. Everyone knew Jon Snow was coming back. It was just a matter of when and how.

      Sandor’s return was more uplifting, whereas Jon’s return was a sigh of relief.

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    162. Mr Derp,

      ”The most emotional reaction has to be Hodor (r.i.p.). That was just straight up gut-wrenching. Sometimes I wish that show had commercials just so I could have some time to process everything, but the Hold-the-Door scene happened at the end of the episode. I had nothing but time to process that one, and it was rough.”

      Oh boy. When the screen faded to black with Young Wyllis flailing around on the ground, it was so silent in that bar you could hear a pin drop. Or maybe sobbing.

      I’ve said in the past how I thought Jack Bender – and the editors – did an amazing job cutting back and forth between the serene setting in past WF and the sh*tstorm that was about to erupt in the present-day cave. By the time Meera’s urgent plea “Hold the door!” was echoing into the past, and the scenes jumped back and forth between brain-fried Wyllis suffering a seizure in the past while his grown self in the present, with his back to the door, was getting clawed to death by wights… just about anyone who was watching was shell shocked.

      Let me posit that the gut-wrenching reaction to that last frenetic sequence of “The Door” may have “out-mindf*cked” the Red Wedding and Jon’s stabbing: Book readers knew those deaths were coming, and many casual fans of the show had been tipped off to be prepared for a shock.

      The ending of “The Door” was different. Did anyone see that coming? I don’t know anyone who wasn’t taken by surprise by the reveals of Hodor’s tragic origin and horrific (and heroic) death.

      Classic GoT episode.

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    163. Ten Bears,

      The ending of “The Door” was different. Did anyone see that coming?

      Heck, D&D didn’t see it coming! They mentioned (in their “Inside the Episode” commentary for The Door, I believe) how Martin blew their minds by telling them what “Hodor” meant.

      (“Hodor” was one of three plot points Martin told them they had to include. The other two were the death of Shireen Baratheon, and the final twist: Dany was the final villain, and Jon Snow had to assassinate her.)

      There were stretches when Game of Thrones felt like nothing more than a bewildering series of sad, violent injustices. Revealing what “Hodor!” meant was the saddest of them all — the only thing poor Wyllys had done to deserve his fate was to be loyal to his Stark overlords. Earlier in the episode, we see Old Nan trying to protect Wyllys from the Stark children. If only she’d known how much of sh*t job working for the Starks truly is.

      Classic GoT episode.

      Agreed. And “Hodor!” wasn’t even the biggest reveal in The Door — the origin of the NK/WW was. I recall being sad and overwhelmed at the end, both by the tragedy of Hodor, and with all of the other material in the episode. It was truly a turning point in the story.

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    164. Ten Bears,

      The ending of “The Door” was different. Did anyone see that coming? I don’t know anyone who wasn’t taken by surprise by the reveals of Hodor’s tragic origin and horrific (and heroic) death.

      I remember being really shocked and doing a double take — especially because it was mid-season and I wasn’t expecting anything so big at that point. I also never expected “Hodor” to have been from that (past and present crashing, sending young-Hodor into a fit). But it was really well-done.

      I remember all the elevator memes (in real elevators!) after that 🙂 And the door stoppers…

      Oh! I think I remember a Star Trek episode, “The Enemy Within” involving Captain Kirk, that did a take on split personalities much more nuanced than simply Good Kirk and Evil Kirk.

      I’ll try to explain later… Gotta go now.

      Ah, I missed this post, thus my late reply to it! Yeah, that sounds better than a straight-up than Good Janet/Evil Janet!

      Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      I believe the only thing confirmed about GRRM’s ending is Bran becomes king. However, while the Shireen and Hodor plot points were revealed (to us) in 2016, the third moment/major plot point was never revealed was. Your speculation is certainly possible but I don’t recall any confirmation at this time.

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    165. Adrianacandle,

      “I remember being really shocked and doing a double take — especially because it was mid-season and I wasn’t expecting anything so big at that point. I also never expected “Hodor” to have been from that (past and present crashing, sending young-Hodor into a fit). But it was really well-done.”

      • The other thing about Hodor was that we (at least I) got lulled into thinking he was the standard gentle giant/lovable sidekick-type character, whose purpose was to provide some levity and comic relief. I never thought he would be a tragic figure, or that he’d go out in a violent and heroic fashion. Hell, I never contemplated he’d actually die!

      Lovable simpletons are supposed to survive through the end! That’s the rule! Didn’t GRRM get the memo?

        Quote  Reply

    166. Ten Bears,

      The other thing about Hodor was that we (at least I) got lulled into thinking he was the standard gentle giant/lovable sidekick-type character, whose purpose was to provide some levity and comic relief. I never thought he would be a tragic figure, or that he’d go out in a violent and heroic fashion. Hell, I never contemplated he’d actually die!

      Lovable simpletons are supposed to survive through the end! That’s the rule! Didn’t GRRM get the memo?

      I don’t know if GRRM just intended Hodor as only a loveable simpleton and I don’t know if the character’s purpose was only to provide levity. There’s a disturbing aspect with regard to Bran skinchanging into Hodor and what it does to him.

      Because of this, I did see Hodor as kind of tragic already — he was the subject of frequent possession by Bran so Bran could extend his capabilities beyond his now-compromised physical body while Hodor couldn’t do much about it (due to his own limited mental capabilities, inadvertently brought on by Bran).

      I’m not saying Bran meant this maliciously or that he didn’t care for Hodor! Bran was a sweet, caring boy and in the books, I don’t think Bran really realizes what he’s doing to Hodor when he does this or why Hodor is impacted the way he is.

      It seems Bran just views this as “borrowing” Hodor’s body without realizing how badly it impacts Hodor:

      The big stableboy no longer fought him as he had the first time, back in the lake tower during the storm. Like a dog who has had all the fight whipped out of him, Hodor would curl up and hide whenever Bran reached out for him. His hiding place was somewhere deep within him, a pit where not even Bran could touch him. No one wants to hurt you, Hodor, he said silently, to the child-man whose flesh he’d taken. I just want to be strong again for a while. I’ll give it back, the way I always do.

      No one ever knew when he was wearing Hodor’s skin. Bran only had to smile, do as he was told, and mutter “Hodor” from time to time, and he could follow Meera and Jojen, grinning happily, without anyone suspecting it was really him. He often tagged along, whether he was wanted or not. In the end, the Reeds were glad he came. Jojen made it down the rope easily enough, but after Meera caught a blind white fish with her frog spear and it was time to climb back up, his arms began to tremble and he could not make it to the top, so they had to tie the rope around him and let Hodor haul him up. “Hodor,” he grunted every time he gave a pull. “Hodor, hodor, hodor.”

      It’s also considered the worst abomination of a skinchanger for Bran to be doing this to Hodor, per the Varamyr Sixskins chapter in ADWD:

      “Abomination. That had always been Haggon’s favorite word. Abomination, abomination, abomination. To eat of human meat was abomination, to mate as wolf with wolf was abomination, and to seize the body of another man was the worst abomination of all.

      The problem is… nobody told 8-year old Bran so he doesn’t know. He may realize later but right now, it doesn’t seem so.

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    167. Ten Bears,

      Gah! I just reread my response and was concerned about my text-tone — I didn’t mean to come off as firm or harsh! I had read your post when I briefly woke up after finally crashing for an hour in the midst of my 48-hour work marathon and when I fell back to sleep for another two hours, I rolled your comments around in my head and upon waking, I typed them out without much thought to tone T___T

      I’m sorry if I sounded unduly harsh! I was going for “conversational” but I failed there 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    168. Adrianacandle,

      Oh no! You did not come off as harsh at all!
      If anything, my comment was a little flippant on purpose. I meant to convey that in the cookie cutter, standard Hollywood movie or serialized show, there’s often a sidekick or servant to the hero, who’s goofy, mentally feeble, or a font of one-liners. Sometimes he’s the butt of inside jokes. (Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of Joe Pesci in the Lethal Weapon sequels; the hapless cab driver in “Deadpool;” or Chris Tucker in “The Fifth Element.” Maybe Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.” I’m sure I can come up with better examples.)

      I should not have described Hodor as just a “loveable simpleton.” Even without reading the books I could sense there was something more to his terror, e.g., when he heard thunder, and his aversion to violence. There were times when his “Hodor” response to a question wasn’t funny or jolly; it was more like he was saying “F*ck off.”

      Anyway, I was generalizing that most of the time those “sidekick” characters are loyal to the hero and survive the hero.

      P.S. I’m curious: I could not tell from the show if Young Hodor “saw” Avatar Bran in the past; if he was experiencing (and remembered) a waking nightmare of his own adult self getting ripped apart; and if he was consciously aware that Bran had somehow caused his brain damage.

      In one early scene in “The Door” (?) when Bran returned from tripping into the past, he said to Hodor, “You could talk!” I could swear that from the tone of Hodor’s voice, “Hodor” meant “No sh*t.”

      ——-
      Addendum: I can’t edit. Sorry. Cell phone’s acting up or the internet connection is wonky. Lemme go burn something to appease the Lord of Light.

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    169. Ten Bears: Oh no! You did not come off as harsh at all!
      If anything, my comment was a little flippant on purpose. I meant to convey that in the cookie cutter, standard Hollywood movie or serialized show, there’s often a sidekick or servant to the hero, who’s goofy, mentally feeble, or a font of one-liners. Sometimes he’s the butt of inside jokes. (Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of Joe Pesci in the Lethal Weapon sequels; the hapless cab driver in “Deadpool;” or Chris Tucker in “The Fifth Element.” Maybe Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.” I’m sure I can come up with better examples.)

      I should not have described Hodor as just a “loveable simpleton.” Even without reading the books I could sense there was something more to his terror, e.g., when he heard thunder, and his aversion to violence. There were times when his “Hodor” response to a question wasn’t funny or jolly; it was more like he was saying “F*ck off.”

      You were totally fine! When I first read your comment, I remember agreeing with you before I fell back asleep but then I remembered the Bran skinchanging Hodor stuff and what that meant in the books (the impact of which I don’t think was as apparent on the show), which led me down that path in my head!

      P.S. I’m curious: I could not tell from the show if Young Hodor “saw” Avatar Bran in the past; if he was experiencing (and remembered) a waking nightmare of his own adult self getting ripped apart; and if he was consciously aware that Bran had somehow caused his brain damage.

      In one early scene in “The Door” (?) when Bran returned from tripping into the past, he said to Hodor, “You could talk!” I could swear that from the tone of Hodor’s voice, “Hodor” meant “No sh*t.”

      I think Wylas(sp?) did see Bran because when Wylas is looking at Bran, that prompts Bran to turn around, they make eye contact, and Wylas has the seizure.

      It kind of reminded me when Bran goes into the past, to the Tower of Joy where a young Ned is, he yells out, “Father!” and Ned turns around.

      But I’m also uncertain if, after this seizure, Hodor remembered Bran or what caused his mental impairment.

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    170. Adrianacandle,

      Since we’re on the subject, if you have not seen this here’s Ozzy Man’s Review of S6e5, “The Door” (9:07 long).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KbypoBdhrI

      It’s 9:07 long, in his usual rapid-fire style.
      (I had forgotten Kinvara was in the first part of this episode – discussed at 2:00 mark).
      From 3:02 – 5:00 he gets into the Hodor/Hold the Door segment. He praised the episode for many of the reasons we have mentioned.

      ——-

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    171. Ten Bears,

      Thanks!! I love Ozzy Man! Will go watch that now!

      (Also, I’m rewatching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel for the fourth time while I work on furniture construction plans and I think, when you get to it, you’re really going to like it!)

        Quote  Reply

    172. Adrianacandle,

      It kind of reminded me when Bran goes into the past, to the Tower of Joy where a young Ned is, he yells out, “Father!” and Ned turns around.”

      I was not sure of Wyllis heard Meera’s voice echoing from the future through a temporal wormhole, if he saw Bran’s avatar, or if he got caught up in some trippy time loop, or if his brain got overloaded and short-circuited. (Whatever it was – it was well-executed.)

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    173. Ten Bears: I was not sure of Wyllis heard Meera’s voice echoing from the future through a temporal wormhole, if he saw Bran’s avatar, or if he got caught up in some trippy time loop, or if his brain got overloaded and short-circuited. (Whatever it was – it was well-executed.)

      At 2:26 in this clip, I believe Wyllis is staring at Bran, which prompts Bran to turn around, and they make eye contact. At this point, Wyllis’s eyes go white and he starts seizing on the ground:

      And then it’s like there’s a connection between Past Hodor and Future Hodor — almost like the perils of time manipulation are manifesting? (Like in Back to the Future, Umbrella Academy and there are definitely more examples that I’m blanking n right now…)

      Would this have caused Wyllis to short circuit? Ned didn’t see Bran, he only heard him, but for some reason, it seems Wyllis could see Bran…

      (But yes, well-executed!)

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    174. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      (Also, I’m rewatching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel for the fourth time while I work on furniture construction plans and I think, when you get to it, you’re really going to like it!)

      I really ought to. It’s a few keystrokes away. I was up against a work deadline…and found out last night it’s been extended for a week.
      Dilemma: (a) Finish up what I was working on; or (b) Binge-watch Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

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    175. Ten Bears: I really ought to. It’s a few keystrokes away. I was up against a work deadline…and found out last night it’s been extended for a week.
      Dilemma: (a) Finish up what I was working on; or (b) Binge-watch Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

      Oh yay! I love that you’re so close!

      If you do a first, I think you’ll enjoy b more 🙂 🙂 🙂

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    176. Adrianacandle,

      It’s probably for the best that text I’d been thumb typing got zapped when the Lord of Light arbitrarily decided to “refresh this web page.”

      I was going to compare being blindsided by the death of Hodor to how I would have felt if Hot Pie’s reunion with Arya ended not with a fond farewell and Hot Pie’s assurance he’d be fine*, but with a scene similar to the WW assault on the cave in S6e5, e.g., the Crossroads Inn suddenly coming under attack.

      I started to imagine how it would play out if Hot Pie heroically defended Arya and sacrificed himself so she could escape…

      👨🏼‍🍳 🥧🥄👸🏻🗡
      ……………
      * [Paraphrasing]:
      Arya: “Goodbye Hot Pie. Don’t get yourself killed.”
      Hot Pie: “Nah, I won’t. I’m like you, Arry. I’m a survivor.”

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    177. Ten Bears: Arya: “Goodbye Hot Pie. Don’t get yourself killed.”
      Hot Pie: “Nah, I won’t. I’m like you, Arry. I’m a survivor.”

      Oh, Hot Pie is testing out Murphy’s Law!

      Don’t do it, Hot Pie!

      That would be very sad — and for Westeros too. I don’t know how many devoted bakers there are in Westeros but the country would have lost one of its greats 🙁

      This reminded me of a passage from AGOT Arya II and I don’t know why. Maybe because it mentions pies and I read it recently? Anyway, I thought you’d very much enjoy it 🙂

      Arya had loved nothing better than to sit at her father’s table and listen to them talk. She had loved listening to the men on the benches too; to freeriders tough as leather, courtly knights and bold young squires, grizzled old men-at-arms. She used to throw snowballs at them and help them steal pies from the kitchen. Their wives gave her scones and she invented names for their babies and played monsters-and-maidens and hide-the-treasure and come-into-my-castle with their children. Fat Tom used to call her “Arya Underfoot,” because he said that was where she always was. She’d liked that a lot better than “Arya Horseface.”

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    178. Adrianacandle,

      ”Arya had loved nothing better than to sit at her father’s table and listen to them talk. She had loved listening to the men on the benches too; to freeriders tough as leather, courtly knights and bold young squires, grizzled old men-at-arms. She used to throw snowballs at them and help them steal pies from the kitchen….
      Fat Tom used to call her “Arya Underfoot,” because he said that was where she always was.”

      Yes, thank you, I did very much enjoy reading that.
      Arya reminiscing about being a little girl in WF, her interactions with her father’s men,
      and in particular, the term of endearment “Arya Underfoot,” brought to mind one of the handful of book passages I have read: When Arya recognizes Harwin as a member of the BwoB, but he does not recognize her – at first.

      After she cries out [something like] “You have to know me”, reminding him that he used to lead her pony when she was a little girl, Harwin says something like: “Gods be good! Arya Underfoot!”

      (That passage was frequently quoted in online surveys of book readers’ favorite passages or most emotional passages. That’s why I am familiar with it – and really like it.)

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    179. Ten Bears: Yes, thank you, I did very much enjoy reading that.
      Arya reminiscing about being a little girl in WF, her interactions with her father’s men,
      and in particular, the term of endearment “Arya Underfoot,” brought to mind one of the handful of book passages I have read: When Arya recognizes Harwin as a member of the BwoB, but he does not recognize her – at first.

      After she cries out [something like] “You have to know me”, reminding him that he used to lead her pony when she was a little girl, Harwin says something like: “Gods be good! Arya Underfoot!”

      (That passage was frequently quoted in online surveys of book readers’ favorite passages or most emotional passages. That’s why I am familiar with it – and really like it.)

      Oh! I didn’t know that! I don’t often participate in surveys but I’m glad its among other readers’ favourites! I think it provides such a great visual and look into what Arya was like at Winterfell… making friends with everybody and anyone she could, loving their stories, and just generally being everywhere 🙂

      The Harwin passage you reference…!

      A more ragged band Arya had never seen, but there was nothing ragged about the swords, axes, and bows they carried. One or two gave her curious glances as they entered, but no one said a word. A one-eyed man in a rusty pothelm sniffed the air and grinned, while an archer with a head of stiff yellow hair was shouting for ale. After them came a spearman in a lioncrested helm, an older man with a limp, a Braavosi sellsword, a…

      “Harwin?” Arya whispered. It was! Under the beard and the tangled hair was the face of Hullen’s son, who used to lead her pony around the yard, ride at quintain with Jon and Robb, and drink too much on feast days. He was thinner, harder somehow, and at Winterfell he had never worn a beard, but it was him-her father’s man. “Harwin!” Squirming, she threw herself forward, trying to wrench free of Lem’s iron grip. “It’s me,” she shouted, “Harwin, it’s me, don’t you know me, don’t you?” The tears came, and she found herself weeping like a baby, just like some stupid little girl. “Harwin, it’s me!”

      Harwin’s eyes went from her face to the flayed man on her doublet. “How do you know me?” he said, frowning suspiciously. “The flayed man… who are you, some serving boy to Lord Leech?”

      For a moment she did not know how to answer. She’d had so many names. Had she only dreamed Arya Stark? “I’m a girl,” she sniffed. “I was Lord Bolton’s cupbearer but he was going to leave me for the goat, so I ran off with Gendry and Hot Pie. You have to know me! You used to lead my pony, when I was little.”

      His eyes went wide. “Gods be good,” he said in a choked voice. “Arya Underfoot? Lem, let go of her.”

      “She broke my nose.” Lem dumped her unceremoniously to the floor. “Who in seven hells is she supposed to be?”

      “The Hand’s daughter.” Harwin went to one knee before her. “Arya Stark, of Winterfell.”

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    180. Adrianacandle,

      ”Oh! I didn’t know that! I don’t often participate in surveys but I’m glad its among other readers’ favourites! I think it provides such a great visual visual and look into what Arya was like at Winterfell… making friends with everybody and anyone she could, loving their stories, and just generally being everywhere 🙂”

      Maybe it wasn’t a “survey.” I’m trying to remember… When I first started watching the show, I probably did a google search for something related to the on-screen credits of George RR Martin or the title of his book series. (I had never heard of him or ASOIAF before.)

      Among the top search result previews were
      questions like “What is your favorite scene in ASOIAF?” or “What is the most emotional passage in ASOIAF?” with links to fan sites. I was curious, and clicked on them.

      Anyway, as I recall, the book passages most frequently quoted by respondents to both questions included some that were recognizable from the TV adaptation, and several that were not.

      The Harwin “You have to know me!” passage was quoted a lot. I was kind of surprised this dialogue-rich, emotional scene was not adapted for the TV show. (Several other passages consisted of a character’s unspoken inner thoughts, internal monologues, or memories; as we’ve discussed, it’s understandable that these types of passages can’t always make the transition from text to screen.)

      As you noted, I thought this passage illuminated aspects of Arya’s character and back story, e.g., her “identity crisis,” and her former life in WF and gregarious nature (“making friends with everybody and anyone she could, loving their stories, and just generally being everywhere.” 🙂)

      Call me a sucker for sentimentality: Big G elicited the “feels” in the payoff to that short passage:

      “…You have to know me! You used to lead my pony, when I was little.”

      His eyes went wide. “Gods be good,” he said in a choked voice. “Arya Underfoot? Lem, let go of her.”

      “She broke my nose.” Lem dumped her unceremoniously to the floor. “Who in seven hells is she supposed to be?”

      The Hand’s daughter.”Harwin went to one knee before her. “Arya Stark, of Winterfell.”

      ___________
      (*TB confesses that after reading this passage: The tears came, and he found himself weeping like a baby, just like some stupid little boy.*)

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    181. Adrianacandle,

      I was going to describe a few other books! passages that I recalled were frequently cited by respondents as their “favorite” or “most emotional.” My internet connection is wobbly again. (Could be the thunderstorms outside.) Maybe I’ll try again later…

      Stray Thought: I hope GRRM doesn’t think he has to write unforgettable scenes in every chapter of TWOW. A halfway decent, serviceable book would be fine with me. Then I’d start binge-reading the series.

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    182. Ten Bears,

      Maybe it wasn’t a “survey.” I’m trying to remember… When I first started watching the show, I probably did a google search for something related to the on-screen credits of George RR Martin or the title of his book series. (I had never heard of him or ASOIAF before.)

      You know, I hadn’t heard of ASOIAF before hearing about GoT in 2011 either but I later learned one of my best friends had already read the published books well before this point (books 1-4) and was following GRRM on her own livejournal (she’s the one I previously referenced who accidentally insulted GRRM, earning a “Are you suggesting that I am not young and hot? I am deeply wounded. *sobs*” response from him 😆). It’s only after I read the books at that point (including book 5 that July) I learned she was already familiar with the (book) series.

      But she’s also the reason why I ended up reading so many of the books I did…

      Call me a sucker for sentimentality: Big G elicited the “feels” in the payoff to that short passage:

      You know what that passage always reminded me of? That scene in A Little Princess when Sara is begging her father to remember her… 🙂 But yes, that Arya passage in ASOS is wonderful.

      A halfway decent, serviceable book would be fine with me. Then I’d start binge-reading the series.

      I remember there was a point in the past where I would have balked at this but now? Yep. However, I don’t think GRRM agrees…

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    183. Adrianacandle,

      For now, a follow up comment and questions about the Harwin passage. (I’m trying to list the other “favorite” books passages I remember; some only by general description since they did not make it into the show.) Again, please forgive the long-windedness. Editing features are not cooperating this evening:

      • Yes! A Little Princess! Sarah’s crying out “Papa!” to her amnesiac father Davos Seaworth who didn’t recognize her at first, had the similar feel to the Harwin/Arya passage.

      • I am not quite sure why the Harwin scene as written was not adapted for the show. Could it be because the reveal of Arya’s identity to the BwoB was handled differently on the show? (Caveat:As you know, I am not familiar with all of the details of Arya’s encounters with the BwoB in the books.)

      On the show, Thoros and his BwoB band were not aware at first that the three Harrenhal escapees they encountered on the road and “invited” to join them at the inn included Ned Stark’s daughter. The reveal of Arya’s true identity to the BwoB occurred when a captured prisoner (the Hound) was brought in and he recognized her: “What in seven hells are you doing with the Stark bitch?”

      In the quoted book passage, when Harwin tells Lem, “let go of her,” he replies: “Who in seven hells is she supposed to be?”
      That implies (to me) that the book! BwoB
      were not aware of Arya’s identity until she herself reminded Harwin who she really was, and Harwin acknowledged it (and replied to Lem that she was “Arya Stark, of Winterfell.”)
      Presumably there was no Hound and no Thoros in that particular book! scene.

      I know this book-to-show divergence is not a big deal. From a narrative standpoint maybe there’s not much difference between book! Lem demanding “Who in seven hells is she supposed to be?” and show! Sandor demanding “What in seven hells are you doing with the Stark bitch?”

      I was merely observing that book readers were impressed by the scene as written by GRRM, and found it to be dramatically effective and emotionally resonant.
      Yet, it seems to me the book! passage could still have been easily adapted for the show, e.g., in a brief scene in which Arya encounters one of her “father’s men” who does not recognize her at first. They wouldn’t need to change much of the dialogue GRRM had written. I wonder if there was anything in show! canon that made this impractical.

        Quote  Reply

    184. Ten Bears: I am not quite sure why the Harwin scene as written was not adapted for the show. Could it be because the reveal of Arya’s identity to the BwoB was handled differently on the show? (Caveat:As you know, I am not familiar with all of the details of Arya’s encounters with the BwoB in the books.)

      On the show, Thoros and his BwoB band were not aware at first that the three Harrenhal escapees they encountered on the road and “invited” to join them at the inn included Ned Stark’s daughter. The reveal of Arya’s true identity to the BwoB occurred when a captured prisoner (the Hound) was brought in and he recognized her: “What in seven hells are you doing with the Stark bitch?”

      In the quoted book passage, when Harwin tells Lem, “let go of her,” he replies: “Who in seven hells is she supposed to be?”
      That implies (to me) that the book! BwoB
      were not aware of Arya’s identity until she herself reminded Harwin who she really was, and Harwin acknowledged it (and replied to Lem that she was “Arya Stark, of Winterfell.”)
      Presumably there was no Hound and no Thoros in that particular book! scene.

      You’re right, there is no Hound and Thoros in the book counterpart to this scene. I think the reason why the Harwin passage couldn’t be adapted for the show is because in the show, there was nobody in the Brotherhood Without Banners who knew Arya from her childhood at Winterfell like Harwin did. Harwin was somebody Arya had good memories of and had a previous relationship with so it makes sense she’d make that plea to Harwin.

      The only one in the show scenario who could have recognized Arya was the Hound. Because they didn’t have that previous relationship Arya had with Harwin and because Arya mistrusted the Hound and did not view him well (particularly due to the Mycah Incident), I don’t think a similar scene could have gone down between Arya and the Hound here.

      I’d love to copy and paste the whole chapter in which the book counterpart to this scene happens (ASOS, Arya II) but here’s screen shot the wiki summary for that chapter if you’re interested 🙂

      Harwin is one of the 120 men Ned sends with Beric to find the Mountain. However, Tywin — expecting Ned to ride out himself — lured them into a trap and most of these men were killed. Yet, because Ned was injured from his fight with Jaime, Ned couldn’t go himself. In the meantime, Harwin and Beric and the other survivors formed the Brotherhood Without Banners to continue their mission to find Gregor, fight for Robert, and protect the smallfolk.

        Quote  Reply

    185. Musical Interlude
      Dedicated to King Bran (and to those suggesting Bran was the best candidate to usher in changes)

      🎶So if you’re tired of the
      Same old story
      Oh, turn some pages
      I will be here when you are ready
      To roll with the changes
      🎵

      REO Speedwagon, “Roll With The Changes” (1978)
      Music Video (song starts at 0:48)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeHkaSH0Xw8

      +
      “Roll With the Changes” live (REO Speedwagon on The Midnight Special)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2TrBVCzrQo

      ”Keep on rolling 🧑🏻‍🦽
      Keep on rolling 🤴🏻
      You got to roll with the changes”

        Quote  Reply

    186. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      LOL I love the rolling theme!

      I will listen to these up my return home from laser time! 🙂

      Correction! I messed up the second link above. It was supposed to be REO Speedwagon live on The Midnight Special. I cut and pasted a link to the wrong song. Sorry. Let me try again…

      Also, if you’re going to listen to the song while working, I’m including a clean audio/only version.

      —-
      “Roll with the Changes” REO Speedwagon
      Live on The Midnight Special
      (5:23 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGgLPriZUSA

      ——-
      “Roll with the Changes” (1978)
      REO Speedwagon (audio 5:35 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEidbkibsiE

      🤴🏻♿️

        Quote  Reply

    187. Ten Bears,

      Just listened! Thanks for the new link!

      That song seems oddly appropriate to Bran XD “So if you’re tired of the same old story…. I will be here when you’re ready… to roll with the changes…”

        Quote  Reply

    188. Adrianacandle,

      BTW, I thought that was one of the rare instances when a live performance sounded just as good or better than the studio version.

      Q: Should the next Musical Interlude be:
      🔘 A live Elton John performance that I thought was better than the album version? (This was the video of the upbeat song that made me feel wistful watching a carefree audience smiling and dancing along); or
      🔘 A dedication to Jorah 💘 Dragon Princess Dany; or
      🔘 A dedication to Bran nka 3ER, and the S8e3 Audience/Melisandre/Lord of Light?
      🔘 A dedication to Arya (sailing away at the end of S4 & end of S8)?

        Quote  Reply

    189. Ten Bears: 🔘 A live Elton John performance that I thought was better than the album version? (This was the video of the upbeat song that made me feel wistful watching a carefree audience smiling and dancing along); or

      This one please!! I’m still curious 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    190. Adrianacandle,

      Fair enough.

      Below is a link to Elton John performing “Club at the End of the Street.” I believe it sounds better than the studio version and the official music video. (Maybe you can see why it bummed me out a little to see crowd of happy people enjoying a communal experience at a concert – something that’s no longer possible, at least for the foreseeable future. 😔)

      Since I usually like to post songs that have some arguable connection to GoT, either in their lyrics or at least in their titles, I’m also including a link to “I’m Still Standing” from the same 2000 concert as a tribute to Ser Jorah Mormont of Bear Island.

      • Elton John, “Club at the End of the Street” (live, 2000, at Madison Square Garden)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKVXBHU_34c

      • Elton John, “I’m Still Standing” live (2000)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lStMeII_yM

      🐻

        Quote  Reply

    191. Ten Bears,

      Thanks!

      I certainly see where that’d make you wistful — that place was packed with people moving along to the music, something that seems so out of reach now. I can’t tell you the things I’d appreciate so much more now in a post-covid world. A packed train car, probably not, but stuff like this (concerts), absolutely, or just going maskless and easy-breathing in the library… Masks are now mandated at most places in the city and on public transit, which I think is a good thing but damn, masks, they can be stuffy.

      However, there are some good options for saving your ears from the pressure of the mask’s elastics! That makes mask wearing way easier!

      At least summer is passing and the week-long fall, 5-month winter will provide colder air, making it easier to breathe 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    192. Ten Bears: Below is a link to Elton John performing “Club at the End of the Street.” I believe it sounds better than the studio version and the official music video. (Maybe you can see why it bummed me out a little to see crowd of happy people enjoying a communal experience at a concert – something that’s no longer possible, at least for the foreseeable future. 😔)

      Oh, and I also wanted to say — you’re right!! That is a good trampoline song!! I’m going to try it out!

        Quote  Reply

    193. Adrianacandle,

      ”…That is a good trampoline song!! I’m going to try it out!”

      Maybe I’ll suggest a few more bouncy songs* later? I’ve got to sand a few projects in between doing actual work.

      * Hmmm… Will it be a stretch to tie Beric “Cold winds are rising in the north” Dondarrion to these lyrics?

      🎶When you see the shadows falling
      When you hear that cold wind calling
      Hold on tight to your dream.

        Quote  Reply

    194. Ten Bears,

      Maybe I’ll suggest a few more bouncy songs* later? I’ve got to sand a few projects in between doing actual work.

      Yes, please!!!

      * Hmmm… Will it be a stretch to tie Beric “Cold winds are rising in the north” Dondarrion to these lyrics?

      🎶When you see the shadows falling
      When you hear that cold wind calling
      Hold on tight to your dream.

      I’m going to say that works! I wish we did know what his dream was… It’d be great to have a Beric POV 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    195. Dame of Mercia:
      Adrianacandle,

      Shame book Beric gave his last life to save Lady Not Appearing in the series.

      Wasn’t show! Beric an improvement?
      Although the book! and show! timelines don’t match up perfectly, and of course the BwoB side story with “Lady Not Appearing in the series” wasn’t included in the show, from what I remember some book readers were assuming show! Beric would meet his demise shortly after meeting up with the Hound again in S6e8.

      I have previously asked whether Beric was the rare example of a show! character who outlived his or her book! counterpart. (Usually, the show “prematurely” killed off book! characters.) As I recall, book readers advised that only a couple of other (minor) book! characters predeceased their show! counterparts. [One of Dany’s handmaidens?]

      I for one really liked Richard Dormer – one of the show’s Voice Superstars – and the extended storyline for Beric on the show, especially his interactions with Jon in S7e6, and his recruitment of and pairing with Sandor from S6e8 through S8e3 (eg, their theological discussion in S7e1, and laughing off Sandor’s insults throughout).

      Am I correct that book readers would agree that Beric sacrificing his last life for Arya in S8e3 was much more satisfying (and exciting) than sacrificing his last life to resurrect decomposing floater (Corpse Cat) in the books?

        Quote  Reply

    196. Ten Bears,

      Although the book! and show! timelines don’t match up perfectly, and of course the BwoB side story with “Lady Not Appearing in the series” wasn’t included in the show, from what I remember some book readers were assuming show! Beric would meet his demise shortly after meeting up with the Hound again in S6e8.

      I don’t know that I’d say improvement, I’d say different.

      Beric has a different role in the books and is a bit of a different character. He’s a young, capable knight and the object of crushes — a bit of a dreamboat (although Sansa considers him “old” because he’s 22 ;D). He seems to be sort of like the archetype of a dreamy, charismatic, skilled knight but he becomes more broken the more he’s brought back. He commits himself fully to his causes: fighting a guerilla war against the Lannisters and perhaps more than that, defending the smallfolk. Yet he’s irrevocably broken with pieces of himself missing and a fractured identity as a cost to his multiple lives. Much of Beric’s story is shrouded in mystery in the books and I think this also makes Beric kind of a legend in-universe:

      Jeyne Poole confessed herself frightened by the look of Jalabhar Xho, an exile prince from the Summer Isles who wore a cape of green and scarlet feathers over skin as dark as night, but when she saw young Lord Beric Dondarrion, with his hair like red gold and his black shield slashed by lightning, she pronounced herself willing to marry him on the instant.

      “I’ll come,” offered Strongboar. “Once we’re done at Riverrun, I’ll be itching for another fight. Not that Beric Dondarrion is like to give me one. I recall the man from tourneys past. A comely lad in a pretty cloak, he was. Slight and callow.”

      “Was there ever a war where only one side bled?” Her uncle gave a shake of the head. “The riverlands are awash in blood and flame all around the Gods Eye. The fighting has spread south to the Blackwater and north across the Trident, almost to the Twins. Marq Piper and Karyl Vance have won some small victories, and this southron lordling Beric Dondarrion has been raiding the raiders, falling upon Lord Tywin’s foraging parties and vanishing back into the woods. It’s said that Ser Burton Crakehall was boasting that he’d slain Dondarrion, until he led his column into one of Lord Beric’s traps and got every man of them killed.”

      “Some of Ned’s guard from King’s Landing are with this Lord Beric,” Catelyn recalled. “May the gods preserve them.”

      The ones chosen were questioned in full view of the other captives, so they could see the fate of rebels and traitors. A man the others called the Tickler asked the questions. His face was so ordinary and his garb so plain that Arya might have thought him one of the villagers before she had seen him at his work. “Tickler makes them howl so hard they piss themselves,” old stoop-shoulder Chiswyck told them. He was the man she’d tried to bite, who’d called her a fierce little thing and smashed her head with a mailed fist. Sometimes he helped the Tickler. Sometimes others did that. Ser Gregor Clegane himself would stand motionless, watching and listening, until the victim died.

      The questions were always the same. Was there gold hidden in the village? Silver, gems? Was there more food? Where was Lord Beric Dondarrion? Which of the village folk had aided him? When he rode off, where did he go? How many men were with them? How many knights, how many bowmen, how many men-at-arms? How were they armed? How many were horsed? How many were wounded? What other enemy had they seen? How many? When? What banners did they fly? Where did they go? Was there gold hidden in the village? Silver, gems? Where was Lord Beric Dondarrion? How many men were with him? By the third day, Arya could have asked the questions herself.

      They found a little gold, a little silver, a great sack of copper pennies, and a dented goblet set with garnets that two soldiers almost came to blows over. They learned that Lord Beric had ten starvelings with him, or else a hundred mounted knights; that he had ridden west, or north, or south; that he had crossed the lake in a boat; that he was strong as an aurochs or weak from the bloody flux. No one ever survived the Tickler’s questioning; no man, no woman, no child. The strongest lasted past evenfall. Their bodies were hung beyond the fires for the wolves.

      King Robert’s brothers Stannis and Renly had joined the fighting, she heard. “And both of them kings now,” Weese said. “Realm’s got more kings than a castle’s got rats.” Even Lannister men questioned how long Joffrey would hold the Iron Throne. “The lad’s got no army but them gold cloaks, and he’s ruled by a eunuch, a dwarf, and a woman,” she heard a lordling mutter in his cups. “What good will the likes of them be if it comes to battle?” There was always talk of Beric Dondarrion. A fat archer once said the Bloody Mummers had slain him, but the others only laughed. “Lorch killed the man at Rushing Falls, and the Mountain’s slain him twice. Got me a silver stag says he don’t stay dead this time neither.”

      The next morning Lord Tywin hanged them both from the gatehouse walls, along with one of Lord Lydden’s archers. Weese said the archer had started all the trouble by taunting the sellswords over Beric Dondarrion.

      In the light of day, Ser Amory Lorch looked less frightening than he had by torchlight, but he still had the pig’s eyes she recalled. One of the women said that his men had ridden all the way around the lake chasing Beric Dondarrion and slaying rebels.

      Lord Beric Dondarrion. Arya remembered all she’d heard at Harrenhal, from the Lannisters and the Bloody Mummers alike. Lord Beric the wisp o’ the wood. Lord Beric who’d been killed by Vargo Hoat and before that by Ser Amory Lorch, and twice by the Mountain That Rides.

      “Dondarrion’s dead,” said Strongboar. “The Mountain drove a knife through his eye, we have men with us who saw it.”
      “That’s one tale,” said Addam Marbrand. “Others will tell you that Lord Beric can’t be killed.”
      “Ser Harwyn says those tales are lies.” Lady Amerei wound a braid around her finger. “He has promised me Lord Beric’s head. He’s very gallant.” She was blushing beneath her tears.

      “Your lightning lord’s not the only man who knows how to tie a noose. Don’t get me started on Lord Beric. He’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere, but when you send men after him, he melts away like dew. The river lords are helping him, never doubt it. A bloody marcher lord, if you can believe it. One day you hear the man is dead, the next they’re saying how he can’t be killed.” Ser Daven put his wine cup down. “My scouts report fires in the high places at night. Signal fires, they think . . . as if there were a ring of watchers all around us. And there are fires in the villages as well. Some new god . . .”

      No, an old one. “Thoros is with Dondarrion, the fat Myrish priest who used to drink with Robert.” His golden hand was on the table. Jaime touched it and watched the gold glimmer in the sullen light of the braziers. “We’ll deal with Dondarrion if we have to, but the Blackfish must come first. He has to know his cause is hopeless. Have you tried to treat with him?”

      _____

      Am I correct that book readers would agree that Beric sacrificing his last life for Arya in S8e3 was much more satisfying (and exciting) than sacrificing his last life to resurrect decomposing floater (Corpse Cat) in the books?

      I’m not sure about this. From what I’ve seen, I haven’t encountered a book reader expressing this opinion. There’s also that Lady Stoneheart is a popular character among the book fandom and Beric is a bit different in the books.

      I have previously asked whether Beric was the rare example of a show! character who outlived his or her book! counterpart. (Usually, the show “prematurely” killed off book! characters.) As I recall, book readers advised that only a couple of other (minor) book! characters predeceased their show! counterparts. [One of Dany’s handmaidens?]

      Yes, as well as Kevan Lannister and Pycelle, as Tiago mentioned in our previous discussion 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    197. Adrianacandle,

      ”… I wish we did know what his [Beric’s] dream was…It’d be great to have a Beric POV”

      I’m satisfied with my “head canon” interpretation that although show! Beric initially couldn’t understand why the Lord of Light kept bringing him back (e.g. in conversations with Sandor in S7e1 and Jon in S7e6), by the time of his reunion with Arya in S8e2 he had a premonition that he had been brought together with her for a divine purpose:

      (S7e2, Beric, Sandor & Arya, at 1:30):

      Beric: “My lady. It’s good to see you again. I’m sorry we parted the way we did.”
      Sandor: “Was he on your list?”
      Arya: “For a little while.”
      Beric: “That’s alright. The Lord of Light has brought us together all the same. This is his moment.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBiz2O83b2c

      Melisandre’s explanation in the next episode after Beric’s heroic self-sacrifice that the Lord of Light had brought him back for a reason, and now that purpose had been served, worked better for me than the way book! Beric went out.

      I’m assuming Beric’s Lord of Light-inspired dream was to travel north to fight in the Great War and somehow play a part in saving humanity.

      Speculation aside… I just loved it every time he ignited that flaming sword. 🔥 🗡

        Quote  Reply

    198. Ten Bears,

      For me, despite my never being a fan of the idea of Lady Stoneheart (the worst parts of Catelyn, a walking husk of who she was in life) and I know that’s a very unpopular opinion (particularly among the book fandom), I like the themes and archetypes explored with book!Beric (as explained above!). I think I prefer those. Not to say I minded at all when show!Beric was on-screen but I like book!Beric’s story a bit better. He’s kind of a myth to readers and in-universe, like the Westerosi hot young Robin Hood whose real story is never actually known and differs depending on the teller. However, the few who do know the true story of and what bits we do get of his actual story are of tragedy, a broken sense of self, and loss.

      If I were to guess, I think book!Beric made his mission about defending the smallfolk and defeating the Lannisters. I wish we got his POV on his outlook leading up to his decision to bring Catelyn back but then again, I saw people point out this would destroy the mystique and mystery of his story, which I think is a feature. It sort of shows the difference between perception (Beric’s reputation in Westeros) and reality (a broken man who has paid a toll time and time again).

        Quote  Reply

    199. Adrianacandle,

      BTW: I’m remembering that one of the book readers’ consensus “favorite” or “most emotional” passages was a speech by Beric or a conversation between Beric and Thoros about the pieces of Beric or his memories that are sloughed off each time he was resurrected.

      That passage ends with Beric asking Thoros [something like]: “Are you my mother, Thoros?”

      (I’m sure you know what passage I’m trying to describe.)

        Quote  Reply

    200. Ten Bears: That passage ends with Beric asking Thoros [something like]: “Are you my mother, Thoros?”

      (I’m sure you know what passage I’m trying to describe.)

      I do!

      “Even brave men blind themselves sometimes, when they are afraid to see,” Lord Beric said when Lem was gone. “Thoros, how many times have you brought me back now?”

      The red priest bowed his head. “It is R’hllor who brings you back, my lord. The Lord of Light. I am only his instrument.”

      “How many times?” Lord Beric insisted.

      “Six,” Thoros said reluctantly. “And each time is harder. You have grown reckless, my lord. Is death so very sweet?”

      “Sweet? No, my friend. Not sweet.”

      “Then do not court it so. Lord Tywin leads from the rear. Lord Stannis as well. You would be wise to do the same. A seventh death might mean the end of both of us.”

      Lord Beric touched the spot above his left ear where his temple was caved in. “Here is where Ser Burton Crakehall broke helm and head with a blow of his mace.” He unwound his scarf, exposing the black bruise that encircled his neck. “Here the mark the manticore made at Rushing Falls. He seized a poor beekeeper and his wife, thinking they were mine, and let it be known far and wide that he would hang them both unless I gave myself up to him. When I did he hanged them anyway, and me on the gibbet between them.” He lifted a finger to the raw red pit of his eye. “Here is where the Mountain thrust his dirk through my visor.” A weary smile brushed his lips. “That’s thrice I have died at the hands of House Clegane. You would think that I might have learned…”

      It was a jest, Arya knew, but Thoros did not laugh. He put a hand on Lord Beric’s shoulder. “Best not to dwell on it.”

      “Can I dwell on what I scarce remember? I held a castle on the Marches once, and there was a woman I was pledged to marry, but I could not find that castle today, nor tell you the color of that woman’s hair. Who knighted me, old friend? What were my favorite foods? It all fades. Sometimes I think I was born on the bloody grass in that grove of ash, with the taste of fire in my mouth and a hole in my chest. Are you my mother, Thoros?”

        Quote  Reply

    201. Ten Bears,

      Oh wow, thanks!!!

      P.S. There are some verses in French. I’m not sure what mean. I’m guessing it’s the chorus, “Hold on tight to your dream” in French?)

      Ideally, because grade schools in Canada make French class mandatory, I should know this but… I don’t 🙁 I would think about anything else but French in French class. I regret that now…

        Quote  Reply

    202. Ten Bears: P.S. There are some verses in French. I’m not sure what mean. I’m guessing it’s the chorus, “Hold on tight to your dream” in French?)

      I confirm ! It sounds like the French version of the chorus (“accroche-toi à ton rêve= hold on to your dream”… “quand tu sens que ton cœur est brisé”= when you feel that your heart is broken). But the translation sounds clumsy (very– too–literal) and the English accent is so thick I didn’t understand the sentence in between (I’m French…). Sounds like some French bands trying to sing in English !

        Quote  Reply

    203. Ten Bears:
      Thanks!

      Now as long as we’re on the subject of bouncy trampoline songs…. Should we go further down into an ELO rabbit hole with a couple of songs from the soundtrack of a Guilty Pleasure movie?

      Absolutely!!

      I kind of love the soundtrack to Mean Girls…. (also love the movie!)

        Quote  Reply

    204. Adrianacandle,

      Wait. I might have a segue….
      Didn’t you say something recently about the song “Good Morning”? From the movie “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly? *

      “Good Morning” – Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds & Donald O’Connor, from “Singing in the Rain” (1952)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu6–WBPBHo


      “Singing in the Rain” – Gene Kelly song and dance number

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ZYhVpdXbQ

      ☔️

      * I’m assuming you did…

        Quote  Reply

    205. Ten Bears: Wait. I might have a segue….
      Didn’t you say something recently about the song “Good Morning”? From the movie “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly? *

      * I’m assuming you did…

      Oh!!! I’ve said multiple things about “Good Morning”! It’s my top fave earworm and it’s what both my Nana and mum would (still) sing to a groggy, grumpy me and those other kids (my sisters) in the morning!! 🙂

      Thanks for posting these!! I love this song! ;;

        Quote  Reply

    206. About Beric’s changed storyline Adriana said:- “I don’t know that I’d say improvement, I’d say different.”.

      I’ve mentioned before (not on this thread) that one way I coped with the more loose adaptations of the books from season 5 was to think of them as a different version of the same tale (I’ll cut the showrunners some slack for the later series because they didn’t have original matter to work from any longer). The King Arthur story came presumably from a lost Welsh original, was recorded by Mallory as the Morte D’Arthur, elements of the story found themselves into some French medieval poems and there have been different treatments of the story through the ages since then. I found show Davos more interesting than book Davos whose main function seemed to be to give insight to Stannis as book Stannis wasn’t a POV character. I know that in the books we’ve only heard about them and not actually met the (possibly) dangerous unicorns of Skagos (where book Davos was reputedly headed) but I found it hard to take the unicorns seriously because I kept thinking of “Ricky the Carnivorous Pony” in “Honky Tonk Freeway” (1981 film).

        Quote  Reply

    207. Dame of Mercia: I know that in the books we’ve only heard about them and not actually met the (possibly) dangerous unicorns of Skagos (where book Davos was reputedly headed) but I found it hard to take the unicorns seriously because I kept thinking of “Ricky the Carnivorous Pony” in “Honky Tonk Freeway” (1981 film).

      Oh wow! I looked this up and found this thread. I’m so grateful I only learned about this now and not as a kid! (Return to Oz made me wary of desserts, clocks, ruby keys, pumpkins, mirrors, chickens, moose, women with exchangeable heads, cannibalistic stones…)

      Would have ruined My Little Pony for me 😉

      But I also must know more…

      (And nice way to look at adaptation vs source!)

        Quote  Reply

    208. A serious subject but treated in an amusing way – William Macgonagall (died in the early 20th century) who has been described as the worst poet in Scotland wrote about The Tay Bridge Disaster (which was a horrible event). Macgonagall was sort of a poetic equivalent of Florence Foster Jenkins. People bought his poetry to laugh at. https://youtu.be/EXWbEW4OvW0

      Adrianacandle,

      Well, the pony was fictional – in a story one of the characters in the film was writing. A real pony (herbivorous) occurs part way through the film but some kids think he is ‘Ricky’ and much hilarity ensues (without harm to pony or kids). I can’t find a relevant clip unfortunately.

        Quote  Reply

    209. Dame of Mercia: Well, the pony was fictional – in a story one of the characters in the film was writing. A real pony (herbivorous) occurs part way through the film but some kids think he is ‘Ricky’ and much hilarity ensues (without harm to pony or kids). I can’t find a relevant clip unfortunately.

      The idea of a carnivorous pony named Ricky is intriguing (and amusing) in sort of an Edward Gorey/Hilaire Belloc kind of way… 🙂 (In this book, the first story is titled, “Jim, who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion.” It’s a great book full of valuable life lessons.)

      But I’m going to look into that film, Honky Tonk Freeway!

        Quote  Reply

    210. Adrianacandle,

      Part 1

      Here we go down the ELO rabbit hole…
      Segue from Gene Kelly in “Singing in the Rain” (1952). Fast forward 28 years to:

      “All Over the World” – ELO
      Scene from “Xanadu” (1980) with Gene Kelly, Olivia Newton John (4:09 long clip)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d2OQXKLaPg

      P.S. – There are clips with better audio quality. I wanted to include the video from the movie that featured Gene Kelly.
      – Also, you may recognize the ELO song. It’s the unofficial global flash mob anthem. (Plug in the title in a YouTube search and you’ll see what I mean.)
      – “Xanadu” is the guilty pleasure movie I was referring to. I know it looks goofy. It is. Great soundtrack though. And it rivals “Frozen” for rewatches and sing-alongs, at least in my family.

      to be cont.

        Quote  Reply

    211. Ten Bears,

      Oooh! I didn’t know what you were referring to! I’m sorry! I had never seen Xanadu or heard that song before now! Now that I’ve seen this clip, I don’t think anyone ever could accuse the 80s of being boring or stale! 🙂 But I think the visuals in that clip were very creative, innovative, and bold.

      It also reminds me a little of Rocky Horror Picture Show — and I do love that movie! (I think “Sweet Transvestite” is my favourite song from there! The way Tim Curry bursts from that elevator and into the hall before he opens his cloak…)

        Quote  Reply

    212. Adrianacandle,

      Part 2

      Here’s a clip of the title song from “Xanadu” (1980), by Olivia Newton John & Electric Light Orchestra

      The clip is 6:47 long. The song itself starts at 3:15. You may want to fast forward through the introductory roller skating/dancing number.
      I included the full-length clip with the strange introductory part because Gene Kelly is in it. In a tuxedo. Roller skating.

      P.S. “Xanadu” is chock full of upbeat, bouncy trampolining songs.

        Quote  Reply

    213. Ten Bears,

      Ooooh! Thank-you! I think my dad has Xanadu on his Plex too! I will definitely watch!

      (PS: You also are very musically intuitive and I wondered if you see sounds and music in colours? Like how those with synesthesia see letters, words, and numbers in colours)

        Quote  Reply

    214. Adrianacandle,

      Part 3

      Gene Kelly & Olivia Newton John dancing together to “Whenever You’re Away From Me” from “Xanadu” (1980)
      [5:30 long clip; dancing starts at ~ 1:54]*

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjcDYj9YEHE

      * This video clip had the best audio quality I could find. I included this song-and-dance duet for two reasons:

      (1) I believe it is Gene Kelly’s last dance performance on film. He was ~ 67 years old when he filmed it. (From tap-dancing with Debbie Reynolds in “Good Morning” in “Singing in the Rain” in 1952, to tap-dancing with Olivia Newton John in “Xanadu” in 1980…💃🏽🕺🏻)

      (2) [Admittedly, this is a stretch]: I could dedicate this scene from the movie to GRRM.
      Gene Kelly’s character is daydreaming/reminiscing about a muse from his past who had once inspired his younger self – and then vanished. 🧚🏼‍♀️

        Quote  Reply

    215. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      Ooooh! Thank-you! I think my dad has Xanadu on his Plex too! I will definitely watch! …

      “Xanadu” bombed at the box office. The plot and scripting were pilloried as cheesy and silly.

      However, the soundtrack album was a huge bestseller, and spawned a bunch of hit singles by Olivia Newton John and ELO.

      Also, the choreography by Kenny Ortega was praised. I believe he also directed or choreographed “Dirty Dancing,” the “High School Musical” films, several episodes of “The Gilmore Girls,” and …“Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
      [Very perceptive on your part, i.e., you wrote that the scene from Xanadu ”also reminds me a little of Rocky Horror Picture Show.”]

        Quote  Reply

    216. Ten Bears,

      Thank-you for those clips!

      Wow, so this was Gene Kelly’s last dance performance in a movie… 🙁 But what a very long time he danced.

      Also, the choreography by Kenny Ortega was praised. I believe he also directed or choreographed “Dirty Dancing,” the “High School Musical” films, several episodes of “The Gilmore Girls,” and …“Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
      [Very perceptive on your part, i.e., you wrote that the scene from Xanadu ”also reminds me a little of Rocky Horror Picture Show.”]

      Oh wow, I love Dirty Dancing, RHPS, and I’ve already spoken about my love for Gilmore Girls!

      Yes! With Rocky Horror, it’s the dancing in Time Warp, Sword of Damocles, and Hot Patootie that I was especially reminded of when watching these clips! It’s cool to know they were done by the same choreographer!

        Quote  Reply

    217. Adrianacandle,

      Here is a link to a monologue called ‘Albert and the Lion’ recited in quite a thick northern accent by Stanley Holloway who also played Eliza Doolittle father in the 1960s film of “My Fair Lady”. https://youtu.be/oaw-savyK0s

      TB and Adriana, I’ve never been an ONJ fan – attractive lady and all that. I was once downvoted on a forum where I didn’t say anything about liking or disliking her – someone had said something about her being from Australia and I said she had dual citizenship of the UK and Australia because she was born in the UK but went to Australia with her parents when she was quite a small child. What was controversial about that? I said nothing derogatory but it was still downvoted.

        Quote  Reply

    218. Adrianacandle,

      Correction! Kenny Ortega directed the 2016 remake, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.”

      BTW, here is a clip of “Time Warp” from the 1975 original “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umj0gu5nEGs

      That movie became a cult classic. I first became aware of it years later. Movie theaters regularly had midnight showings, at which audience members would come dressed up as the characters and act out the scenes as the movie played on the screen.

      It was a trip. 🤩

        Quote  Reply

    219. Regarding Beric, TV Beric was an improvement for me. I never paid any special attention to Beric in the novels but Richard Dormer’s portrayal really made an impact on my GoT entertainment. Whether it’s due to his great portrayal or expanded story or both, I don’t know. But I’m glad his story moved beyond S3 and that he had such great exit from the story.

        Quote  Reply

    220. Adrianacandle: Absolutely!!

      I kind of love the soundtrack to Mean Girls…. (also love the movie!)

      I’ll have to check out the soundtrack to “Mean Girls.”

      I recognized the song “Rip Her to Shreds,” performed by Boomkat (Taryn Manning’s band), but that’s a remake of the original by Blondie (below). Blondie’s version was on the soundtrack of “Bridesmaids.”

      Blondie, “Rip Her to Shreds” (2001)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHsH_XLn-Zk

      What songs do you recommend from the “Mean Girls” soundtrack?

        Quote  Reply

    221. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas:
      Regarding Beric, TV Beric was an improvement for me. I never paid any special attention to Beric in the novels but Richard Dormer’s portrayal really made an impact on my GoT entertainment. Whether it’s due to his great portrayal or expanded story or both, I don’t know. But I’m glad his story moved beyond S3 and that he had such great exit from the story.

      Good to know! From my second-hand knowledge of the books, it seemed Beric Dondarrion was an interesting character … who exited the story abruptly, giving his life to a rotted corpse. (I’m not sure: did the books even explain why the Lord of Light had brought him back six times, or was that left up in the air as of the latest book?)

      ”But I’m glad his story moved beyond S3 and that he had such great exit from the story.”

      Yeah, I understood that book! Beric, after the Hound’s trial by combat and its immediate aftermath (roughly corresponding to GoT S3), went on some commando raids or missions with the BwoB, before giving his “last” life to waterlogged rotted CorpseCat nka LSH.
      That was it for the Lightning Lord.

      Again, without having read the books, this seemed to me to be an underwhelming end for a colorful character.

      If all of Beric’s post-S3 appearances were show-only creations, then I too am glad his story “moved beyond S3” and that he had “such a great exit from the story.” If nothing else, his scenes with Sandor were enjoyable.

      Moreover, it was good to see a Lord of Light disciple who was committed to protecting humanity and working for the greater good, as opposed to the zealots who talked a big game but seemed more intent on roasting nonbelievers and burning people alive then actually confronting the existential threat. (Yeah, Mel showed up at the last minute – but what about all of the other Red Temple priests and priestesses and their followers?)

      For me, supplying some reason for Beric’s 6x resurrections, and giving him a (more?) dramatic use of his last life and heroic death, seemed more satisfying than reanimating a vengeful zombie and dropping dead. (Of course, I may reconsider when and if I ever read the books.)

        Quote  Reply

    222. Adrianacandle,

      Emerging from that rabbit hole, and steering away from side roads back to GoT-themed posts…

      I’ve got Musical Interludes tees up for:

      🔘 #1: A dedication to Jorah 💘 Dragon Princess Dany;
      🔘 #2: A dedication to the S8e3 Audience & Melisandre, and Bran nka 3ER.
      🔘 #3: A dedication to Arya sailing away at the end of S4 & end of S8. [I believe I previewed this to you several weeks ago.]

      I think the next one will be #2, tonight or tomorrow. The real world beckons. 🤥

        Quote  Reply

    223. Dame of Mercia,

      TB and Adriana, I’ve never been an ONJ fan – attractive lady and all that. I was once downvoted on a forum where I didn’t say anything about liking or disliking her – someone had said something about her being from Australia and I said she had dual citizenship of the UK and Australia because she was born in the UK but went to Australia with her parents when she was quite a small child. What was controversial about that? I said nothing derogatory but it was still downvoted.

      I don’t think you said anything controversial and I think you offered a nice tidbit! There are times downvoting can happen for strange reasons or people might be reading into something/misconstruing something. It’s the internet :/

      Here is a link to a monologue called ‘Albert and the Lion’ recited in quite a thick northern accent by Stanley Holloway who also played Eliza Doolittle father in the 1960s film of “My Fair Lady”.

      Thanks!! (And I loved Stanley Holloway in My Fair Lady!)

        Quote  Reply

    224. Ten Bears,

      BTW, here is a clip of “Time Warp” from the 1975 original “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umj0gu5nEGs

      That movie became a cult classic. I first became aware of it years later. Movie theaters regularly had midnight showings, at which audience members would come dressed up as the characters and act out the scenes as the movie played on the screen.

      It was a trip. 🤩

      Yes, yes, that’s the song!! 😀

      I’ve also been to midnight showings every Halloween! They do several at The Plaza downtown here! It really is a trip: from singing (and dancing!) the Time Warp, to squirting water guns to simulate rain during ‘There’s A Light” while holding a newspaper over your head, throwing rice at the screen during the wedding, toilet paper when Dr. Scott appears, “a toast”….!! 😀

      I always go as a bride — I’ve already got the costume 😉

      I recognized the song “Rip Her to Shreds,” performed by Boomkat (Taryn Manning’s band), but that’s a remake of the original by Blondie (below). Blondie’s version was on the soundtrack of “Bridesmaids.”

      Blondie, “Rip Her to Shreds” (2001)

      [link]

      What songs do you recommend from the “Mean Girls” soundtrack?

      Yes, Rip Her to Shreds! That’s one I readily remember! I had no idea it was a remake — thanks for the link to the original clip!

      Other songs I really remember from Mean Girls include Operate (by Peaches), Dancing With Myself (The Donnas), God is a DJ (Pink), Built This Way (Samantha Ronson), One Way Or Another (Blondie!), and — of course — the Mathletes Rap performed by Mathlete Kevin… 😉

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dQSLIOMBgY

      (“Thank-you, Kevin, that’s enough…”)

      #3: A dedication to Arya sailing away at the end of S4 & end of S8. [I believe I previewed this to you several weeks ago.]

      I’d like to vote for this option!! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    225. Adrianacandle,

      Okay then: “#3: A dedication to Arya sailing away at the end of S4 & end of S8. [I believe I previewed this to you several weeks ago.]”
      I’ll have to do this as a multi-parter because embedding more than two links in a Comment triggers the Lord of Light.
      Also, I’m going to rely on Tron79’s Arya + Alice
      mashup video, because he expertly edited the S8e6 concluding montage to splice together the frames with Arya on her direwolf ship.

      Speaking of Tron79… He has not been around lately. Real world responsibilities must have intervened. I have a feeling he has no idea he was a winner of the Halloween costume giveaway contest.

        Quote  Reply

    226. Ten Bears,

      Yes, 2+ links does seem to trigger our illuminated lord. But when you’re able, I look forward to the multi-parter!! 🙂

      I shot an email to Tron about his win!

        Quote  Reply

    227. GoT/ASOIAF is said to owe inspiration in part to the English War(s) of the Roses at the end of which Henry VII took power. Here is Stanley Holloway reciting “With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm” about the ghost of Ann Boleyn. https://youtu.be/u8Q3ymAPOiI
      I had a bit of a shock when I was looking for the monologue because there was a version by a Cyril Smith. That took me aback because there is a deceased British MP of that name about whom some very unsavoury things were revealed after his death. The person who recited the version of the monologue was a Scots actor who recited it back in 1934. Stanley Holloway performed many monologues – there is an “Albert Came Back”. “Brown Boots” is interesting because it is about someone who went to a funeral wearing brown boots and everyone judges him and then someone says that the person had given their black boots away to someone who had no boots at all. It dated from between World Wars I and II when poverty was very real. Poverty is still real for some people of course but I think people have shoes these days at least in the western world.

        Quote  Reply

    228. On the Dame Diana Rigg RIP thread I mentioned never having found young Sean Connery in any of the ‘Age of Kings’ clips (similar to ‘The Hollow Crown’ but from the early 1960s). Well I’ve found about 3 minutes of him as Hotspur with an actress called Patricia Heneghan as Lady Percy. Not directly connected with GoT I know but some folk have remarked that young Sean Connery looked something like Rory McCann so there is a tenuous link…..

        Quote  Reply

    229. Having done a bit more background reading online I’m not sure if Patrick Stewart was in ‘An Age of Kings’. It did feature some well-known actors (or actors who became famous). Here is an interview with the late Tony Garnett (a producer as well as an actor). Tony Garnett played various parts in the different plays. I looked at the cast for the whole drama online and couldn’t see that Patrick Stewart was in it but another actor who did play different smaller parts over the series (though I haven’t been able to find a clip featuring him) was Julian Glover known to fans of GoT as Maester Pycelle. https://youtu.be/9eVKWCstX_I

        Quote  Reply

    230. Dame of Mercia,

      ”Not directly connected with GoT I know but some folk have remarked that young Sean Connery looked something like Rory McCann…”

      Sandor Clegane as 007? I’m there!

      “F*ck water. Bring me a martini. Shaken, not stirred.”

        Quote  Reply

    231. Ten Bears:
      Dame of Mercia,

      ”Not directly connected with GoT I know but some folk have remarked that young Sean Connery looked something like Rory McCann…”

      Sandor Clegane as 007? I’m there!

      “F*ck water. Bring me a martini. Shaken, not stirred.”

      Is it time for a James Bond-themed Sandor – Arya Musical Interlude?

        Quote  Reply

    232. TB, in retrospect I should have said that Rory McCann is said by some to resemble a young Sean Connery rather than vice versa. If this thread hasn’t tailed off by all means give a James Bond Sandor-Arya musical link. In the meantime I’ll give a Scots song “I Don’t Want a Lover” by Texas who despite their name are a band from Glasgow. Sharleen Spiteri the singer was only about 16 when she co-wrote the song though she’s in her early 50s now (still well preserved) though the photos in this clip are from when she was younger. https://youtu.be/qhfSeUqfoP4

      and here the lady tells a funny story on Graham Norton a decade or so ago about a run-in with a celebrity who was famous for being a celebrity. https://youtu.be/7z_t8Wop40k

        Quote  Reply

    233. ” If this thread hasn’t tailed off by all means give a James Bond Sandor-Arya musical link.”

      Here you go….

      (Part 1 of 2)
      James Bond- Themed
      Musical Interlude

      Dedicated by Sandor Clegane for Arya Stark

      Arya’s “live and let live” worldview vs. Sandor trying to teach her “the way things are” in this world: live and let die:

      • S3e9, Sandor is about to murder the unconscious pork merchant.

      at 0:46 – 1:32

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll8hB7ywcYI

      Arya pleads: “Don’t! Don’t kill him!”
      Sandor: “Dead rats don’t squeak.”
      ***
      Arya: “Don’t kill him! Please! Please don’t.”
      Sandor: “You’re very kind. Someday it’ll get you killed.”
      ………….

      • S4e3, after Sandor assaults Rabbit Stew Sally’s father and steals his silver.

      at 5:30 – 6:15

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AXZi0mdAbM

      Arya: “What did you do!”
      Sandor: “Get your horse saddled.”
      Arya: You told me you weren’t a thief.”
      Sandor: “I wasn’t.”
      Arya: “He took us in! He fed us!”
      Sandor: “Aye, he took us in. He’s a good man. His daughter makes nice stew. They’ll both be dead come winter.”
      Arya: “You don’t know that!”
      Sandor: “I do know it! He’s weak. He can’t protect himself. They’ll both be dead come winter. Dead men don’t need silver.”
      Arya: “You’re the worst sh*t in the Seven Kingdoms!”
      Sandor: “There’s plenty worse than me. I just understand the way things are…”

        Quote  Reply

    234. Part 2 of 2)
      James Bond-Themed
      Musical Interlude

      Dedicated by Sandor Clegane to Arya Stark

      🎶 When you were young and your heart was an open book
      You used to say ‘live and let live.’
      (You know you did, you know you did, you know you did.)
      But if this ever-changing world in which we’re living
      Makes you give in and cry…
      Say ‘live and let die!’
      (Live and let die, live and let die, live and let die)

      What does it matter to you?
      When you’ve got a job to do,
      You’ve got to do it well.
      You’ve got to give the other fellow hell!
      🎶

      • “Live and Let Die” (1973)
      Paul McCartney & Wings – Theme song from 1973 James Bond movie (audio)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7aGAIWe3uE

      ……
      • “Live and Let Die” – Paul McCartney, live at Glastonbury 2004

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOqgPrJHheI

      ——

        Quote  Reply

    235. Adrianacandle,

      “Two Weeks to Live” starring Maisie Williams *

      S1e5

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9ru_SaDMi0

      +

      s1e6

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Ry9qxcCkg

      * Note: I could not find S1e4. It may have been blocked?
      I watched Episodes 1, 2, and 3. I’m probably going to watch Episodes 5 and 6 this weekend (i.e., I’ll have to skip Episode 4).

      Semi-Spoiler:

      One review said that in a deliberate homage to Game of Thrones, Maisie Williams’s character in “Two Weeks to Live” re-enacts Arya’s S7e4 + S8e3 hand-to-hand dagger flip with… a beer bottle. I have not seen that yet, or may have missed it.

        Quote  Reply

    236. Ten Bears,

      Thanks again, Ten Bears!

      Yes, it may have been blocked but I checked these links and they’re still active, which is a good sign. If a production company/copyright holder discovers a YT channel is uploading their media and file 3 or more successful copyright strikes, that channel will be permanently suspended.

      But it’s possible to have videos blocked in specific countries so perhaps it is viewable in the UK but not in NA?

      And thanks for the easter egg to look out for!!

        Quote  Reply

    237. Adrianacandle,

      • The uploader inserts a 2-3 minute “intermission” in the middle of each of the roughly 23-minute episodes. I think that may thwart the Lord of Light’s scanning algorithms. Maybe the uploader forgot to do that for Episode 4…

      • “But it’s possible to have videos blocked in specific countries so perhaps it is viewable in the UK but not in NA?”

      I’m not sure about country-specific blocking. All I know is that the show is not airing in the U.S., and this was my only chance to see it, at least for the foreseeable future. (There are scores of other links to the episodes, but they all redirect you to dodgy pay sites.)
      Especially now that production on new TV shows and movies has been shut down for the last six months, you’d think HBO or some streaming platform in N. America would strike a deal with Sky TV (UK) to broadcast the six-episode series. After all, it’s got Maisie Williams/Arya from GoT, and Sian Clifford from “Fleabag,” both popular actresses on popular, Emmy Award-winning shows. It seemed like a $win-$win, no-brainer proposition to me.

        Quote  Reply

    238. Ten Bears,

      Oh, thanks for this! I’ll save it for when I complete the series!

      I also sent you an email to your WotW address!

      The uploader inserts a 2-3 minute “intermission” in the middle of each of the roughly 23-minute episodes. I think that may thwart the Lord of Light’s scanning algorithms. Maybe the uploader forgot to do that for Episode 4…

      Yeah, I think this can help to stave off the bots searching for copyright material. I know some channels reverse the video on their copyright uploads to avoid detection by copyright scanners too!

      Especially now that production on new TV shows and movies has been shut down for the last six months, you’d think HBO or some streaming platform in N. America would strike a deal with Sky TV (UK) to broadcast the six-episode series. After all, it’s got Maisie Williams/Arya from GoT, and Sian Clifford from “Fleabag,” both popular actresses on popular, Emmy Award-winning shows. It seemed like a $win-$win, no-brainer proposition to me.

      Yeah — though it could be a matter of a licensing issue (sort of like how available shows on Netflix differ from country to country). I’m not sure because my only experience with licensing and copyright comes from the graphic design field, not the film and video production field so there may be (and probably are) differences. It’s possible they may not have be able to come to a settlement that would make both sides happy.

      For example, from this link (can’t find the date for it) explains why HBO doesn’t want their shows on Netflix:

      Bloomberg.com is reporting that Netflix has been eagerly trying to work a deal with HBO that would allow them to stream shows such as The Sopranos and True Blood, not to mention the various Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, and Universal movies to which HBO holds the cable and internet rights. But HBO isn’t biting. As HBO Co-President Eric Kessler put it, “There is value in exclusivity.”

      So the reason might be because of that — wanting to control rights and access to media.

      Not sure though! Only my best guess!! 🙂 Please check your email though whenever you get a chance! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

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