Glass Candle Dialogue Season 7, Episode 1: “Dragonstone”

Glass Candle Dialogues Maester Blu Ray Extras

Welcome to our first Glass Candle Dialogue, a new Watchers on the Wall feature in which Maesters Luka & Petra discuss new episodes long-distance —hence the title… get it? It’s a book thing! It’s sort of clever, we swear! There are two main reasons this exists: first and foremost, our benevolent overlord Sue the Fury commanded us to create a new feature, and we are but faithful servants; and secondly, after meeting in Con of Thrones and talking for hours, we just didn’t want to stop. So here we are! Now, let’s get into it.

Luka: So, that was an episode.

Petra: That was an episode, all right. With another cold open, so we knew we were getting something special from the get-go.

Luka: I wasn’t sure we would have a lot to talk about because, you know, no Greyjoys.

Petra: Ok, in the recap at the beginning, when we saw Euron Greyjoy I was like, “Okay, great! I’m definitely going to get my two krakens this episode.” And then we didn’t. But we’re going to get them next week. So it’s fine.

Luka: Of course. And in this episode we got Euron 2.0.

We welcome Euron 2.0 with open arms and two good hands

We welcome Euron 2.0 with open arms and two good hands

Petra: I thoroughly enjoyed this version of Euron. Pilou Asbæk said in an interview that Euron adapts according to how the people around him want him to behave or what best suits him. We saw that with Jaime and Cersei, though he was still listing his body parts in accordance with whatever someone else in the room was missing.

Luka: I also noticed a tiny detail: he said, “When I was chosen Lord of the Iron Islands…”; He didn’t say “King.” He was being careful not to insult Cersei.

Petra: Ooh. That was smart. He also made it sound like Theon and Yara tried to steal the throne from him, which is partially true. He did win the election. But he skipped over the part where he tried to kill them.

Luka: They did steal the ships but they kind of had to, to survive.

Petra: Yeah, they did what they had to do. But I enjoyed this Euron more. He was funny. Jaime said, “I was slaughtering your own kin” and his response was: “The place was getting crowded.” That’s a villain I can get on board with.

Luka: I want to state for the record that, yes, we have just started this thing and we are already talking about the Greyjoys, but it was my fault.

Petra: That’s true, isn’t it? You brought them up this time. Can I briefly touch on Euron’s much-tweeted costume? Someone compared it to Captain Hook’s outfit on Once Upon A Time. There’s this increasing push for anachronistic costumes on Game of Thrones. I feel like they were fairly “historically” – note the bunny fingers – accurate in seasons 1 – 3 and then Jaime got a haircut. Which I still hate. He started wearing a red leather jacket. Which I also hate. He looks like Prince Arthur on Merlin. And Cersei’s got a black leather dress now which I actually like. It kind of has a different look to it but it’s not medieval. And now we’ve got Euron Greyjoy in his Killian Jones get-up. And I’m thinking, yeah, this is fine for now but it’s gonna really date this show in a few years.

Luka: I don’t know. If all the ironborn dressed that way, I would agree. But it’s a look for this particular character, so I think it works. As long as it’s only for him.

Petra: Fair enough. I guess he was kind of getting his bad boy look on specifically for courting Cersei. He kind of tailors himself – literally – according to who he’s around.

Luka: We’ve see him briefly in the trailers and he wears proper armor in battle. So, it’s not like he’s a fantasy pirate who’s always wearing the cool V-neck jacket.

Petra: He’s not going to be like Ramsay and fight shirtless, showing off his rippling abs.

The Hound is gone; here comes the Gravedigger

The Hound is dead; Sandor the Gravedigger is at rest

Luka: I really liked both Arya and Sandor’s arcs. As you yourself pointed out in your Memory Lane for “The Broken Man”, there was some disappointment in the murder of Brother Ray because it brought Sandor back to violence. But I think at the end of “No One” there was a glimpse of a new path — not a pacifistic path like Ray’s but at least a meaningful and less hateful path. But it wasn’t clear; we didn’t see him make a decision, so there was still some concern. But in this episode we see that, though he is more Sandor than Hound, the nickname remains appropriate; he has much more bark, as a defense mechanism, but he isn’t biting anyone anymore, he isn’t harming anyone.

Petra: I thought it was an interesting way to incorporate the Gravedigger moment from A Feast for Crows, in which presumably Sandor has found peace and stays safely on the Quiet Isle. Sandor in the show hasn’t found that sort of closure. But here we see that his experience with Brother Ray really has changed him. He’s not the same man he was in season 4. He is the gravedigger now as we see him literally digging graves for the father and his daughter. It felt oddly reminiscent of a scene in the last Harry Potter book in which Harry digs a grave for Dobby with his own hands, instead of with magic. And I think it’s Ollivander who comments on what that says about Harry’s character. I feel like the same can be said of Sandor taking it upon himself to dig the grave on frozen soil.

Luka: And trying to pray, even if he couldn’t go through with it. Just the fact that he tried to pay his respects was special. I was surprised that he had a vision in the fire, though.

Petra: Yeah, that happened fast. He got in with the Lord of Light really quickly, there.

Luka: It worked just as fast with Stannis at the end of season two. It’s curious that neither Stannis or Sandor were open to it and yet they quickly had a vision. Usually in religion it’s assumed that you must have faith before having these kinds of experiences. You are supposed to believe in it to get something out of it. But in this case, both Stannis and Sandor were really skeptical and yet the Lord of Light —whatever kind of divine entity or force it is— came through anyway. I think this is more D&D than Martin, too.

Arya is still Arya, despite all the trauma... and the murders

Arya is still Arya, despite all the trauma… and the murders

Petra: I really loved Arya’s scenes, too. I thought that the juxtaposition of Arya’s slaughter in the opening scene with her conversation with the Lannister soldiers was really interesting. She gets to see her would-be victims as human.

Luka: They’re just people. People with families and shitty lives. There was some character rehabilitation work done with Arya and, as I said earlier, Sandor. Maybe “rehabilitation” isn’t the right word but I think we had reason to be worried about Arya. Consider what we’d seen of Arya prior to her meeting with the Lannister soldiers. It was all about killing: killing the Waif; killing Walder; and then killing all the Freys. The last three scenes we’d seen of her had been all about revenge. So it was refreshing and a comforting confirmation of her humanity that she was able to just sit and talk to some Lannisters soldiers. If she really was the true psychopathic murder machine some of us feared, she would have killed them all on sight. The same goes for the Frey woman.

Petra: I had mixed feelings about that, actually. I privately think of Arya as Lady Stoneheart, now. Not literally, of course, but you can’t have a Stark woman wandering around the Riverlands killing Freys and not draw a comparison. So, I’m not sure how I feel about turning her into a righteous avenger in the vein of Dexter from Dexter or Jon Kramer from the Saw franchise. I’ve never liked the idea of mass-murderers who endear themselves to the audience because they only kill the bad guys, that it’s okay when Arya takes a life because she only murders those who deserve it. Particularly when the whole point of Lady Stoneheart in the books is that she’s lost her humanity.

Luka: True, but I don’t think that was the intention here. The show is wisely keeping in mind Arya is Arya. She may have briefly taken on a similar role to Lady Stoneheart but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re following this character. The Arya we know would assassinate those on her list without a second thought, but she wouldn’t murder someone for being tangentially aligned with her enemies — she isn’t a revenge-obsessed zombie. I knew that, but her scene with the Lannisters was a nice confirmation.

Petra: She thought about killing them, though. We saw her looking at their swords.

Luka: Yes, she was tempted.

Petra: And then she tried to refuse food, a gesture of guest right. That was a nice beat.

Luka: The soldier who offered her the rabbit was so pure, so cute. “My mother taught me to be kind to strangers.” They were the most wholesome group of soldiers around.

Petra: Jaime singled out all the cinnamon rolls to send to the Riverlands.

Luka: Even the lighting was much sunnier. There were God rays! It felt like the Shire in The Lord of the Rings. I think this contrast was deliberately done to make us feel on edge. Because, of course, as we mentioned we feared that she may kill them. Maybe we also feared that they were bluffing. She’s a young woman alone in the woods after all, and Game of Thrones is Game of Thrones, so it could have gone really bad, but it didn’t. I loved it! I loved that Arya got to have a genuine innocent moment with these people.

Petra: I think it was also a return to some of the moral ambiguity the show has been edging away from. There’s been this push towards more of a moral binary in recent seasons. Jon Snow vs. Ramsay Bolton, for example. So, it was nice to be reminded that there are good people on both sides of a conflict.

Luka: Exactly, and I don’t think they were there merely to follow through on that theme. Now that the Lannisters are going to war with Daenerys, I think it’s safe to say we’ll see the dragons burning some Lannister redshirts. So, it was a good way to remind us they’re not just cannon fodder. They’re not there because they want to be. They’re an extension of Cersei’s will, but that doesn’t mean they share in Cersei’s culpability.

Petra: We’re going to see Drogon frying each of those soldiers specifically later this season. In detail. We’re going to see Ed Sheeran running away with his hair on fire.

Luka: One can only hope. Anything else about Arya and Sandor?

Petra: I really, really loved it.

Luka: They were my favorite scenes of the episode. Sam in the Citadel too, maybe.

Petra: Ooh, speaking of which —

Sam’s shitty new job

Sam’s shitty new job

Luka: What did you think of Jim Broadbent? I was surprised.

Petra: I was surprised at how well he worked. I wasn’t sure how I felt when I heard they’d cast him to play a Maester. I typically associate him with these bumbling characters.

Luka: Professor Slughorn.

Petra: Oh my God. So many Hogwarts references! And I really liked his speech to Sam about the persistence of the human spirit, this notion that people have always believed that the end is just around the corner yet have always managed to persevere through it.

Luka: He has a good point. He happens to be wrong this time, as an apocalypse seems to be coming if it isn’t fought against it, but even if he’s wrong it’s still a really good point.

Petra: It felt oddly hopeful for Game of Thrones.

Luka: Yes. It warmed my heart — this opposite way of thinking to the rest of Westeros. Who would have thought a character in Game of Thrones could say something like “There are too many similarities in these unconnected sources to be pure fabrication.” We’re suddenly in the world of academia and critical thinking. It felt so refreshing!

Cersei, Jaime, and relationship counseling

Cersei and Jaime —in dire need of relationship counseling… or fratricide

Luka: What did you think about Cersei and Jaime in their first scene in the map room?

Petra: The first thing I noticed was Jaime seemed surprised by the map… like it was painted overnight or something. I was picturing the old man painting it was young when he started and aged overnight! But to answer your question, I really enjoyed Jaime and Cersei’s conversation and Jaime’s increasing unease at how little sense Cersei’s making.

Luka: I loved that. The moment he really starts to question Cersei’s sanity is when she says Tommen betrayed her. That’s such a twisted way of looking at things. He looks at her like, “What the ever-loving fuck are you talking about?” I believe the tense thread that is their relationship will only continue being strained until it finally snaps.

Petra: A lot of people were expecting him to turn against her as soon as he returned.

Luka: That would have been too fast. When Jaime looked at Cersei that way in her coronation, I think we all knew what will happen, but that doesn’t mean that it has to happen in the first episode. You have to make an arc for the character in the season.

Petra: You have to build up to it. Earn it.

Luka: Jaime can’t abandon her because he doesn’t believe he has anywhere to go; he doesn’t want to kill her because he can’t help loving her; and he doesn’t want to be afraid of her even though he obviously is. Jaime’s trying to check on her sanity. But there’s zero intimacy. They didn’t even get close. I think this may be a controversial opinion, just because their relationship breaks down much quicker in the books, but I love seeing them together. With Jaime always in pain. I may be a sadist, but what can I say — I enjoy Nikolaj’s face contortions, showing Jaime’s absolute, existential, inner pain.

Petra: Agreed. And I like that their relationship is fracturing over more than infidelity, more than Cersei “fucking Lancel and Osmund Kettleblack and Moonboy for all I know.”

Luka: That’s true, but we must take into account that we’re way past the books in this relationship, and I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it there either. A lack of imagination in predictions may be the issue here. At the end of A Dance With Dragons, he goes off with Brienne and whatever will happen with Lady Stoneheart will happen, but I don’t personally think that’s the end of the story for Cersei and Jaime. How this is usually discussed regarding the books is that they broke up, he burnt the letter, and will kill her the next time they see each other. I think that there will be some build up to it. Not as much as in the show, because they want to keep Lena and Nikolaj interacting with each other as much as possible, but some. I don’t think he’ll just show up and shank her.

Jon and Sansa — they are both right, they are both wrong

Jon and Sansa — they are both right, they are both wrong

Petra: Speaking of fraught sibling relationships: Jon and Sansa. I’ve got some strong and probably unpopular opinions. Do you have any thoughts?

Luka: Lots! Unpopular, too, but I don’t know if they’re the same unpopular opinions.

Petra: Let’s hear it!

Luka: I’ll start with something I’ve seen most people say with which I agree: Sansa shouldn’t have publicly challenged Jon’s plan. Fine. I agree with that part. But, equally, Jon should have checked with Sansa and his counselors prior to that meeting, which he obviously didn’t. He was making a final decision right then and there. If he didn’t want to be challenged publicly then he should have checked with Sansa and his other counselors before making such a momentous decision. So, I’m adamant he should have checked with her. I think they both had excellent political points to make but they both failed at proposing them. I don’t know if you agree. What’s your perspective?

Petra: I agree that they both dropped the ball. My main issue with their conflict is that I don’t really know what Sansa’s expectations are. She wishes Jon trusted her more and that she had more authority but, frankly, she doesn’t have any leadership experience. She’s resourceful and she’s smart but she’s never been in charge of other people before. Jon, for all his faults, does have that experience. I get the sense that she envies his authority but with everything else that’s going on, as close to the endgame as we are, Jon and Sansa bickering feels petty, and more than that, contrived.

Luka: When Sansa says, “You’re good at ruling,” I believe she’s telling the truth. She’s with Jon, both rationally and emotionally, but there’s a nagging thought inside of her, which is what Littlefinger’s exploiting. “Are you happy?”, he asks. I think Sansa would feel much better if she was actually recognized as Jon’s right hand. You say that she doesn’t have experience ruling and that’s true. She doesn’t have experience commanding. But she could be a Northern equivalent to a Hand or Master of Whispers, because she has been privy to that way of ruling — the backdoor meetings in court; the King’s Landing way of doing things. As Sansa says, “would it be so terrible to listen to me?” She is the lady of Winterfell, and sister to the king. She’s number two in the hierarchy of Northern royalty and nobility, so in this feudal world she should expect some kind of official position, regardless of experience — which she does have, anyway. All that said, I think their struggle has been blown out of proportion, mostly by interviews in the press. Later, in private, we see that they support each other thoroughly. I think they make that clear.

Petra: That’s true. He accuses her of trying to undermine him and she’s convincingly denies it and reminds him that he needs to be smarter than Ned or Robb, which I liked.

Luka: Yes! I think that some viewers want to paint Sansa as a wannabe usurper manipulated by Littlefinger. But I think they’re ignoring her explicit support of Jon and that she’s keeping Petyr in line — quite deftly, I might add. At the same time, I can understand Jon’s side as well. It’s not that he ignores her. It’s just that he’s focused on what he sees as the immediate threat. For Jon, that’s the Night King. But it also makes perfect sense that, for Sansa, the immediate threat is Cersei.

Petra: They’re both basing their priorities on their own experiences.

Luka: Exactly! Each of them has well-founded reasons to be fixated on their nemesis.

Next episode promo SPOILERS ahead!

Mild spoilers from the next episode promo ahead!

Luka: Have you seen the promo for next episode?

Petra: Oh, yeah.

Luka: You see Lord Royce in Winterfell, rallying against trusting Targaryens, so obviously Jon is making a point about going to Dragonstone, or at least parleying with Daenerys. In relation to the sibling rivalry, I think it’s worth mentioning they will have other things to worry about quite soon. We shouldn’t expect this to be dragged out for long.

Petra: That’s true. The benefit of having fewer episodes this season is that the storytelling has to be tighter. There’s no room for extraneous, petty shit.

Luka: Yes. But there is plenty of room for actual shit. In montage form.

Petra: Ha!

Sam2

153 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I was actually really surprised by how much I loved the Sansa Jon dynamics.
      It was the most “Martin” feeling portion of the episode, where both were right, and both were wrong
      and the decisions they were arguing over had no correct or incorrect answer.
      My favorite part of the episode.

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    2. “The moment he really starts to question Cersei’s sanity is when she says Tommen betrayed her. That’s such a twisted way of looking at things.”

      Not really. Tommen outlawed trial by combat, which was her get out of gaol free card.

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    3. Petra,

      Yes, and after his pronouncement, she immediately moved forward with her urban renewal program for King’s Landing. From her point of view, Tommen made a decision to back the Faith at the probable cost of her freedom and/or life.

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    4. UGH, Petra… WET DORNE (c/o Nerdette) is terrible. I do agree that Euron 2.0 is fun. I have a feeling you may not like him as much after he kills one of your beloved Kraken kids

      I may be a sadist, but what can I say — I enjoy Nikolaj’s face contortions, showing Jaime’s absolute, existential, inner pain.

      Said every Jaime fan ever. We’re all bloody sadists…!

      I disagree that Sansa and Jon issues were contrived – at least not compared to their “conflict” last season which was thoroughly contrived. It felt organic this time around, at least to me.

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    5. HODOR!

      I like this new feature. I also loved meeting everyone at the Con, including you two. And while I’d rather actually be there with you eating and drinking and talking episodes, this is a good substitute. Hold on while I get a beer and some nachos.

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    6. Petra,

      The thing is, it felt like she was referring to his suicide. She’s in deep denial about his death and her grief. And a lot of people feel angry and betrayed when someone commits suicide.

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    7. Grayven Reyne: Tommen outlawed trial by combat, which was her get out of gaol free card.

      Absolutely. Tommen faced a choice between not even the slightest harm to Marge and throwing his mother to the dogs, (which the HS manipulated him into) and he chose Marge. That episode and Cersei’s face the moment he passed his decree made it clear that she had lost Tommen then. Tommen also sent Jaime away, again on the advice of HS. I feel sorry Tommen committed suicide, but stupid as he was, he too played a game and he lost.

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    8. Kay,

      Actually, Tommen only lost in that he lost Margery. Cersei didn’t kill Tommen. As a matter of fact, she made sure the Mountain kept him from the Sept and therefore safe. I took his suicide as an act of defiance thus Cersei’s sense of betrayal.

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    9. Luka: You see Lord Royce in Winterfell, rallying against trusting Targaryens, so obviously Jon is making a point about going to Dragonstone, or at least parleying with Daenerys. In relation to the sibling rivalry, I think it’s worth mentioning they will have other things to worry about quite soon. We shouldn’t expect this to be dragged out for long.

      I wonder how many of The North people (and Vale) understand the level of danger from the NK and his army, or even fully believe. Yeah, many saw a giant, but that’s a living, breathing species, not some magical being that animates the dead. They seem to be listening to the stories Jon and the other witnesses are telling them, but are they AS worried? Royce, like Sansa, sounds like he’ll still be more concerned about the power and status struggle among the living, much like the rest of Westeros. At least they’re listening for now anyway…

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    10. Sue the Fury,

      I thought that too. She has to immediately and completely blame Tommen, because otherwise she’d have to take responsibility/blame herself.

      I think she knows what she is and what she has done with regards to everything else – the wildfire, various murders…and accepts it – but not with how her actions impacted Tommen.

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    11. I was surprised that he had a vision in the fire, though.

      I was surprised how little this bothered me. It made thematic sense if nothing else.

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    12. Tycho Nestoris:
      I was surprised that he had a vision in the fire, though.

      I was surprised how little this bothered me. It made thematic sense if nothing else.

      Next time I’m at a bonfire with non-GoT watchers I’m gonna stare into the fire and bust out Sandor’s lines… They’ll probably take my beer away… 😛

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    13. Jaime’s reactions to everything Cersei was saying in the map room were hilarious, but also well-acted. Looking forward to their relationship this season. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed their dialogue in the map room. Lena and NCW have amazing chemistry. Of course Cersei would be so extra that she’d have a big ass map painted on the floor right after her coronation lmao. I love her crazy ass so much.

      The scene with Euron was a highlight for me. I found him disappointing last season, so I am pleased to see the improvement.

      I don’t think we got a scene with Jon and Sansa prior to the meeting with the lords because the show wants to promote some petty Stark drama and give Littlefinger something to do. I also think they didn’t want to reveal to viewers what the fate of the Karstark and Umber kids was prior to meeting them. It would ruin the suspense. Seeing them look so young and scared as they awaited the king’s judgement made an impression on me tbh. Knowing all of Jon’s plans from a previous scene and then have him repeat them would have been a waste of time. If Sansa wants her advice heard, maybe she should think about how she delivers the advice. Book Sansa is pretty tactful and courteous… I don’t know where these traits went. This scene also reminds me of how Dany corrected her advisors after undermining her in season 3… Didn’t see anyone have a problem with that.

      Please, please tell me I am not the only one who enjoyed Sam’s shit montage lol. I have a feeling we are going to have some good dialogue between him and the maester.

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    14. Oh you guys I love this format. its awesome!!!!!!! I like that we can see you discuss your different perspectives and sometimes give new light to the other on a point/topic

      I really really loved the Jon/Sansa scenes. I hope this doesn’t drag too much

      I think overall the writing in this episode was outstanding. I am so happy.

      I skipped your part talking about the promo because I tried to avoid the video. I did see the photos and I am really excited, but I have no idea what to expect next episode.

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    15. Clob,

      I don’t think anyone is truly capable of grasping the level of danger they’re all facing unless they see it for themselves. Look at the reaction Sam is getting at the Citadel from people who understand intellectually that the Long Night is probably a thing, but are still waving it off because, “Eh…none of the other apocalypses stuck.” Davos may be an exception because of all that he’s witnessed from Melisandre, but I don’t think the northerners or the Vale really get that the NK and his wights do not play by their rules, that the wights give zero fucks about past grievances, and that there’s simply no chance of defeating them if the living are divided. When you observe the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings put aside several millennia’s worth of bad blood and join forces, that should probably be your first clue that shit’s getting real in a way you’ve never seen before, but I really don’t think the other houses will be able to grasp the abrupt attitude overhaul required to prepare for this threat until they see for themselves just how cohesively the NK and his army work together.

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    16. Grayven Reyne:
      Petra,

      Yes, and after his pronouncement, she immediately moved forward with her urban renewal program for King’s Landing.From her point of view, Tommen made a decision to back the Faith at the probable cost of her freedom and/or life.

      Lmao that is one way to put it. <3

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    17. Is it possible that Arya purposely trotted beside those soldiers (she’s not that dumb) so she could sort of befriend them, learn a bit about them, kill one, take their face and get a lot closer to Jaime and/or Cersei more easily??

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    18. Flayed Potatoes: Seeing them look so young and scared as they awaited the king’s judgement made an impression on me tbh. Knowing all of Jon’s plans from a previous scene and then have him repeat them would have been a waste of time

      YES!

      Flayed Potatoes: Please, please tell me I am not the only one who enjoyed Sam’s shit montage lol. I have a feeling we are going to have some good dialogue between him and the maester.

      I DID

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    19. Such a nice interractive review/recap. I really enjoyed reading this.

      On a side note, I finished my video review for this episode if anyone is interested. English is not my first language so I hope I didn’t make too many mistakes.

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    20. I really like this format, as well as the name.

      A few stray observations :

      – Why doesn’t Arya free Edmure ? Walder said in S6E10 that he was back in his cell at the Twins. She’s obviously been in control of the Twins for at least a couple days. Seems very odd.

      – Jon is telling everyone that they need Dragonglass. Why doesn’t Davos speak up and say “Hey, I lived on Dragonstone for years and we have tons of it” ? It seems like they just wanted it to come from Sam, but logically Davos should have said something.

      – Euron and his fleet have to pass Dragonstone to go to King’s Landing. Why doesn’t he or Cersei make any effort to stop Dany from landing on Dragonstone ? Jaime accurately predicts her arrival, why would they let her seize a castle so close to King’s Landing without even attempting to take it first ?

      – As you mentioned, Euron says he was named “Lord”, not “King”. I also thought it was to avoid insulting Cersei, but the strange thing though is that two seconds later he refers to himself as a rightful “monarch”, and Jaime corrects him, pointing out that the Greyjoys rebelled for the right to even be monarchs, and lost that rebellion.

      – The scene of the Hound digging the graves amidst the blizzard is gorgeous and kind of haunting. It reminds me of something GRRM said about how much of the end of the story would look. Something about “cold winds and snow blowing over fields of graves”. Very atmospheric.

      – It’s sad that Littlefinger has been reduced to pathetically groveling at Sansa’s feet. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her line to him “No need to cease the last word Lord Baelish, I’ll assume it was something clever”, but it would be nice to see him actually do something. I want both Sansa and Littlefinger to be brilliant manipulators at the same time, so that she can really outmaneuver him in an impressive way. He’s too passive now, and has been for a while.

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    21. Dee Stark: Oh you guys I love this format. its awesome!!!!!!! I like that we can see you discuss your different perspectives and sometimes give new light to the other on a point/topic

      Thank you so much! I was looking forward to reading your impressions. I’m happy you liked it 🙂

      Dee Stark: I skipped your part talking about the promo because I tried to avoid the video.

      I’m not gonna lie: the spoiler alert was there at all, and we re-situated it to the end of the dialogue, mostly because I wanted you to be able to read most of the piece without spoiling yourself. You’re the most dedicated Unsullied I know! It’s commendable 😛

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    22. Flayed Potatoes,

      I agree with you completely.

      As odd as this sounds, I loved the shit montage. I thought it was a very elegant (for lack of a better word) way of showing us the tedium of his life without having 3 episodes of it. It was all done in two minutes, and then we were able to move forward with the plot.

      Not to mention that the way the montage was edited was absolutely brilliant, and John Bradley played it wonderfully.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Flayed Potatoes: Jaime’s reactions to everything Cersei was saying in the map room were hilarious, but also well-acted. Looking forward to their relationship this season. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed their dialogue in the map room. Lena and NCW have amazing chemistry. Of course Cersei would be so extra that she’d have a big ass map painted on the floor right after her coronation lmao. I love her crazy ass so much.

      Flayed Potatoes,

      I found this exchange between Cersei and Jaime interesting:

      Cersei: “Are you afraid of me?”
      Jaime: “Should I be?”
      Cersei: ……

      Interesting she didn’t answer that question.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Mr Derp,

      Yup.

      Also interesting how delusional she’s becoming.

      She’s talking about building a dynasty, and when Jaime points out that their kids are all dead, she says “A dynasty for us, then”. Well, unfortunately for her there’s no such thing as a dynasty for a couple/siblings.

      A dynasty is, by definition, a sequence of rulers from the same family or of the same lineage. If they have no kids, there can be no dynasty.

      At this point it’s just power for its own sake. And Jaime is realizing it.

        Quote  Reply

    25. elybe,

      Most of Westeros didn’t even believe Dany had dragons despite everything they heard from Varys and co. Even Ned didn’t believe in white walkers way back in the pilot. I can’t wait until the NK trolls Cersei (hopefully).

        Quote  Reply

    26. This is a great idea for a new feature – and the name is clever as well! I loved reading Luka and Petra’s thoughts on the episode in a more conversational form, with opportunities for engagement, dialogue, and rebuttals on points of disagreement. It reflects the discussion I wish more people outside of our little WOTW bubble were having about the episode, rather than if the premiere was too “slow” because only 50 Freys died or if a cameo by a certain ginger pop star broke audience immersion in the world. This is the good stuff, right here!

      I particularly enjoyed the discussions about how Jon and Sansa’s priorities and subsequent tensions are being informed by their own experiences, and yet ultimately, they are still firmly on the same side and deeply care about one another. (I agree that the reports of the rift between them have been greatly exaggerated by the endless rounds of pre-season interviews. In many ways, “Jon vs. Sansa” has been this year’s version of “Jon Snow is dead” – an easy early-season element to focus on in order to conceal the season’s true story).

      Jon and Sansa are both still adjusting to having real power – Jon’s been a leader and a commander, but he’s never been a king before. Sansa has learned from some of the most effective players in the game, this is the first time that she is learning how to apply those lessons while operating from a position of real standing. There’s a learning curve for both, and hashing out their difference of opinion in public rather than private was obviously a mistake – the episode presented it as such. But, substance-wise, both of their proposed policies have merit, and while I ultimately come down on Jon’s side for this particular issue (pardoning Alys Karstark and Ned Umber for their family’s betrayal) and his view that the Night King is the greater threat, I agree with Sansa’s overall philosophy that Jon needs to learn from Ned and Robb’s past mistakes, and that taking her counsel and her knowledge in account would benefit everyone.

      Overall, I feel like the episode did an excellent job illustrating all of these dynamics in their private conversation after the fact, while also demonstrating real, tangible, genuine warmth between Jon and Sansa despite their disagreements. In short, I thought everything at Winterfell was written and executed rather beautifully. One of the best scenes in this excellent episode, IMO.

      I also loved the exchanges on Jaime and Cersei’s dynamic. I agree that it’s far too early for him to abandon her – having him strangle her right there on the map floor exclaiming “You burned the city, you monstrous Mad Queen you!” would have been unsatisfying in the extreme. Like Luka, I enjoy seeing Nikolaj Coster-Waldau portray Jaime’s internal struggle, and his scenes with Lena Headey always bring that out in rich and interesting ways. I’m all for keeping them together, uneasily aligned but fraying, for as long as possible before the breaking point comes.

      (Also, I don’t believe Jaime is done with Cersei in the books either. If I were Jaime and Brienne, a woman I trusted and had obvious affection for, lured me under false pretenses into a trap set by a single-minded, murderous vengeance-zombie, I would probably start reexamining my recent decisions if I survived – temporary estrangement from a lifelong sister-lover included).

      While I agree that Euron 2.0 is decidedly more interesting than Euron 1.0, I’m not sure that the distinction is quite that binary. I really like the point that Petra raised about the character being something of a chameleon. We’ve essentially seen three different versions of the character in his three different scenes so far.

      Version 1: the reserved, but clearly mad, possibly ethereal version who emerged from a raging storm to throw Balon off a bridge.

      Version 2: the crude, low-brow populist that won over the Ironborn captains at the Kingsmoot by playing to the lowest common denominator.

      Version 3: the brash, confident, peacocking, devil-may-care pirate captain who tried to impress Cersei and promised her a priceless gift.

      Starting next week, I think we’re going to see Version 4 – the brutal, savage, cackling beserker who leads his army of silent mutes into battle. And who knows where he’ll go from there.

      It’s easy to see that the writers made some adjustments to Euron between seasons, just as they clearly adjusted his wardrobe. But I kind of feel like this kind of inherent adaptability was baked into the character from the beginning. The only real constant is that obvious kernel of madness that none of his “characters” can ever quite conceal.

      Great thoughts on Arya seeking to balancing the lure of vengeance with necessary humanity, and Sandor’s long personal journey of penance as well. Look forward to reading these every week! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    27. Great new format guys! I thorougly enjoyed it!

      Mr Derp,

      I think Cersei really enjoyed that exchange. She likes people being afraid of her.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Benjen,

      I thought this myself. What better way to get inside the Red Keep than to take a Lannister soldier’s face? Then, once the deed is done, escape through the passages that Little Arya learned of while chasing cats.

      This theory was unpopular with my friends because it does ruin the whole “Arya still has a human heart” confirmation – but if you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    29. Mr Derp,

      Cersei is at her most dangerous when she is cornered. A true lioness.

      Chuck,

      That is why I am dying to see the NK and his army descend upon all the naysayers lmao.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Jared: I really like the point that Petra raised about the character being something of a chameleon. We’ve essentially seen three different versions of the character in his three different scenes so far.

      Version 1: the reserved, but clearly mad, possibly ethereal version who emerged from a raging storm to throw Balon off a bridge.

      Version 2: the crude, low-brow populist that won over the Ironborn captains at the Kingsmoot by playing to the lowest common denominator.

      Version 3: the brash, confident, peacocking, devil-may-care pirate captain who tried to impress Cersei and promised her a priceless gift.

      Starting next week, I think we’re going to see Version 4 – the brutal, savage, cackling beserker who leads his army of silent mutes into battle. And who knows where he’ll go from there.

      I think you’re right on the money! As well as the “berserk Euron” in battle, the facet I’m looking forward to the most is Euron in his ship, alone or at least only with his loyal mutes, because that will be the “real” Euron. I imagine he’ll be more like in his first scene with Balon; unhinged, mad, and with a belief in his own divinity. Essentially, I expect a (very, VERY toned down) version of the Euron we see in “The Forsaken”, Aeron’s first released TWOW chapter, except perhaps for the dabbling with magic; I’m not sure they’ll incorporate that in any way, though it could be interesting. If Euron’s fate really has something to do with the White Walkers as some people predict, they’ll have to add those mystical elements at some point.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Luka Nieto,

      I fully agree that the version of Euron that we’ll see when he’s on the decks of the Silence, with none but his loyal crew (and whatever unfortunate prisoners he may hold) around him, will be the real Euron, and that the version of the character that we saw with Balon is probably the closest to that “true” incarnation.

      As for “The Forsaken”, I agree the show would be very wise to tone down or avoid entirely both the hideous sexual depravities and overtones of a Lovecraftian eldritch apocalypse that the chapter revels in. That being said …

      I do expect that we’re going to see some poor unfortunate soul lashed to the prow of Euron’s ship.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Petra and Luka, you guys did not discuss Dany’s landing scene? That scene had me quite emotional even though I am not a big Dany fan, and I thought Emilia Clarke nailed it, her emotions showed through, even without dialogue.
      I enjoyed reading your thoughts btw.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Luka Nieto: Essentially, I expect a (very, VERY toned down) version of the Euron we see in “The Forsaken”, Aeron’s first released TWOW chapter, except perhaps for the dabbling with magic; I’m not sure they’ll incorporate that in any way, though it could be interesting.

      I heard about this “the Forsaken” chapter… I haven’t seen it but it’s supposedly disturbing as hell. I don’t understand why is GRRM creating such characters now… where are the complex and layered antagonists?

        Quote  Reply

    34. Flayed Potatoes,

      I loved the poop and soup montage lol. It was hilarious and it effectively showed the passage of time and Sam’s increasing frustration, all within a minute or two of screen time.

        Quote  Reply

    35. Luka Nieto,

      I truly do love this and look forward to it every week!!!!!!! 🙂

      Thank you!!!!!! when you mentioned the promo I skipped over the rest soooo it was a good enough warning!!!! trying to keep the most surprises I can!!!

        Quote  Reply

    36. Jon & Sansa: I haven’t seen anyone mention that Sansa’s part of the conversation was not so much “undermining” but inexperience in leadership. She questioned him publicly not so much because she challenged him, but because she didn’t know that she shouldn’t do it in that way. I’ve also read many comments about talking to her about this beforehand. I also see this as inexperience on Jon’s part…the need for those meetings beforehand. I liked their conversation/argument after the fact. Hopefully this will bring them both to the same page.

      With only 7 episodes this season, I think that D&D didn’t write any “fluff” into any of the scenes. Even the actors have said that everything is moving toward the end. I liked how this first episode set up every character that we will be seeing this season. Every dialogue has a purpose even if it seems insignificant.
      I’m excited to see where the next episodes go.

        Quote  Reply

    37. ghost of winterfell,

      The site already has proper recap reviews with Sue and Oz, for book readers and Unsullied respectively, so we felt safe in addressing only the storylines that we had most to say about. I loved the last scene, but I didn’t have much to say about it except “wow.” However, I imagine next week I’ll have PLENTY to say about the Dragonstone scenes. I’m REALLY eager to see all of these characters interact and squabble and plan a united conquest of Westeros together. Even if the scene disappoints me, that will be worth talking about too.

      Jared,

      There is disturbing, then there’s GRRM’s usual brand of disturbing, and then there’s “The Forsaken” disturbing. I can’t imagine the show will go that far, but I wouldn’t mind if D&D found a little inspiration in that chapter at least. With the suggestion you provided, for example.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Luka Nieto:
      Jared,

      There is disturbing, then there’s GRRM’s usual brand of disturbing, and then there’s “The Forsaken” disturbing.

      Haha, “Forsaken disturbing”… what actually happens in that chapter? I heard about it but I don’t know the content.

        Quote  Reply

    39. With regard to Castles of Traitors they certainly left out the Dreadfort. Although I suppose that belongs to Sansa for all her troubles.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Luka Nieto,

      Fuck it. I’m on a long train ride to Barcelona, so I’m just gonna re-read The Forsaken (I’d take a long, cleansing shower afterwards, if I could.) Even if they don’t even include a single thing from that chapter in Euron’s behavior and actions in the Silence next week, it’ll be nice to contrast the two Eurons.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Markus Stark,

      Regarding Edmure, I’ve seen numerous people on this site ask this and I’d simply assume the actor just wasn’t available, hence why he’s not seen or mentioned. I know that’s not something people like to hear, similar to how Ilyrio wasn’t present when Tyrion and Vary’s visited Pentos in S5-EP1, because the actor was too busy.

      From a story telling perspective, I guess we could have a throw away line down the road about Edmure being free, either with Arya’s help or by a sympathetic Frey woman. I know people like the character of Edmure (personally I’ve always been lukewarm to him, but that’s more to do with the character itself then with the actors performance) but I think his role in this story has come to and end.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Jared:
      Luka Nieto,

      As for “The Forsaken”, I agree the show would be very wise to tone down or avoid entirely both the hideous sexual depravities and overtones of a Lovecraftian eldritch apocalypse that the chapter revels in. That being said …

      I do wonder if we’ll see the crew of Silence (if they even mention the name of Euron’s ship) as mutes. It’s a detail from the book that makes Euron far more interesting and menacing, but could prove to be tricky to pull off visually. I wouldn’t be shocked if they gloss over that and his crew is just a normal batch of Ironborn soliders. I know that will cause a bit of an uproar, although at least that means we’ve moved on the Ed Sheeran debate lol. I could be wrong though, D&D and their directors have managed to add lots of layers to this show when I least expect it…

        Quote  Reply

    43. Joe,

      In the scene on the bridge between Balon and Euron, I believe Balon mentioned that Euron cut off the tongues of his crew, so it’s certainly a possibility.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Joe,

      One thing I was wondering about re: Edmure is whether his wife Roslyn Frey survived and if so, whether their son is now Heir to The Twins as well as Riverrun?

      I would SO be down for a Tobias Mendez surprise appearance. But, not counting on it…

        Quote  Reply

    45. Joe: I do wonder if we’ll see the crew of Silence (if they even mention the name of Euron’s ship) as mutes. It’s a detail from the book that makes Euron far more interesting and menacing, but could prove to be tricky to pull off visually. I wouldn’t be shocked if they gloss over that and his crew is just a normal batch of Ironborn soliders.

      Euron cutting off his crew’s tongues was mentioned by Balon in Euron’s introduction in “Home” last season, so the detail will be maintained.

      Lord Parramandas,

      To begin with, the tone of the chapter is unrelentingly dark and nihilistic and horrific, to a degree that not even Reek’s chapters come close to. As for what happens…

      It’s an Aeron chapter. Many expected him to mount a resistance against Euron… but NOPE. The actual reason he disappeared was that Euron kidnapped him right after the kingsmoot. In “The Forsaken,” as Euron heads to battle in the Reach with his Silence and the Iron Fleet, Aeron wallows in his misery, chained in a room at the bottom decks of the Silence. Euron comes often, to mock him and poisoning him with hallucinogens in which Aeron sees Euron as a sort of god-killing demon-god (Interestingly, in his vision Euron sits the Iron Throne alongside a “tall, terrible woman” with hands of “white pale fire.” That’s so Cersei; which is corroborated with what’s happening in the show.) Euron also recounts raping their brother Urrigon as young boys, and mocks him by suggesting the reason Aeron prayed when Euron did that was so he was chosen instead. He also reveals he killed three of their brothers, not just Balon. Throughout, Euron recalls the miserable circumstances of his incarciration, the torture he’s been suffering since he was captured, first in the Shield Islands and then in the Silence (including implied rape.) There are other prisoners, all priests or magicians of some kind: a few Septons, a Red Priest, and two Qharteen warlocks (including Pyat Pree, from book and season 2). Most of them have been dismembered; they are lacking eyes, tongues, legs, arms… or a combination thereof. Then, at the end of the chapter, Euron appears with a new iron crown with shark theeth and Valyrian steel armor, and makes use of all of these priests with “holly blood”, at last, for a blood sacrifice to win the battle ahead, by binding them to the prows of the ships in the Iron Fleet; Aeron in the Silence’s prow, alongside Euron’s pregnant salt wife, whose tongue Euron has just cut. The chapter ends with Aeron in that precarious situation, with Euron’s fleet heading to battle against the fleet of Oldtown. Unless there’s some miracle, I’m pretty sure this is Aeron’s first and last chapter in TWOW.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Luka Nieto,

      I see… this is really disturbing. I don’t understand what’s with these new monstrous villains… it seems like GRRM has forsaken the overall grey tone and is trying to create the worst psychopaths now.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Grayven Reyne,

      I took it as she was talking about his suicide was a betrayal to her. Like she spent her whole life to get her kids in the Iron Throne. Tommen is there, fulfilling her dreams, and he offs himself. How selfish.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Speaking of that scene where Cersei is discussing the “betrayal” of Tommen…

      It looked to me like she called Tommen a motherfucker, but they overdubbed her voice to say mother father instead. I could be wrong, but Cersei’s lips say motherfucker while I hear mother father. Did anyone else notice that? or have I gone mad?

        Quote  Reply

    49. Lord Parramandas:
      Luka Nieto,
      I see… this is really disturbing. I don’t understand what’s with these new monstrous villains… it seems like GRRM has forsaken the overall grey tone and is trying to create the worst psychopaths now.

      I agree. GRRM used to create amazing Grey villains. Tywin Lannister & Roose Bolton, for example, and also Joffery (who was basically a spoilt Brat who had only the potential to become truly evil). Littlefinger and Cersei are the only ones left and he kind of screwed her up in AFFC too.

      He has had some pretty black villains since the beginning – like the Mountain, Rorge/Biter, Vargo Hoat, the slaver in Astapor (wassisname), but those aren’t PoV’s or really that important. Ramsey was sort of interesting in book 2 but went way over the top in book 5. Euron is a cartoon villain in the books, way over the top evil. This “trickster” Euron in the show is a lot more enjoyable, IMO.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Luka Nieto: Euron cutting off his crew’s tongues was mentioned by Balon in Euron’s introduction in “Home” last season, so the detail will be maintained.

      I don’t even remember that

      Ugh Euron is an annoying character… I def enjoyed him more in episode 1 than at all last year.. but hes going to kill people I like… and that’s annoying

      *Childish temper tantrum over”

        Quote  Reply

    51. Dee Stark,

      Well, I think we’re “supposed” to dislike Euron as he’s one of the antagonists to the story. But in my case, I really enjoy his presence whenever he appears on screen… he has some sort of a sinister presence in my opinion and I wonder what is he capable of…

        Quote  Reply

    52. QueenofThrones,

      Yes, those were mostly “enforcers”… men hired for violence. Of course they were total sociopaths. But yes, I miss antagonists like Tywin or Roose. And I agree about TV Euron… he seems more realistic to me, even though I suspect he may be insane.

        Quote  Reply

    53. I haven’t read the books but I have read quite a few of Euron’s chapters. I thought The Forsaken was awesome. They should’ve opened up this season with Euron smashing the Shield islands, and then a certain scene within the castle that involving a radish. Would be so much better than Chucky erm I mean Arya killing more Freys.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Dee Stark,

      I think I remember you mentioning you enjoyed Euron a lot less during your second watch… it was the other way around for me, especially when it comes to the bridge scene. I liked the rising tension in that scene… when he first appeared, Balon was quite dismissive, in a way “oh, it’s my exiled brother” but then Euron started with those lines and it seemed to me that Balon became somehow afraid of him, like he really sensed Euron has gone insane. Like I said above, I sense some sinister vibe whenever the character appears on screen.

        Quote  Reply

    55. As far as betrayal is concerned, I think Cersei and Tommen kind of betrayed each other. Tommen asked Cersei for help early in season 6 and she barely lifted a finger to help him. Tommen was vulnerable and in need of guidance and got almost nothing from his own mother. She left him to fend for himself, but in turn, Tommen did the same to Cersei once he let the High Sparrow manipulate him.

        Quote  Reply

    56. So glad some people here don’t write for the show hahaha

      Lord Parramandas,

      Yeah I think last season I just felt like he was out of place… and they were trying to force the Greyjoy story…. they could have done without him to be honest…. However, it makes more sense this year with his alliance with Cersei, because as they said themselves they need alliances to beat Dany and Co or they don’t stand a chance. So I have accepted it more, and I am happy with the changes they made to Euron’s look and I was much more drawn in in this episode to his scene than any other (of his). Even the bridge one. I think many people have an attachment to it/him from the books….

        Quote  Reply

    57. Dee Stark,

      Well, Euron’s presence was a groundwork for Theon and Yara to go on Dany’s side and Balon needed to die. You simply cannot have Theon disappear for entire season and I think it’s better to introduce a character in previous season and build him up than just throw him in story in S7 with no proper intro. It seems quite clear he will play an important role this season.

      As for the bridge scene, it doesn’t happen in the books, at least not on-screen and I prefer TV Euron hundred times over his cartoonishly evil book character.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Dee Stark: I thought the rope bridge scene was from the books
      My bad

      There is a similar scene in the books… but it has never been confirmed it was Euron.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Dee Stark: I thought the rope bridge scene was from the books
      My bad

      Sort of. The reader never gets to read it in first person; you just hear through other characters that Balon fell of a rope bridge, and later on Euron becomes a prime suspect. But in the books he didn’t do it himself; he had someone (implied to be a Faceless Man) hired to do the job.

      A Dornish Tyrell,

      Euron confirms it to Aeron in “The Forsaken,” one of the released TWOW chapters.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Dee Stark,

      Like I said in my last year’s review for “Home” about the bridge scene:

      Balon and Euron: THAT’s the way to handle Balon’s death, not just a throwaway line. Both actors were great and Euron really has sinister presence. And as Mihnea said: No eyepatch!!!! I always judge actors by their performance, not by outlook. Another thing, I really liked the fact that Euron himself killed him, not some mysterious Faceless man. I will miss Patrick Malahide, even though his screen presence was brief.

        Quote  Reply

    61. A Dornish Tyrell,

      Yes… but we never actually “see it” and it takes a lot of power from the scene in my opinion. Balon’s death just being a throwaway line? Not the best way to dispose of one of the kings.

        Quote  Reply

    62. A Dornish Tyrell,

      I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on a bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings.

      OT The woods witch is one of my favorite “small” parts in aSoS.

      Luka Nieto,

      I love how Euron’s face is shadowed (ie faceless).

        Quote  Reply

    63. I should repost my rewrite of Euron’s entrance scene from last season — I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure what I did with it though.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Thanks everyone for explaining 🙂

      Cant wait to read the books one day. I wonder if I will enjoy them knowing everything I know!

        Quote  Reply

    65. Clob: I wonder how many of The North people (and Vale) understand the level of danger from the NK and his army, or even fully believe.Yeah, many saw a giant, but that’s a living, breathing species, not some magical being that animates the dead.They seem to be listening to the stories Jon and the other witnesses are telling them, but are they AS worried?

      If they truly understood and believed it, why on earth would anyone even want the Last Hearth or Karhold?! 😬
      I actually did find it a little puzzling that these were referred to as sort of the first line of defense – those who are there will just get mowed over and added to the army of the dead marching south, unless they will be acting as advanced lookout and running back to Winterfell?
      What do I know lol but will be interesting to see how the battle strategy plays out.

      Oh, and good article, I enjoyed it. Agree with most everything said about Jon and Sansa…I have a bad feeling though. S6E1 lulled me into just enjoying the show and the characters, forgetting for a few days that it exists to rip my heart out and make me scream at characters making stupid mistakes. Afraid of the consequences of Jon not heeding Sansa’s warning about Cersei, as he failed to heed the warning about how Ramsay works.
      For a brief minute reading this, I also wondered if they could give us a horrible GOT moment by showing those Lannister soldiers slaughtered in Arya’s wake, or one of their faces being used…but I don’t think they have earned a twist like that in her arc, and it would put Arya squarely into LS territory, no longer a character we could root for.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Tycho Nestoris,

      Me too! I like that “small” character very much!!

      Dee Stark,

      I think you would enjoy the books as well!! Show and books have diverged enough that you will still enjoy them, even if you think you know everything. 😉

      Tycho Nestoris: Luka Nieto,

      I love how Euron’s face is shadowed (ie faceless).

      That was a very nice touch indeed!!!!

        Quote  Reply

    67. Luka Nieto,

      I haven’t read that excerpt due to my disliking of the Krakens, to be honest… A prejudice that I should combat after reading your summary of “The Forsaken”. It sounds very dark and awesome for all the wrong reasons!!! 🙂

      Does that chapter confirm the theory that

      Euron is a Faceless Man?

      I guess not necessarily since dreams (like prophecies) are not particularly accurate. But I’m interested in your thoughts.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Jared:

      While I agree that Euron 2.0 is decidedly more interesting than Euron 1.0, I’m not sure that the distinction is quite that binary. I really like the point that Petra raised about the character being something of a chameleon. We’ve essentially seen three different versions of the character in his three different scenes so far.

      Version 1: the reserved, but clearly mad, possibly ethereal version who emerged from a raging storm to throw Balon off a bridge.

      Version 2: the crude, low-brow populist that won over the Ironborn captains at the Kingsmoot by playing to the lowest common denominator.

      Version 3: the brash, confident, peacocking, devil-may-care pirate captain who tried to impress Cersei and promised her a priceless gift.

      Starting next week, I think we’re going to see Version 4 – the brutal, savage, cackling beserker who leads his army of silent mutes into battle. And who knows where he’ll go from there.

      It’s easy to see that the writers made some adjustments to Euron between seasons, just as they clearly adjusted his wardrobe. But I kind of feel like this kind of inherent adaptability was baked into the character from the beginning. The only real constant is that obvious kernel of madness that none of his “characters” can ever quite conceal.

      This pretty much echoes my own thoughts on Euron, and I think the idea of him as a bit of a chameleon highlights what Pilou Asbaek has said of the character. In a way, Euron is a writer, actor and costumier rolled into one, and he adapts to his surroundings and those he is engaging with. I’m really looking forward to seeing where they take Euron this season, though I’m also a little terrified at the same time!

      I’ve also read The Forsaken, and if they even show a little of this Euron it could make for disturbing viewing.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Markus Stark:

      – Jon is telling everyone that they need Dragonglass. Why doesn’t Davos speak up and say “Hey, I lived on Dragonstone for years and we have tons of it” ? It seems like they just wanted it to come from Sam, but logically Davos should have said something.

      – Euron and his fleet have to pass Dragonstone to go to King’s Landing.

      – It’s sad that Littlefinger has been reduced to pathetically groveling at Sansa’s feet. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her line to him “No need to cease the last word Lord Baelish, I’ll assume it was something clever”, but it would be nice to see him actually do something. I want both Sansa and Littlefinger to be brilliant manipulators at the same time, so that she can really outmaneuver him in an impressive way. He’s too passive now, and has been for a while.

      I really was lulled by that first episode, but now that I’m remembering my GoT lessons, I fully expect that LF has something up his sleeve, more than just trying to verbally manipulate and create conflict. (Had more to say here, but I am afraid that some of the “insights” and “speculation” I have read in other comments is from people with prior knowledge of spoilers, so not going to reference them)
      I am really dreading the potential twists, something must be coming to sucker punch us, besides straightforward deaths in battle!

      And I also expect some contrived explanation in E2 for Davos’ ignorance/silence about the dragon glass 😜, that’s a pretty odd oversight!

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    70. Tensor the Mage, Wishing His Forbidden Tower Had A Lawn, So He Could Tell Those Young Pop Stars Today To Stay The Heck Offa It, says:

      Is it possible that Arya purposely trotted beside those soldiers (she’s not that dumb) so she could sort of befriend them, learn a bit about them, kill one, take their face …

      YES!! Specifically, she takes the face of a certain *ginger* soldier, so Ed Sheehan will have a cameo every week.

      TAK THT ED H8RZ.

      😀

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    71. Mr Derp: I could be wrong, but Cersei’s lips say motherfucker while I hear mother father. Did anyone else notice that? or have I gone mad?

      She says “Should we spend all our days mourning the dead; Mother, Father, and all our children?” Although it would be very entertaining for Queen Cersei to begin talking like Bronn, especially given the fact that she would be the mother in question, the “and all our children” part doesn’t work if she just mentioned one of them.

      Mr Derp:
      As far as betrayal is concerned, I think Cersei and Tommen kind of betrayed each other.

      Totally. The Cersei Scorecard of Life only has one column.. “Things Other People Did To Me.”

      To be fair, when she mentioned that Tommen betrayed her (outlawing trial by combat), she also admitted that Tommen had betrayed Jaime (kicking him out of the Kingsguard). Grudgingly, as a muttered afterthought, but she did admit it.

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    72. Tycho Nestoris,

      I think they gave some of the Ghost of High Heart’s lines to Melisandre in season 3 – not about the death of Balon but about seeing a darkness in Arya. It’s a while since I read/listened to the books so I don’t remember every incident but I don’t think book Melisandre and book Arya have met (not yet anyway) – maybe your memory is better than mine.

      Off topic I’m posting a short link to an interview (with a terrible back of a car visual effect but the BBC doesn’t have HBO’s budget) with Bella Ramsay and one of her co-stars from “Worst Witch”; it’s very short but Bella seems a nice kid. She’s got three cats but I don’t think they’re called Boots, Lady Whiskas and Ser Pounce*. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3PzySbv-Zc

      * Names of book Tommen’s kittens – I don’t think that’s a spoiler.

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    73. Of the old gods: And I also expect some contrived explanation in E2 for Davos’ ignorance/silence about the dragon glass 😜, that’s a pretty odd oversight!

      I think it’s a perfectly acceptable explanation that he sincerely doesn’t know about the dragonglass on Dragonstone. Stannis himself never thought it was of any importance so the topic wouldn’t have been typically discussed. Also, if there’s any sort of scale to the drawn map the dragonglass will be in caves on the island away from the castle. It’s probably unlikely that Davos went spelunking on the island during the short periods when he wasn’t in a cell. We have to remember he’s just recently learned to read as well, so if it was written anywhere…

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    74. Dame of Mercia,

      Oh nice catch! I did not put that together. They haven’t met in the books (yet?)

      Woods witch: “You cannot hide from me, child. Come closer, now. I see you. I see you, wolf child. Blood child. I thought it was the lord who smelled of death … You are cruel to come to my hill, cruel. I gorged on grief at Summerhall, I need none of yours. Begone from here, dark heart. Begone!

      Show:
      Arya Stark: You’re a witch! You’re going to hurt him!
      [Melisadre turns to Arya. She grabs her chin and looks at her closely]
      Melisandre: I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.

      It’s very similar with the “dark heart” “darkness” “I see you” “Eyes staring” “smelled of death” “eyes you’ll shut forever”.

      Then the slight change of “begone” with “we will meet again”.

      Bella needs at least one WW kill. Sooner rather than later.

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    75. Grayven Reyne: Mr Derp: I could be wrong, but Cersei’s lips say motherfucker while I hear mother father. Did anyone else notice that? or have I gone mad?

      She says “Should we spend all our days mourning the dead; Mother, Father, and all our children?” Although it would be very entertaining for Queen Cersei to begin talking like Bronn, especially given the fact that she would be the mother in question, the “and all our children” part doesn’t work if she just mentioned one of them.

      Mr Derp:

      Grayven Reyne,

      It could have originally been:
      Should we spend all our days mourning the dead motherfucker and all our children?

      I know, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense, but every time I watch that scene I could swear there’s something off about the mouth movements with the audio.

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    76. So much attention was paid to the Ed Sheeran cameo, but did anyone actually focus on the lyrics he was singing?

      “He rode through the streets of the city, down from his hill on high, O’er the wynds and the steps and the cobbles, he rode to a woman’s sigh. For she was his secret treasure, she was his shame and his bliss. And a chain and a keep are nothing, compared to a woman’s kiss. For hands of gold are always cold, but a woman’s hands are warm . . .”

      Sounds like the song is talking about Jaime and Cersei to me, but it could just be some random lyrics.

      I know it has a bit of a different meaning in the books, but I think for show purposes this is a reference to Jaime and Cersei.

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    77. I am loving Pilou’s Euron. I have no problem with the costume, it suited him. That hubris, dang! He’s going to go from jokester to terrifying in 0.5 seconds…and likely back again.

      Sandor Ahai looking into the flames – I’m wondering how much of his vision was due to Thoros? Had he taken it upon himself to stare into a fire (which wouldn’t likely happen), would he have seen anything? Or is this solely due to Thoros’ ‘magic’?

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    78. Pigeon,

      He is the Lord’s Chosen. He is the Warrior of Light.
      “Is he a ham?” – Renly
      No, but “he’s got a face like a half-burned ham” – Hot Pie

      Close enough for me.

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    79. “Jon Snow avenged the Red Wedding!” – Lord Manderly 6×10

      “If people ask you what happened here, tell them: The North remembers. Tell them: Winter came for House Frey.” – Arya Stark 7×1

      “Uhhh… Can I revise my speech?” – Lord Manderly

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    80. Clob,

      Somebody may have mentioned this already, but Sam’s known about dragonglass on Dragonstone ever since Stannis told him about it. Why’d he need a diagram in a book to convince him to tell Jon?

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    81. Maybe I’m old fashioned but the Stark’s and the Frey’s are at war, are they not?

      Since they are, I don’t view what Arya did as murder, it’s war. As has been pointed out she didn’t needlessly kill any non-combatants. Those Frey’s were the perpetrators of the massacre of her family, hell they all cheered the massacre right before they died. Not murder, war, I know that’s probably not in keeping with post-modern sensibilities but this where I think post-modern sensibilities have gotten out of whack by the relative ease and comfort (historically) that most in the western nations have lived in since the end of WWII. The lack of having to make hard choices has deluded many into thinking hard choices are never justifiable. If any of you watch The Walking Dead, that’s the point Michonne made to Heath a couple of seasons ago, Heath and company had it easy in Alexandria and never had to make the tough choices, whereas Michonne, Rick, et al. had faced the most difficult choices and KNEW that sometimes they were necessary.

      On the Sansa-Jon thing. I think Jon was not only morally right to spare the Karstarks and Umbers from being thrown out of their homes, but it was probably also the right move politically/strategically. They’ve got bigger fish to fry now with the Night King bearing down on them, they can’t afford to have dispossessed and bitter Karstarks and Umbers causing trouble behind the lines. Those two families have controlled their areas for centuries as Jon pointed out, those two families can probably keep much better control of those areas (because of familiarity) than a new family could who would have to learn on the job. Also, as Jon also pointed out the actual traitors are dead and the new lord Umber and lady Karstark are children, and Jon’s decision, when those kids KNOW they were completely at his mercy and in his power is just as likely, probably more likely, considering the age of Ned Umber and Alys Karstark to create fierce loyalty to Jon rather than to encourage backstabbing. Let’s also face the fact that outside of the Mormont’s there aren’t a lot of northern houses who can really claim to have been their for Jon and Sansa in their hour of need, Lord Glover sure as hell can’t, neither can Lord Manderly, or plenty of others. While these houses didn’t actively fight against Jon and Sansa, they needed a bit of clean slate too. Sansa has been trained in the school by her experience that ruthlessness is always the way to go, that’s wrong. Ruthlessness is sometimes required but it needs to be tempered with mercy sometimes too, neither the hard ass approach or the soft touch are ALWAYS right. The hard part is knowing when each are called for.

      And Sansa contradicting Jon in front of everyone was completely wrong. It was fine for her to voice her opinion of course she made clear to the council what she thought, then Jon made his decision, he’s the King, she should have pulled him aside or shut up at that point, the whole “so there’s no punishment for treason, and no reward for loyalty…” comment was a bridge too far. I’d say the same if she was Queen in the North and the roles were reversed.

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    82. Ten Bears:

      Somebody may have mentioned this already, but Sam’s known about dragonglass on Dragonstone ever since Stannis told him about it. Why’d he need a diagram in a bookto convince him to tell Jon?

      Sam does reference his conversation with Stannis in this scene – I think perhaps he didn’t realize the extent of it, maybe? The book effectively tells him there’s a mountain of dragonglass underneath Dragonstone.

      I think Stannis did say something about getting it mined, but going by this week’s episode it seems he didn’t actually have anyone on Dragonstone at the time to do the work.

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    83. Flayed Potatoes: Please, please tell me I am not the only one who enjoyed Sam’s shit montage lol. I have a feeling we are going to have some good dialogue between him and the maester.

      Nope, you are not the only one. I’m a big Sam, and Sam and Gilly fan anyway, so my super smart book boy can do no wrong. I happen to like John Bradley the actor very much, as well. Any time I’ve seen him speak in an interview, he’s been witty, vocal, knowledgeable about the show and his character, and very friendly. I completely and absolutely buy his portrayal of Sam – I, too, am a self-proclaimed book-worm; his scene where he finds rapture in his first glance at the Citadel library had me right there with him mooning over the books.

      As far as the shit scene, I thought it was hilariously well done. Poor guy is there to save the world, and has to practically wade through shit to get to do it. And the dear boy obviously has loved food – it didn’t help that the food he was ladling into those bowls looked exactly like the shit he cleaned from the bed pans. He will probably be losing some weight.

      Day in day out, same old shit. Some didn’t like the quick-speed montage of the routine, but I thought it was perfect for the situation, even though it was different than what we’ve seen on GoT before. So is the information in those tomes different than what we’ve seen before, so are those particular Maesters, especially Ebrose. Then … omg, JORAH. It will be a delight to see those two interact. I can’t wait for news of Dany’s arrival to hit the Citadel, to watch Sam speed his way down to tell Jorah, and get the whole story about her.

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    84. Ten Bears: Why’d he need a diagram in a book to convince him to tell Jon?

      Jon has known about dragonglass, too. He took a load of it to Hardhome with him, and almost got himself killed trying to retrieve it, because it is so rare. Sam’s excitement arises from the fact that the map shows exactly where an underground MOUNTAIN of it exists on Dragonstone. Knowing exactly where the greatest amount is will save huge amounts of time – they don’t have to spend time looking for it, all they have to do is follow the map and mine it out of the ground.

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    85. Pigeon: I am loving Pilou’s Euron. I have no problem with the costume, it suited him. That hubris, dang! He’s going to go from jokester to terrifying in 0.5 seconds…and likely back again.

      Yes, I am too, THIS year. Last year, not so much. They cleaned him up and gave the guy some funny, though ominous, lines and he delivered them like a champ. I hate to say it, but I think he gave Jaime a verbal thumping – Did you catch Jaime’s expression when Euron recommended killing a brother to Cersei, and she sat there contemplating it?!
      I thought he was going to be a drag this season, but now it will be fun to see what he does. I don’t need a villain who’s even MORE vicious than Joff or Ramsay, I think we can do with one who’s a bit more fun, if that makes sense.

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    86. Petra: She thought about killing them, though. We saw her looking at their swords.

      Luka: Yes, she was tempted.

      I didn’t think right away that she was going to kill them, I immediately thought she was checking the whereabouts of the weapons to make sure they couldn’t kill her. After all, she is a pretty young woman traveling dangerous roads alone. She’s lethal, yes, but she’s not a fool. But you guys are right, it might have crossed her mind that maybe she’d need or end up wanting to kill them. So glad she didn’t.

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    87. While I don’t think Sansa’s point of view was entirely wrong, nor that she should have remained silent, I agree that she should have been more tactful with Jon.

      She’s supposed to be good at handling people! It’s her strength in the books! Even Tyrion remarks on this!

      Sometimes I have a feeling D&D have fun augmenting her stupidity. She openly antagonized the Boltons, didn’t know the words to Brienne’s oath, and now this…
      It’s an annoying pattern.

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    88. Pigeon: Had he taken it upon himself to stare into a fire (which wouldn’t likely happen), would he have seen anything? Or is this solely due to Thoros’ ‘magic’?

      Could be Thoros, which is a good thought, but I don’t care, really. Weren’t you just entranced seeing him have clear, lucid visions – in the fucking fire he so fears, no less – when only moments before he was scoffing at the idea of visions? I could feel all vestiges of “The Hound” falling away, and his heart lifting toward being “Sandor the Saviour.” In other words, I really liked the scene and the way all of them interacted. We are going to lose some of them, and I’m going to be sad, no matter which of them. (but devastated if it is Sandor.)

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    89. Flayed Potatoes:
      Please, please tell me I am not the only one who enjoyed Sam’s shit montage lol. I have a feeling we are going to have some good dialogue between him and the maester.

      Sam is my Patronus. Gilly is my Animagus form. The Citadel is my haven. The restricted section, my inner sanctum. If only we had Alleras, my hero(ine).

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    90. Ten Bears:
      Pigeon,

      He is the Lord’s Chosen. He is the Warrior of Light.
      “Is he a ham?” – Renly
      No, but “he’s got a face like a half-burned ham” – Hot Pie

      Close enough for me.

      Ahahahahaha!!!!! 😂

      Thronetender: Yes, I am too, THIS year. Last year, not so much. They cleaned him up and gave the guy some funny, though ominous, lines and he delivered them like a champ. I hate to say it, but I think he gave Jaime a verbal thumping – Did you catch Jaime’s expression when Euron recommended killing a brother to Cersei, and she sat there contemplating it?!
      I thought he was going to be a drag this season, but now it will be fun to see what he does.I don’t need a villain who’s even MORE vicious than Joff or Ramsay, I think we can do with one who’s a bit more fun, if that makes sense.

      Jaime’s expressions were everything. He was truly taken aback by this guy waltzing in and addressing Cersei that way. Heck, even Cersei was half amused, half ‘wtf?’ Lol.

      I think he’s fun, but I wouldn’t put it past him to be pretty brutal as well. With his history as well as tossing his bro off the bridge, he’s a dangerous guy.

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    91. Thronetender: Could be Thoros, which is a good thought, but I don’t care, really. Weren’t you just entranced seeing him have clear, lucid visions – in the fucking fire he so fears, no less – when only moments before he was scoffing at the idea of visions? I could feel all vestiges of “The Hound” falling away, and his heart lifting toward being “Sandor the Saviour.”In other words, I really liked the scene and the way all of them interacted. We are going to lose some of them, and I’m going to be sad, no matter which of them. (but devastated if it is Sandor.)

      I was dang proud of him. Sounds silly, but I was. Even just admitting to them that he saw something. A lot of insight in those scenes…the hesitation to go in the cottage when he recognized it, his reaction to the bodies, chat with Beric, fireside hijinks, and burying the farmer and his daughter.

      “I don’t remember the rest… Sorry you’re dead. You deserved better.”

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    92. QueenofThrones:
      Joe,

      One thing I was wondering about re: Edmure is whether his wife Roslyn Frey survived and if so, whether their son is now Heir to The Twins as well as Riverrun?

      I would SO be down for a Tobias Mendez surprise appearance.But, not counting on it…

      Logically speaking, the heir to the Twins would be the oldest male descendant of the oldest one of Walder’s sons who had kids.

      Arya only killed grown men, but Walder has grandchildren and daughters. Some of the men Arya killed would have young sons, surely one of them would be the heir to the Twins.

      That’s why it’s so weird that Jaime acts as though House Frey is extinct. “They supported us and now they’re all dead”. He says “supported”, past tense.

      But obviously Arya didn’t kill any of the teenagers, children, or babies, so there are definitely Freys left, and they still have an army. Arya “only” killed about 50 guys.

      So logically, House Frey should still exist, and they should still be supporting the Lannisters. Jaime’s dialogue is very odd.

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    93. Pigeon: Ahahahahaha!!!!! 😂

      Jaime’s expressions were everything. He was truly taken aback by this guy waltzing in and addressing Cersei that way. Heck, even Cersei was half amused, half ‘wtf?’ Lol.

      I think he’s fun, but I wouldn’t put it past him to be pretty brutal as well. With his history as well as tossing his bro off the bridge, he’s a dangerous guy.

      As much as this week’s version of Euron was entertaining, he is a dangerous guy. I’m sure that we will get a milder form of his behavior in The Forsaken and, even that, could be disturbing.

      Jaimie’s expressions were everything thru out the episode…even when she was going on about their “dynasty” in the map room. He needs to get away from Cersei sooner rather than later.

      Thronetender: Nope, you are not the only one. I’m a big Sam, and Sam and Gilly fan anyway, so my super smart book boy can do no wrong. I happen to like John Bradley the actor very much, as well. Any time I’ve seen him speak in an interview, he’s been witty, vocal, knowledgeable about the show and his character, and very friendly. I completely and absolutely buy his portrayal of Sam – I, too, am a self-proclaimed book-worm;his scene where he finds rapture in his first glance at the Citadel library had me right there with him mooning over the books.

      I adore Sam and John Bradley. He has done a wonderful job of bringing added dimension to the character of Sam – kindness, humor, good nature, curiosity. In every interview that I have seen with him, he appears to understand and appreciate the scope of this show. I need Sam, Gilly and Baby Sam to live happily ever after. (Yes…I know.)

      This is another great new feature. Love the discussion and different points of view.

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    94. Pigeon: I think he’s fun, but I wouldn’t put it past him to be pretty brutal as well. With his history as well as tossing his bro off the bridge, he’s a dangerous guy.

      Oh I agree, he’s going to be a brutal SOB when the situation demands. That’s what puts the edge on his humor and swagger. Yet what I hoped they wouldn’t do was try to amp up the brutality in some really horrifying ways just to make him “outdo” the other two in terms of horrendous acts. After a certain level, brutal is enough; too hideous, and I can’t watch (or read) anymore. Not with something that’s supposed to be entertainment. If I want magnified horror, all I have to do is watch the evening news.

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    95. “He rode through the streets of the city, down from his hill on high, O’er the wynds and the steps and the cobbles, he rode to a woman’s sigh. For she was his secret treasure, she was his shame and his bliss. And a chain and a keep are nothing, compared to a woman’s kiss. For hands of gold are always cold, but a woman’s hands are warm . . .”

      Sounds like

      Tyrion and his whore in the books.

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    96. QueenofThrones: QueenofThrones

      The heir to the Twins should be the oldest male descendant. I doubt that would Roslin’s kid, it would more likely be someone whose father was a Frey.

      Arya only killed grown men, so there would still be children, babies, teenagers.

      So despite what Jaime says, House Frey isn’t extinct.

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    97. Pigeon: Sandor Ahai looking into the flames – I’m wondering how much of his vision was due to Thoros?

      Thoros always describes himself as a failed, drunken priest, but he must be much more than that – something in him, some extra spark of humanity or intelligence, caught the favor of R’hllor. He seemed so sure that Sandor would see something yet he didn’t push too hard or make subtle suggestion on which Sandor might have hung those visions. He just kept saying “what else.” He was sure something would be there, that sureness probably based on the courage he felt because R’hllor had answered all those other times. And there has never been any indication or hints that he is a charlatan or hypnotist of any sort. So, yes, I think in a way, Thoros had a part in those visions, not so much as causing them, but as adding the flow of his aura to the mix, so that everything in the room was affected.
      Does that sound like what you had in mind?

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    98. Thank you Petra and Luka for this! You make very interesting points.

      I really liked the episode. I usually enjoy this set-up episodes, where things move slowly but surely into place.

      After all the interviews with Sophie, I was really afraid Jon and Sansa´s “confrontation” was going to be awful. But I liked what I saw last Sunday, because they had their disagrements, but they also have valid points and they talked about them. As Petra pointed out, they are both acting based on their experiences. Even if team work does not occur smoothly, after their private conversation I think there is a chance for them to work together. From last season to this season I sensed a growth in both of them, so I wish the keep on learning how to work together. What I like about both characters is, precisely, their ability to learn and adapt to very difficult circumstances. There is potential, and that is something I like.

      As for Jaimie and Cersei, I want to see what happens next. In the books I agree with you that the break-up felt somewhat “traditional” (in the sense that Jaimie was hurt by her infidelity), whereas in the show, I can feel his pain of losing her. I read somewhere that of her redeeming qualities, according to Tyrion, she only have the cheekbones left! For someone who have shared with her so much, and whose world has been grounded on her for so long, seeing this change must be heartwrenching.

      Loved Arya’s scenes! I too was concerned, mostly by the smirk at the end of the cold open. I understood the revenge, she had been going over her list for years! But that she left the place smiling, gave me the chills. The fact that she was able to interact differently with the Lanister soldiers was a relief for me. I was afraid they might try to hurt her, and she would go on killing people, but the way the scene went was a breadth of fresh air in this show that promises to plunge into mayhem really soon. It reminded me of the brief moment of happiness a few seasons ago when Jon and Ygritte kissed on top of the Wall.

      My favorite part of the episode, though, was the Hound scene. His arc is compelling. Regarding how quickly he had a vision. One of the things that has come up a few times in the show, is that R’hllor manifests him/herself to those who are struggling with their faith and who are sincere in their need for his presence (both Thoros and Melisandre were able to resurrect Beric and Jon when they had almost lost hope, and just cried “please, help”). So I am not suprised that it showed visions in the flames to those who were less inclined to believe in him, but who felt they have very few options (Stannis felt like the rightful king, but his chances were seriously curtailed; Sandor is in a redeeming arc, but he is not sure what his purpose is).

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    99. I thought it was about Jaime and Cersei, because of the “his shame and his bliss” and “hands of gold” parts.

      Yes, that could be a valid interpretation as well — even though Jamie has just one golden hand. 🙂 Artistic license on the part of the singer.

      My interpretation was also based on the badge of office the Hand of the King wears on his outermost garment. In the show, it’s a hand with one finger extended, within a circle. In the books,

      it’s a chain of golden hands.

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    100. w0w!
      I think i’m excited…….
      No matter if i was spoiled by the leaks or not, i was still excited the whole way through that episode as i’ve always been.
      I thought that intro to this thread was awesome btw,
      I can see on jaimes face that he is close to cracking with the “Oh My Fucking god!!!!….Ive wasted most of my life with this nutcase?????” And i dont think its gonna take long.
      Sam was ok,j the shit montage bothered me but after 5 seconds i realised it was one of those “passage of time” things. Gilly is definately the one to find something “big”….kinda like how davos read the letter from castle black while he was still learning to read.
      I sure hope Jorah isnt as big an asshole to sam as he was to tyrion,,hehe
      Hmmmmm…..Jon and Sansa….thats a tuffy.
      One thing that came to me recently was….they are really good at their own particular skill but still have a lot to learn….like how to trust anyone…even your sister or brother cuz they havent seen what uve seen, the way i see it is…they see each other based on what they remember about each other and the majority of that was based at winterfell before everyone parted their merry ways, and what was their relationship then? Not very good i’d say. I hope what is happening is they realise how stupid they were and start to trust each other more…first start is whats the popular way to go…talk in private about what ur gonna tell the world b4 you tell the world ..rationalise it together…i saw a “northern small council” mentioned in one of these threads, thats a start….but they need to trust more, talk better in private like they were real allies like jaime and tyrion . Remains to be seen how it goes. but i hope they form the perfect team one day.
      “I DONT WANT THE HOUND TO FIND GOD IN ANY FORM OTHER THAN ARYAS”…it would be as boring as hell….
      Which brings me to arya,…i have to admit to you ppl first that i’m madly in love with her…..have been from the first episode, and i’m an old man ffs….but i dont love her like that, i love her like i love my daughters. I have 2 daughters and you wont believe it but…..they are the exact same as arya and sansa, and i love my girls in 2 different way and everythings fine…..arya is like my youngest and its uncanny…exact replicas…everytime i see arya on screen all i want to do is give her a big cuddle. I so hope she sails off west of westeros with gendry…i real do.
      I’m a longtime watcher rare poster here…and when i did i was a little “under the weather” and got into snidely whiplash mode…i appologise for that, this is my first attempt at seriousness btw.
      I really do enjoy the this place and thank you all for it because if would be nothing without all of you.

      Footnote:
      If i had the choice of a spinoff….i hate that word…it would start at the time Ned Stark found Jaime in the throne room at kings landing, sitting on the iron throne with a dead king at his feet, till the day King Robert asks Ned Stark be to be his hand. I would so love to see those kids growing up and their relationships…not mention cercies and tyrions
      would be great to see..
      Anyway sry to bore u all…i wont do this too often i swear

      Jim

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    101. Flayed Potatoes:

      Please, please tell me I am not the only one who enjoyed Sam’s shit montage lol. I have a feeling we are going to have some good dialogue between him and the maester.

      You’re not the only one. Where other people thought it went on for too long, or was meant to appeal to sitcom-watchers, or was just generally useless… I saw it as 1) a great (albeit humorous) homage to 1920s Russian montage, and 2) a great (and humorous) way of distilling the terrible, filthy monotony of apprentice life into three minutes (or however long it lasted).

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    102. Lord Parramandas,

      GRRM isn’t “creating such characters now.” Such characters have always been a part of the world of ASoIaF; most of the characters we’ve seen onscreen in GoT are watered-down versions of their book counterparts.

      Please note that this comment is not meant to be a negative criticism of the adaptation, approximately 98% of which I’ve loved. 🙂

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    103. Pigeon,

      We need Wimsey to start analyzing this shite for us. Why is he traveling all summer?

      And where’s Ten Bears? I’m quite vexed!!!

      Edit: Oh, there you are! Whew. I feel better now.

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    104. Wolfish: We need Wimsey to start analyzing this shite for us. Why is he traveling all summer?

      He’s traveling? I hadn’t heard! That’s such a pity. His comments would have been especially welcome during the season 🙁

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    105. Luka Nieto,

      They certainly would have been!

      Yes, he mentioned a few weeks ago that he would be traveling most of the summer and probably wouldn’t be watching the episodes as they aired. We’ll have to wait until he’s back online and binge-watches for his brilliant commentary…

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    106. Now that I’ve made it through all the comments…

      Thank you, Luka and Petra, for this wonderful post; I really enjoyed both the format and the commentary.

      The only comment I would add to everything that’s already been stated is about Arya’s purported intentions towards the Lannister soldiers. I find it really interesting that so many viewers seem to believe that her initial intention was to kill them, but then she held back… and that the point of the scene was to show a “return” to humanity.

      I thought the scene had two (slightly different) points: 1) to remind viewers that despite everything, Arya has never lost her humanity, and 2) to remind viewers that soldiers are pawns in warfare. As I noted in another thread, my first thought upon viewing this scene was of Brienne and Jaime finding the three women hanged with the sign reading “They Lay With Lions”—prostitutes or tavern wenches or farmers’ daughters executed for the “crime” of having bedded Lannister soldiers, something they most likely could have avoided only under pain of death.

      Back to Arya: From everything we’ve seen thus far, the Wolf Girl doesn’t act; she reacts. Why would she kill foot soldiers just because they serve the Lannisters? She didn’t give Jaqen Tywin’s name until she believed he was a direct thread to Robb. She didn’t kill Jaime when she saw him at the Twins. Her sense of justice is very, very centered on individuals and their actions as directly known to her, not on their names or reputations alone. If she didn’t choose to eliminate the Lannister patriarch or the Kingslayer himself when they were both within arm’s reach, why on earth would she choose to kill young men, barely older than herself, who had treated her kindly?

      Just my proverbial two cents’ worth.

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    107. Wolfish,

      Well, I would say TV versions are more grounded and less over-the-top than “watered down”. But in general, it seems to me the characters become a lot more disturbing in the novels as the novels progressed and GRRM focused more and more on horrific acts they commited.

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    108. Wolfish,

      There was a recap video I listened to, I think it was Emergency awesome, that I had to turn off because when he brought up that scene stating matter of fact like that Arya intention will probably be to kill them. I’m like, really, why??? They were kind to her, we saw her soaking in their relative innocence. I do not think that will happen but if it does that will be a horrible turn for the young Stark. She won’t recover from that in most fan’s eyes. But I’m 95% sure that’s not what the scene will be about.

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    109. Markus Stark,

      Well, I can certainly see a situation where all the young boys didn’t last long, considering the strange shortage of older women in the castle to protect them. (Where do all the old wives go.. hmm.. a mystery.)

      The captain of the Guard, having been around the Freys and watched them outright murder each other while jockeying for position in the house, may have decided he really liked the Twins and really didn’t like taking orders.

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    110. A most excellent conversation, Petra and Luka ! That was great !

      Petra is entirely right to mention that Sansa has never ruled anything and, as such, the idea of giving her any kind of official job or authority may seem odd or random. However, I think we perhaps should not forget that this is the situation Tyrion was in too : Tywin named him Hand of the King on the basis of one astute observation during a war council and him being a Lannister even though Tyrion’s resume in regards to rulership was entirely blank…

      Wolfish:
      The only comment I would add to everything that’s already been stated is about Arya’s purported intentions towards the Lannister soldiers. I find it really interesting that so many viewers seem to believe that her initial intention was to kill them, but then she held back… and that the point of the scene was to show a “return” to humanity.

      You are entirely right; Arya has never lost her humanity. Were her “soul”, for lack of a better word, truly missing, she would not have that terrible yearning, that feeling of pain and emptiness that overcomes her after the wave of revenge-induced euphoria recedes.

      Arya’s humanity is and has always been present but it is, at times, overwhelmed by the duty she has placed on her shoulders. She wants to avenge. It is (for now) the only thing that gives her life meaning, purpose. That is why her conversation with Lady Crane was so momentous; the actress did not ask about what Arya feels she has to do, she asked about what Arya wants to do. And it turned out both answers are extremely different.

      As for her reaction to the Lannister soldiers, I believe it was meant to highlight the “random” aspect of Arya’s perception.
      This exchange is an obvious throwback to the scene with the Frey men in season 3. Both times, Arya rides by a group of soldiers sitting around a campfire, overhears their conversation and, as you rightly note, reacts to what is being said.
      Now, the Frey men were bragging about their participation to the Red Wedding and the Lannister soldiers were singing so she killed the former and sympathised with the latter. But isn’t it purely accidental ?

      The Frey men are no less pawns than their Lion counterparts; they too have to serve their master, whoever s/he may be, and if that requires for them to take part in a massacre, they will. Because they do not really have the choice. Walder’s soldiers are no more or less guilty than the Lannisters’.
      It is true that the Frey men were being horribly smug about the Red Wedding when Arya met them but who is to say that five minutes earlier, they were not talking about their pregnant wives and fisher fathers too ? Who is to say that, before Private Sheeran started singing, the Lannister men were not also bragging about their war record, in less than polite or humane details ?

      I believe the crux of the matter is not Arya’s humanity, it is her potential victims’. The Frey men did not get the chance to prove their humanity to Arya and, for that reason, they died; the Lannister soldiers did get the chance and, for that reason, they lived.
      It is all the more interesting, I think, if we link this to her relationship with the Hound for Sandor never expressed regret over Mycah’s death, he was even smugly callous about it (“He ran. Not very fast”). Not much humanity there. Yet, over time, he proved to us, the audience, that he is more than the brash, uncouth killing machine his masters demanded him to be. His humanity is undeniable, as damaged and ravaged as it may be, regardless of the crimes he committed and the manner in which he talked about them.
      Perhaps the Frey men were the same… Perhaps they too had that emotional depth beneath the surface of vile braggadocio. But we will never know for sure because they are dead. Punished, ultimately, for the crime of having been overheard at a particulary unflattering moment.

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    111. ACME: Tywin named him Hand of the King on the basis of one astute observation during a war council and him being a Lannister even though Tyrion’s resume in regards to rulership was entirely blank…

      Hey.. in Season 2, Tyrion said that he was in charge of the sewers of Casterly Rock. They never ran more smoothly, before or since!

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    112. Markus Stark: Arya only killed grown men, so there would still be children, babies, teenagers.
      So despite what Jaime says, House Frey isn’t extinct.

      But as you say, what’s left is children, babies, teenagers and women who have been treated like garbage their whole lives, so would have no notion of leading. The only adult male left who would have any idea of what a functioning family looks like is Edmure. Walder’s bloodline is not extinct, but his ways of doing things are, I believe. I’m hoping that Edmure is freed and takes on the mantle of running House Frey. Whether or not it is turned into a House Tully is another matter, but right now, he is that lot’s last best hope for survival as a “house.” Otherwise, they turn into little more than rats running through a castle.

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    113. Luka Nieto: He’s traveling? I hadn’t heard! That’s such a pity. His comments would have been especially welcome during the season 🙁

      Traveling? you mean he didn’t schedule his life around GoT, like the rest of us did? That’s a lot of nerve. 🙂 Wimsey, don’t they have internet where you went?

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    114. Grayven Reyne: Well, I can certainly see a situation where all the young boys didn’t last long, considering the strange shortage of older women in the castle to protect them. (Where do all the old wives go.. hmm.. a mystery.)

      Dosh Kaleen? Disappear into the mist like Craster’s wives? Saks & Nordstroms?

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    115. Sue the Fury,

      The thing is, it felt like she was referring to his suicide. She’s in deep denial about his death and her grief. And a lot of people feel angry and betrayed when someone commits suicide.

      This. This teenager was under the throes of a master manipulator (one who bested his mother)i, he was only doing what he was told. Cersei had to realize that, so I don’t think his decisions were what she’s talking about. Its the suicide – even tho she knew something would happen to him, she could consider this a betrayal, as cruel as that is.

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    116. Kay,

      Besides the Occam’s Razor reasoning of using the real, actual betrayal instead of a hidden, theoretical one.. there is also the phrasing she uses with Jaime. She mentions two betrayals; one against Cersei, and another against Jaime. Not coincidentally, we have two actual betrayals.. the outlawing of trial by combat, and the removal of Jaime from the Kingsguard. If it had been the single act of suicide, I would have expected her to say something like “He betrayed us both.” Instead, she added in the second affront almost as an afterthought that didn’t come to her until she started the sentence.

      It seems to be a fairly even split on interpretation across the fanbase. I wonder if D & D will sort it out at some point. I remember a similar unsettled argument going on about Littlefinger’s gift to Olenna; not sure if the writers ever cleared that one up officially.

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    117. Kay,

      Tommen also sent Jaime away, again on the advice of HS. I feel sorry Tommen committed suicide, but stupid as he was, he too played a game and he lost.

      He wasn’t stupid, he was a child with no experience, dealing with three manipulators (HS, Cersei and Margery) No one was there to back him up.

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    118. ash,

      Well, Kevan was the Hand, but I agree he didn’t seem to put up much fight against the Faith.

      In the end, Tommen realized his attempts at playing the game had gotten Margaery killed. In my opinion, it wasn’t anger, or sadness per se, that caused his suicide.. it was guilt.

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    119. Enjoyed this new section and the comments good effort guys

      Geek alert Petra it’s actually griphook who comments on harry burying the elf not ollivander sorry couldn’t resist lol

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    120. Petra and Luka, this was a wonderful exchange and a feature I’ll look forward to every week. IMO, it’s much more interesting and illuminating than the new feature about costumes. I find it trivial.

      Wolfish,

      Thank you for your “two cents worth”–I agree totally. About your act/react comment:The direwolf pups (except Shaggydog) don’t harm anyone, unless their Starks are threatened. A few of the direwolves protect Stark friends as well, especially Ghost. All the human Starks are the same way, with variations between them. Kind, peaceful, merciful, until an act of cruelty or injustice (especially against innocents) becomes known to them, and they they react. Sansa least, because she’s more Tully than Stark and lost Lady early, but I think she’s this way too. Arya most certainly is. But her tenderness is always there when the situation allows it.

      ACME,

      “I believe the crux of the matter is not Arya’s humanity, it is her potential victims’. The Frey men did not get the chance to prove their humanity to Arya and, for that reason, they died; the Lannister soldiers did get the chance and, for that reason, they lived.”

      I agreed with basically everything you say, except about the Frey soldiers. The two incidents are fairly parallel, but the Frey soldiers had the chance and displayed their INhumanity to Arya. Attracted by their vile comments about what they did to Catelyn and Robb, Arya slid off the Hound’s horse and approached their campfire. Seeing this 12-YO girl in rags, one soldier asked, “What do you want?” A–“Mind if I keep warm?” S–“Fuck off.” A–“But I’m hungry.” S– “Does ‘fuck off’ mean something different where you’re from?” Unbidden, the Lannister men invited her to share their fire, food, and later drink. If the Frey men had done the same, who knows? Even this little girl who’d just seen the most devastating thing possible happen to her family might not have attacked.

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    121. Grayven Reyne,

      Oh, no question about that.

      And I’d forgotten about Kevan being Hand, but it didn’t seem like he had any contact with Tommen. In fact I got the feeling he’d been purposefully isolated once crowned king (well, xcept for Margery and Sir Pounce of course)

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    122. Wolfish,

      Your “two cents worth” = a $ million bucks. 💵💰💰💰

      Arya has never hesitated to erase truly vile monsters who’ve forfeited the right to exist – and to avoid harming innocents, even at great risk to herself (eg Lady Crane, pork merchant).
      I didn’t think for a minute that the Ed Sheeran Patrol was in any danger from her. I think she was just minding her own business and waa pleasantly surprised that the soldiers were genuinely friendly – kids just like her.

      All those Arbor Gold-swilling Freys deserved to exit from existence. Their rousing cheers when FauxWalder recounted the acts of these “brave men” confirmed it. That, I believe, was the point of Faux Walder’s speech: so we’d know that all of the assembled goofballs had been specifically summoned because they were all directly culpable.

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    123. Just popped in to say how much I enjoyed this format. Great work, great insights, Luka and Petra! Will be looking forward to this feature every week now.

      I don’t have much to add to what other commenters have said already, other than I’d like to return to Petra’s comment that in the books Jaime dumps Cersei because of “Lancel, Kettleblack and Moonboy for all I know”.

      I’ll put this in spoilers because it’s book info.

      For sure, Cersei’s infidelity is a big part of it, and how not because Jaime has been totally faithful. Jaime could just about stomach Robert sleeping with her because, as his wife, Cersei didn’t have a choice – and even then Cersei found ways to “finish” the drunken Robert in ways that didn’t involve vaginal sex (Cersei’s chapters in AFFC make this clear). And now Jaime hears about Cersei’s infidelity from Tyrion, doesn’t want to believe it, but it plants the idea that Cersei uses sex to get men do what she wants. Jaime clearly understands this when Cersei comes on to him early in AFFC. His first thought is “what does she want?” Later Lancel confirms to Jaime that he and Cersei had sex, which kind of confirms that Kettleblack, and Moonboy for all we know aren’t out of the realms of possibility – especially as Jaime has been in the receiving end himself, and has seen how Ceraei’s behaviour instantly changes when she doesn’t get what she wants (KG tower scene). So it’s not just infidelity but the realization that he (Jaime) isn’t as special to Cersei as she is to him. Ouch.

      However, the sex thing isn’t the only thing. He doesn’t like the way Cersei parents Tommen. Jaime tries to be encouraging, understanding, even kind, as much as he can as an uncle. Cersei, on the other hand, coldly commands Tommen, shames him, uses him as a pawn in her own game against the Tyrells.

      Jaime doesn’t like how Cersei “governs”, by stacking the Small Council with lickspittles and sychophants, he doesn’t like her schemes and her reliance on Lady Taena (who could well turn out to be a Varys spy), he doesn’t like her fascination with wildfire because it reminds him of the Mad King, and therefore the fact he’s considered to have shit for honour.

      In one of his AFFC chapters, Jaime flat out states (inside his head) that he increasingly dislikes everything Cersei does… The implication is that he dislikes Cersei but can’t quite yet admit it to himself (because it’d mean he’d wasted nearly 20 years of his life on a worthless and dishonoirable “cause”).

      The show has, obviously, taken a very different route as regards Jaime and Cersei, and it’s understadable (though frustrating to Jaime fans), for reasons of TV storytelling. And, as has been pointed out, where we are in the books probably isn’t Jaime’s endgame. I also believe he’ll meet up again with Cersei in the books. Don’t know how that will play out, but there are hints in the books… I wish GRRM would hurry up and finish the bloody series! 😀

      Also, I wholeheartedly agree with people who admire NCW’s work as the confused and conflicted Jaime. (Lena Heady is excellent, too, but this long post has been about Jaime.)

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    124. Oh and one more book thing about Jaime…

      When Jaime rescues Brienne from the bear pit in ASOS, he asks her if she’s still a maiden (=virgin), Brienne blushes and assures him she is. He quips “Good. I only rescue maidens.” It is, of course, a semi-sarcastic comment on the knightly vows and honour and his own problems.

      But in the next book (AFFC) Jaime famously doesn’t go and rescue Cersei, who most certainly is not a maiden. It’s more complicated than that but that ASOS quip becomes reality in AFFC.

      I think it’s in the last book to date, ADWD, that, I think it was the lecherous Lord Bracken, who asks Jaime what he likes in a woman, and Jaime answers simply, “Innocence.” Earlier (in AFFC, but apparently these scenes are only days, maybe a couple of weeks apart), Jaime had thought Cersei guilty of every crime she’s accused of. To add fuel to the fire of the Jaime & Brienne ship, even back in ASOS and AFFC Jaime (inside his head) had commented on Brienne’s naivety, innocence, gullibility (not always on positive terms).

      The show is taking a very different route but I have no doubt it’ll end in pretty much the same place as regards Jaime, Brienne and Cersei.

      Oh, and Tormund! I love it that the show has taken this chance to have someone other than Jaime who appreciates her for who and what she is, is attracted to her. Brienne needs to feel accepted, needs to know there are other people besides Jaime who appreciate her and are attracted to her. In the books another character (who is not in the show) fills this role, and not in the same way. It isn’t instant, Brienne earns this character’s respect on her own merits, and he’s still a bit mercenary, he knows Brienne is the heir to Tarth. That book charactet and Tormund have almost nothing in common, except their function. Brienne has a potential lover (other than Jaime) who appreciates her for what she is -> more self confidence for Brienne.

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    125. Stark Raven’ Rad,
      You are utterly right to say that the Frey soldiers were douchebags to Arya. But is that akin to being inhuman ? Is being improper and rude worthy of the death penalty ? To me, it sounds a bit too much like the logic of the fairy in Beauty and the Beast : “you refuse to let me stay in your home for the night and do not accept my rose as payment… Boom ! You deserve to be turned into beast !” That’s a bit harsh, me thinks ^^
      If the younger Stark sister starts killing all the vile and unkind inhabitants of Westeros, the White Walkers will not have that many people left to turn into Wights.

      I, for one, do not believe Arya talked to the Frey men to give them a chance to prove their humanity to her. Nor do I believe that, had they been less uncouth, she would have let them live. She had heard them talk about the Red Wedding and decided to kill them, there and then. The rest was just kabuki theatre to make them drop their guard.
      Three minutes is simply not long enough to determine whether someone is a good or bad person, no matter what that may mean. Had Arya only had that length of time to evaluate the Hound’s character, she would have killed him, without the smallest hint of regret.

      Killing someone is not a trifle, not even in Westeros where murder appears to be something of a national hobby. Basing the decision to kill someone or not on a three-minute conversation, an overheard exchange or a subjective perception is, at best, questionable.

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