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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Game of Thrones 4x10: The Children



Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Moat Cailin -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen

The Wall
Jon Snow is walking north of the wall and is soon captured and brought to Mance. So, this was apparently his plan? He's lucky that Mance's army were more interested in negotiating rather than slaughtering any Night's Watch soldier on sight.

So Mance says that it's already cold in the north and now winter is coming. Beyond that, there are ice zombies roaming about. All he wants is the ability to go south for the winter like every other self-respecting northerner. Hey, I live in Minnesota, I get it!

Jon Snow is humoring Mance by acting like he's listening but really he's just looking for a sharp object. Jon grabs a knife but Mance sees it. Mance knows the score but before anything can go down a horn blows. Mance thinks it's the Night's Watch but Jon hastily admits that he was right and the don't have enough men.

Outside Mance's tent the cavalry arrives. Better late than never. A bunch of soldiers on horses make quick work of the wildlings and Mance is forced to surrender to this not-so-mysterious army. Ser Davos and Stannis Baratheon come forward and ask Mance to kneel before Zo…er…Stannis. Mance refuses to kneel.

Jon Snow introduces himself to Stannis as Ned Stark's son. Stannis asks Jon what Ned would do. Jon Snow believes that Ned Stark would simply take Mance prisoner. I'm not entirely convinced that's the case nor am I convinced that Jon Snow believes that's the case but the end result is Mance is taken captive.

Back at Castle Black they're having a mass funeral/burning of the bodies. Melisandre stares at Jon through the flames. That seems...ominous.

Jon Snow talks with Tormund. Tormund wants to know what form of torture or execution he'll have to endure. Jon Snow has no clue. He just wants to know if Tormund wants to say any words to the wildling dead before they're burnt. Tormund says the dead can't hear anything. Then, after telling Jon Snow that Ygritte loved Jon, Tormund asks Jon to burn Ygritte's body north of wall like she would have wanted. Even though Tormund seems to be contradicting himself, Jon obliges.

King's Landing
The Mountain is in rough shape. Not only did he suffer those spear wounds but apparently Oberyn's spears were poisoned. (Red Viper of Dorne indeed!) Grand Maester Pycell is sure the Mountain will die but Cersei is seeking a second opinion from the unlicensed Qyburn. Qyburn's ready to do some experimental stuff that may very well change the Mountain. Cersei's cool with it as long the Mountain keeps his muscles.

Cersei then talks with Tywin about not wanting to marry Loras. I thought she was on board with the marriage? Either changed her mind or was just saying that as a part a manipulative scheme. Neither would surprise me.

Anyway, Tywin says that Cersei isn't the first person to be forced into marriage and she won't be the last. This causes Cersei to resort to blackmail. Either the marriage is called off or she confesses the truth about Tommen's incestuous parentage. Tywin plugs his ears and says, “La la la, I can't hear you!” He then immediately leaves to find some sand to bury his head in.

Cersei then goes to Jaime and says she found a way for them to be together. She then forces herself on him. Jaime is like, “Well, you did orchestrate our brother's death sentence but I'm really turned on right now. So let's do it!” And do it they shall.

Later, Tyrion is sleeping in his cell. He is awoken and assumes it's time for his execution but it's actually Jaime coming to the rescue. The plan is take Tyrion to a secret passage where he knocks twice to meet Varys who will take Tyrion to freedom. Jaime and Tyrion say their goodbyes and then Tyrion is left alone.

Tyrion could now escape but he realizes that he has a prime opportunity to fuck some shit up. He walks up to Tywin's bedroom to find Shae in Tywin's bed. He kills her. I'm not sure how to feel about that. Tyrion figures that if his dad isn't in the bedroom then he must be taking a giant dump. So Tyrion grabs a spare crossbow and makes his way to the privy.

Tyrion does find Tywin in the privy and he and daddy have a nice little chat. Tyrion recites the same old song about how Tywin always wanted him dead. Tywin admits that it's true but says he respects Tyrion for not dying. Tywin also admits that he'd never let Tyrion be executed. I'm not sure if that's true or if Tywin is just recognizing the vulnerable position he's in.

Tyrion tells Tywin he truly loved Shae. Tywin tells Tyrion Shae was a whore. Tyrion would like for Tywin to call Shae that again. Tywin does not oblige. So Tyrion wants to talk about the trial instead. Tywin would be more comfortable discussing these matters in his chambers where his pants would no longer be around his ankles. Tyrion thinks that would be awkward considering the dead Shae that's hanging around there. Tywin asks Tyrion if he's afraid of a dead whore. Tywin said the secret word! But instead of everyone screaming real loud Tywin just gets shot with a crossbow.

Tywin is still alive, though, and proclaims Tyrion to be no son of his. Now, readers, I can't stress this enough. If you learn anything from this show let it be this. If someone shoots you with a crossbow and you still live and the shooter stands in front of you casually reloading their crossbow then, for the love of God, don't insult them. If you do you'll probably suffer the same fate as Tywin; a crossbow bolt to the heart.

So Tyrion, feeling he's caused enough chaos for one night, makes his way back to the secret passage door. He knocks twice and an anxious Varys takes Tyrion to a boat. Varys puts Tyrion in a crate and reassures Tyrion that he'll have top men look after Tyrion. TOP MEN.

As Varys leaves he hears death bells ringing. Putting two and two together Varys decides that his days King's Landing are through. He decides to hop aboard the ship as well and plants himself right next to Tyrion's crate.

Meereen
Daenerys is holding court. She speaks with a citizen who was once a slave and a teacher. He now has nowhere to turn. All he really wants to do is return to his life as a slave teacher. Daenerys refuses to institute slavery again but says the man is welcome to sign any contract he chooses provided it doesn't exceed one year.

Next comes in a man and the charred remains of his son. Yup, it was one of Daenerys' dragons. Said dragon is apparently missing. Daenerys rounds up the two dragons that aren't missing and chains them up in the catacombs. As she leaves them it's clear that nobody is happy with this arrangement.

Really Far North
Bran and company finally reach the One Tree to Rule Them All. They walk towards the tree and where's Admiral Ackbar when you need him? Soon enough zombie skeletons pop up all around the group.

It's a battle but even Summer and a wargged Hodor aren't enough to fend off the skeletons. Jojen ends up getting stabbed repeatedly in the chest. The rest of the group is surrounded and, just when all seems lost, the cavalry arrives. Better late than never.

The cavalry, in this case, is in the form of a fireball hurling young girl. But, seriously, where was she two minutes ago? It turns out they were even expecting them! Anyway, the young girl leads the group (except for the no longer living Jojen) to a cave where the skeletons can't enter.

The girl introduces herself as one of “the children.” (That's the name of the episode!) But apparently they're really old (or there race is really old?) and they're also magical, which helps. She leads Bran, Hodor and Meera to an old man who Bran recognizes as the three-eyed raven.

The three-eyed raven says that Jojen knew he was going to die but he lead Bran there anyway so Bran could find what he has lost. Bran's pretty stoked to walk again but we all know that trees are dicks and, apparently, so are the magical people living in them. Because the three-eyed raven tells Bran he'll never walk again. He says this despite obviously phrasing things in a way which Bran can't help but get his hopes up.

Instead of walking the three-eyed raven promises Bran that he will fly. Um…Bran has tried flying before and didn't work out so well for him. Hopefully this time will be different?

On the Road
Podrick the Penile Powerhouse continues to be inept at everything that isn't of a sexual nature. This time he's lost the horses. So Brienne and Podrick must walk the rest of the Eyrie.

On the road Brienne comes across Arya practicing here sword fighting. Arya seems impressed by the female warrior. They discuss the names of their swords and how their dads didn't want them to fight. The bonding stops, however, when Arya's boyfriend finishes up his deuce and appears.

The Hound wants to know what's going on but Podrick outs the Hound as the Hound. This leads Brienne to out Arya as Arya. Brienne says she has sworn an oath to keep Arya safe but the Hound outs Brienne for carrying a Lannister sword.

So, nobody is trusting anybody and this all leads to a Brienne/the Hound sword fight across the rocky terrain. They're pretty evenly matched but eventually Brienne gains the upper hand. However, she hesitates and declares that her intentions are not to kill the Hound.

Naturally, this pause give the Hound a chance to grab the blade of Brienne's sword, punch her and gain the upper hand. Just when I thought Brienne had Oberyn-ed her victory away a well-placed nut shot gets Brienne back on even footing.

The fight is now hand-to-hand and becomes more visceral. There are cheap shots and biting and it all ends with the Hound being pushed off a cliff. Of course, it also ends with neither Brienne nor Podrick knowing where the hell Arya went.

The Hound is in bad shape as Arya happens upon him. The Hound thinks it's time for Arya to cross one more name off her list. Arya doesn't oblige. The Hound then tries to insult Arya into ending his misery which is a no go. Finally, he just begs her. Arya just takes his money and wanders off. Was Arya just after his money all long? I'm sure Kanye West would have some words about that. Regardless, I think we just witnessed the end of the greatest love in Westeros' history.

Arya makes her way to a port. She finds a ship captain and requests to be taken to the north. The captain says he's ready to just go home to Braavos. Arya's eyes light up at this news because she just so happens to have a coin given to her by Jaqen H'ghar that makes any Braavosi have to do whatever she asks. Soon enough, Arya is setting sail for the fifth season.

Other Thoughts
As mentioned above, this episode is titled The Children. I think every setting this episode deals with children in some form. Bran and company (who are mostly children themselves) come across the children of the forest, Arya is basically a child in a custody battle, Tyrion is obviously a child dealing with daddy issues, Daenerys has a problem child of her own and I suppose you could say Jon Snow is still operating in the shadow of his father's legacy.

At first I sympathized with Mance. All he wants is for him and his people to escape the North. At the same time, I did wonder what Mance and his army planned to do once in the South. Am I to believe they'd all become productive members of Westeros society?

I wonder how Stannis' soldiers felt about riding through the North. I get the impression it's viewed as kind of a haunted, uncharted piece of land. These men seemed very comfortable riding into the unknown.

Despite the fact that if you replaced Stannis with a cardboard cutout they'd have the same amount of charisma, Stannis is growing on me. At least he's doing stuff!

I liked Oberyn and all and I don't feel bad for the Mountain but using poisoned spears seems to be a bit of poor sportsmanship.

Would Cersei outing her and Jaime's affair really help Tommen? Tommen would immediately be identified as a pretender to the throne and I wouldn't think the results would be pretty. Then again, Cersei was willing to poison him a couple of seasons ago. So maybe she's completely comfortable with this scorched earth policy?

I don't think I'm intelligent enough to speak of the implications of the show presenting us with a freed slave wanting to be a slave again.

It's probably because of budgetary constraints but we haven't seen Daenerys interact with her dragons much. Because of this I have no idea what kind of communication she has with them nor why she thought something like one of them burning an innocent child wouldn't happen.

You would think that Daenerys could've found a place to chain up her dragons that was at least outside in the fresh air.

Also, you named your dragon Drogon? She really burned a lot of brain cells there.

Overall, I liked the scene involving Bran and company battling the skeletons. But something seemed a bit hokey about when Jojen got stabbed in the chest repeatedly. It all felt...unnatural.

I'd like to see a wargged Hodor fight the Mountain.

The Hound's fate is rather up in the air. If he does die then there goes the theory that Oberyn's death had the silver lining that it kept the door open for the Hound to get his revenge.

At first I wondered how Tyrion knew exactly where to find Shae. Then I realized he went to Tywin's chamber in search of Tywin himself. So Shae was sleeping with Tyrion's father. That had to doubly sting.

Tywin is one of the first villains to meet a satisfying demise. Not only did he come face to face with Tyrion and know the reason he's being is killed is because of how poorly he treated his son but, before that, he had to come face-to-face with the fact that his legacy is a lie (even though he was in denial about that).

It's certainly a good thing that the Iron Bank got off the Tywin bandwagon when they did.

In the end this was a good season finale. It set up next season but still gave us enough plot progression to make the episode not completely be foreshadowing.

Tyrion: Oh, get on with it you son of a whore.
Jaime: Is that any way to speak about our mother?

Varys: What have you done?

Season 4 Totals
Boob Count: 28
Full Frontal Count: 4 (3 Female, 1 Male)
Butt Count: 10 (8 Female, 2 Male)(No more nudity in this episode so what you see is what we got for the season.)
Coitus Count: 4 (No more sex this episode either, I don't think. Cersei and Jaime got close but the scene ended before it really happened.)
Main Character Death Count: 9 (Joffrey, Karl, Lysa, Oberyn, Styr, Ygritte, Jojen and Tywin)(With Jojen, Tywin and Shae dying our grand total for the season is 9 main character deaths. However, the fates of Ser Alliser, the Mountain and the Hound are all up in there air.)
Hodor Count: 46 (It was tough to tell which times Hodor was just grunting and which times he was saying Hodor but I counted 6 this episode. That means our grand total is 46 this season.)

14 comments:

  1. Did you forget to add Tywin to the Main Character Death Count?

    I'm going to miss him, by the way. Unlike Joffrey, who was a villain I outright hated and couldn't wait to see dead and haven't missed since his death, I found Tywin to be a very compelling "villain you love to hate".

    Overall, this episode felt more like a season finale than any so far. All the previous seasons seemed to have the ninth episode be the big one, and used the tenth to set characters up for the following year. This time, while episode nine was certainly big, episode ten features some big developments as well, in addition to setting things up.

    Do we know where Tyrion and Varys are headed? Varys is from Braavos, right? I wouldn't be surprised to see them arrive there and bump into Arya.

    And speaking of, I'll miss her adventures with the Hound, too. I think he actually meant it when he told Brienne that he was looking out for her. He did some awful stuff over the course of the series, but if he's really dead, I'll miss him. He actually seemed to be redeemable, unlike most of the other villains on the show.

    Until next spring!

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  2. Maybe Daenerys should watch the "How to train your dragon" movies, because that scene where she chained up her two dragons made absolutely no sense to me...I mean, if they didn't burn the child, why punish them? Plus, I'm sure they have no idea why their mother apparently hates them now; she should've at least put the burned child in their faces & said "you see this? NO, BAD DRAGONS, BAD!!" then hit them on the nose, or something. Idk

    It sounded like they were yelling "ma-ma" to Daenerys while she was walking away...that was kinda wak.

    So, does DROGON burn his food after he eats it, or is he just burning shit for the fun of it at this point?


    Tywin's death was definitely surprising. I'll miss him a little bit; he kinda reminded me of Magneto. He at LEAST got to sit on the Iron Throne & feel all important for a little while (during Tyrion's trial) before getting murdered on the porcelain equivalent of said throne. But, all's well that ends well..now Tommen won't have Tywin manipulating him from behind the iron curtain.

    I'm sad it's all over for this year :( ...a year is too damn long to wait for something this frickin' awesome!!

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  3. // All he wants is the ability to go south for the winter like every other self-respecting northerner. //

    Y'know, I respect the whole "free folk" thing of not having a king, sharing food and drink and tents and lovers, and generally being a bunch of snowbound hippies — hippies who are really, really good at killing people — but maybe some kind of state visit by Mance Rayder to Castle Black, asking for parley with representatives of the Seven Kingdoms, might've been the way to go before slaughtering whole villages. I get that there's distrust between the "wildlings" and the "crows" that goes back generations, tales of nearly (?) mythical proportions that have them considering one another subhuman. It's just that I figure a truce in return for safe passage seems like the kind of thing you should open with before there are hostilities to end in the first place.

    People who've read Martin's books and short stories, which I gather have lots of historical and contextual information on the world of Ice and Fire, may well have a list of reasons why that would never have worked. As may people who possess better memories of Game of Thrones than I; honestly, since I have yet to rewatch any of it, I know there are running threads and big-picture connections that I miss.

    // Stannis asks Jon what Ned would do. //

    The first thing he'd do is wonder how the hell he got there and why there were stitches all the way around his neck.

    // Anyway, Tywin says that Cersei isn't the first person to be forced into marriage and she won't be the last. //

    Which is totally how you convince someone to go along with that kind of thing.

    // He then immediately leaves to find some sand to bury his head in. //

    Her name is Shae.

    // And do it they shall. //

    It just occurred to me that the race is on in the "Lannister" family for another heir since they've already had to move to the spare. Either Cersei gets knocked up by Jaime again so Tommen has a baby brother or Margaery ramps up her midnight visits to the boy king's bedchamber.

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  4. // Um…Bran has tried flying before and didn't work out so well for him. //

    Zing!

    // I don't think I'm intelligent enough to speak of the implications of the show presenting us with a freed slave wanting to be a slave again. //

    Count me in (or out) too as not wanting to get into a grand debate, but it's easy to see how Dany's new world order carries the problem of what is to be done with or by the former slaves, and it doesn't make sense to entirely rule out renegotiating "owner/owned" into "employer/employee" on a situational basis. From what he said this fellow had a genuine bond with the family's children and was doing something to better them as well as drawing a sense of purpose or self-worth in doing it.

    // Soon enough, Arya is setting sail for the fifth season. //

    Arya joining up with Brienne would've been a neat and natural twist — not to mention, it's hard to think what else there is for Brienne to do now. Plus, I'll miss the Hound in terms of his own story and his travels with Arya. So watching her go off on her own was disappointing. Her playing the coin and getting passage on a ship to Braavos, however, was quite an awesome little consolation prize, as I've been wanting to see more of that place. With Tyrion and Varys apparently headed there as well, I think it will become as crucial a location onscreen as it has been behind the curtains.

    // Overall, I liked the scene involving Bran and company battling the skeletons. //

    I loved it, partly because of the Ray Harryhausen Sinbad flashbacks, partly just because we rarely see the outright supernatural at work in Game of Thrones that it's even more exciting when we do. The arrival of Stannis' army at Mance Rayder's camp was pretty cool too, with its bird's-eye shot of the relentless, seemingly endless forces on horseback. Brienne versus the Hound, though, probably gets my vote for best fight of the episode and possibly the whole year, just for its sheer ferocious, brutal naturalism.

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  5. Sorry… I put air quotes around "Lannister" when I meant to write "Baratheon" (the point being, of course, that Tommen is not really a Baratheon but a full-blooded Lannister).

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  6. I'm not an avid watcher of GoT as all of you. However, I've kept a check on the stories, both book and TV. The Tyrion-Tywin-Shae confrontation was something I've known for a year, and so this episode was personally much awaited.

    However, I was surprised that they left out one major plot-point from Jaime when he released Tyrion. You probably know about Tyrion's first wife, Tysha, who was revealed to be a prostitute, a revelation by Tywin and Jaime that changed the dwarf prince into the person we see today.
    However, while making their escape, Jaime confessed: Tysha was never a prostitute, the falsehood was masterminded by Tywin because he did not want a commoner in the family.
    The ramifications of this confession pretty much breaks the Lannister family apart:
    -It motivates Tyrion's decision to see his father, with Tywin's foot-in-mouth comments on his ex-daughter-in-law instead of Shae. The children are now permanently stripped of their father.
    -The brothers' relationship is over, with Tyrion, betrayed by Jaime's complicity, declaring vengeance on all his family.
    -Tyrion retaliates by confessing to Jaime that Cersei has cheated on him with many lovers. This truth effectively throws Cersei off Jaime's pedestal, ending their incestuous love story.

    I was also surprised HBO sanitized Tywin's death. Tyrion actually aimed at his abdomen, causing all his bowels to leak out.

    On a different note: I was impressed by Stannis' rescue charge.

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  7. This was a surprisingly satisfying episode. For the first time, as you say, a villain went out in a satisfying manner, receiving some measure of comeuppance and dying at the hands of someone who deserved to pull the trigger, which is a rare thing for this show. Plus, Stannis showed, drawing some threads together and eliminating the possibility that his arrival would be held for next season and drag out the whole Wilding/Watch conflict.

    And, of course, the Brienne/Hound fight was pretty damned awesome, as were the Harryhausen skeletons.

    I'm not entirely convinced that's the case nor am I convinced that Jon Snow believes that's the case but the end result is Mance is taken captive.

    Ditto on both, though I do think sparing Mance was the right decision.

    Even though Tormund seems to be contradicting himself, Jon obliges.

    He said the dead can't hear. He didn't say they don't care. ;)

    Grand Maester Pycell is sure the Mountain will die

    How long before the Lannisters accept that Pycelle is an ineffective fuckwit? He can chock you full of opiates to mercy kill you, and that's about it, seems like.

    Cersei then goes to Jaime and says she found a way for them to be together. She then forces herself on him.

    Which, I think, is supposed to be the bookend to the scene between them in Baelor's Sept next to Joffrey's body, in that he forced himself on her there, and she returns the favor here.

    Except the former was clearly depicted as rape, as unintentionally as the creators may insist that was, whereas this barely approached that level (ie "You wanna?"/"No"/"You sure?"/"Alright"). So, on top of all the other problems with that rape scene, it also kind of takes away the intended impact of this scene by creating an imbalance when they're meant to be parallel.

    The plan is take Tyrion to a secret passage where he knocks twice to meet Varys who will take Tyrion to freedom.

    If he knocked three times, would it mean Tyrion wants him? :)

    He kills her. I'm not sure how to feel about that.

    Ditto. I did appreciate that the show seemed to present it, at least a little, as self defense. In that, she reached for the dagger and threatened to reveal him, so he had to quiet her, and they fought, and he got the upper hand.

    Clearly, he took it further than he had to, but there's at least some element of "self defense gone too far" than just cold-blooded murder.

    Daenerys refuses to institute slavery again but says the man is welcome to sign any contract he chooses provided it doesn't exceed one year.

    Yeah, I feel like someone needs to explain to Dany and the people of Mereen that there is a happy alternative between "free and living in the streets" and "enslaved". It's called working. I mean, we have thousands of people in our world who teach children but aren't enslaved. We call them teachers.

    So if this guy wants to go back to work teaching his master's kids, fine. Just make sure the master pays him a fair wage, gives him time off on occasion and understands that he can't have him summarily executed or beaten on a whim.

    Was Arya just after his money all long?

    I don't think so. If she was, she probably could have taken it ran by now. I think she just figured he was dying, he didn't need it. And that letting him die slowly and painfully was a better way to get her revenge for the butcher's boy than mercy killing him, even if doing so would have made her the agent of his death.

    Soon enough, Arya is setting sail for the fifth season.

    I know we discussed this offline, but to me, it was clear she was heading to Dagobah, er, Braavos to begin her assassin training, but I'm curious how others read that.

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  8. All he wants is for him and his people to escape the North. At the same time, I did wonder what Mance and his army planned to do once in the South.

    Right? Like, were they going to storm that tunnel and then just start building houses and farms? Were the giants going to reopen the tavern that was closed after the Wilding's advance force slaughtered everyone?

    Also, you named your dragon Drogon? She really burned a lot of brain cells there.

    Ha! Not until now did I realize that Drogon was just dragon with a different vowel. She named him after Khal Drogo, but in hindsight, she might have chosen a different name that didn't carry the suggestion that she was an idiot...

    (I believe the other two dragons are Viserion and Rhaegal, which at least suggest she put some effort into those names. :) )

    So Shae was sleeping with Tyrion's father. That had to doubly sting.

    Especially after all the harping Tywin did about Tyrion not bringing whores to court. It made me wonder if perhaps Shae was in Tywin's employ all along, but it makes more sense that she wasn't, and just latched on to the best opportunity after what she (stupidly) viewed as Tyrion's betrayal (sending her away after claiming he wanted to be with Sansa now just to get her to leave).

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  9. @Matt: Unlike Joffrey, who was a villain I outright hated and couldn't wait to see dead and haven't missed since his death, I found Tywin to be a very compelling "villain you love to hate".

    Ditto. Tywin at least was a fun villain to hate. So, I guess, in the end, the show still managed to screw us over, by finally giving us a satisfying end to a villain, but it's the villain we least wanted to be rid of. :)

    Do we know where Tyrion and Varys are headed?

    TOP MEN, er, I mean, east. I think all that was said (when Jaime freed Tyrion) was that a ship would take him east. But yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if they bumped into Arya, eventually. Like, two seasons from now, given the rate characters bump into each other.

    @Reese: So, does DROGON burn his food after he eats it, or is he just burning shit for the fun of it at this point?

    I think the idea is that the dragons like their food roasted, so they burn it, then eat it. Which either means the guy got his burnt daughter away from Drogon before he could eat her, or that Drogon is now killing just for fun.

    @Blam: but maybe some kind of state visit by Mance Rayder to Castle Black, asking for parley with representatives of the Seven Kingdoms, might've been the way to go before slaughtering whole villages

    Indeed. And while I can maybe buy the argument that Mance himself couldn't be that envoy, because the Night's Watch, especially under Alliser, probably would just kill him on sight, you'd think he could have sent SOMEONE to parlay. It might take some time, and maybe even some unnecessary Wildling deaths, but certainly no more than would die in an all out assault on the wall.

    Her name is Shae.

    Ha!

    @angmc43: However, while making their escape, Jaime confessed

    I don't know how it goes down in the book, but I wonder if the show struggled with how to organically work that into the scene? I mean, if Jaime showed up and was all "I'm freeing you, go here and knock, Varys is waiting. Also, remember your whore-wife? Not a whore after all. Sorry" it would come across as totally random. Yet at the same time, it's not the kind of thing that could have been inserted into an earlier conversation between them.

    So basically, the show would have needed to make the Jaime/Tyrion scene in this episode longer to accommodate that revelation, and they probably just didn't have the time given everything else going on.

    I wouldn't be surprised that it makes its way onto the show eventually though, especially given all the impacts you lay out. I mean, Varys knows everything; maybe he tells Tyrion on the way East or something.

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  10. @Teebore: // If he knocked three times, would it mean Tyrion wants him? :) //

    On the ceiling? Yes. Which, come to think of it, might be a problem for Tyrion…

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  11. @angmc43: // I was surprised that they left out one major plot-point from Jaime when he released Tyrion.//

    I've seen that mentioned a couple of other places. Like Teebore says, I suspect that it would've been hard to fit in the episode, which clocked in at over an hour, but if the showrunners really wanted to play that thread out they could've, say, included the revelation in the long beetle-squishing convo between Jaime and Tyrion a couple of episodes back, giving an entirely different color to Jaime's surprise exfiltration plan. Which leads me to believe that they didn't want Jaime and Tyrion's parting to have the acrimonious cast it did in the book, although whether that's for HBO Tyrion's sake or to keep HBO Jaime a more sympathetic character I haven't the faintest.

    @Teebore: // "You wanna?"/"No"/"You sure?"/"Alright" //

    Exactly. Plus which, I don't know if we're supposed to see Cersei as simply resigning herself to and aligning herself with her brother against her father or really having an epiphany that she loves him no matter what's transpired in both their lives in the time they were apart, but it sure played to me like the former. Jaime doesn't seem to notice, since all the blood is rushing to his sword, but Cersei rubbing her face on his metal hand brought to mind every barely convincing seduction scene (in order for the woman to save her life and/or distract the villain while the other heroes carry out their plan) I've ever seen. Meaning that in both this and the previous scene in the sept, Cersei is giving in to it, albeit this time at her own instigation.

    @Teebore: // to me, it was clear she was heading to Dagobah, er, Braavos to begin her assassin training, but I'm curious how others read that //

    Pretty much like you say.

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  12. @Matt: "Did you forget to add Tywin to the Main Character Death Count?"

    Not only did I miss that, I missed Shae's death too! Boy did I biff that one pretty terribly.

    "Do we know where Tyrion and Varys are headed? Varys is from Braavos, right? I wouldn't be surprised to see them arrive there and bump into Arya."

    That's the theory I hear. I suppose it could happen since, even though Game of Thrones hates people reuniting, I don't think Tyrion meeting Arya would count as any real "reunion." Although it would be the coming together to two of the most popular characters.

    @Reese: "Maybe Daenerys should watch the "How to train your dragon" movies"

    Ha!

    "So, does DROGON burn his food after he eats it, or is he just burning shit for the fun of it at this point?"

    I'm not quite sure. We've seen the dragons eat raw meat, right? I know in some fantasy fiction dragons burn things and then feed off the ashes. Not sure about Game of Thrones though.

    "I'll miss him a little bit; he kinda reminded me of Magneto."

    I can see that. Tywin always struck me as someone who could whip Westeros in shape...even if I wouldn't always agree with his methods. (Unlike Joffrey who seemed more likely to run Westeros into the ground.)

    @Blam: "Her name is Shae."

    *rimshot*

    "It just occurred to me that the race is on in the "Lannister" family for another heir since they've already had to move to the spare."

    I don't think there's anything Cersei can do. Even if she did lie about who the parent of her next child is, I don't think there's a father she could have that would produce an heir. Except Stannis, I suppose?

    I believe Tommen "Baratheon" is the only one who can produce an heir now. If he dies before that occurs then Stannis would be recognized as the rightful king by everyone. If I'm following the rules of succession properly.

    "The arrival of Stannis' army at Mance Rayder's camp was pretty cool too"

    I did like that scene too. Especially how it showed the contrasting styles of the two armies.

    @angmc43: "However, I was surprised that they left out one major plot-point from Jaime when he released Tyrion."

    I've heard about that and, as others have stated, maybe they couldn't find a good way to bring it up. And there are certainly other ways Tyrion can find out about it. (Varys is kind of a know-it-all.)

    But you'd think he'd have to find out soon? Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought in the books Tyrion goes off in search of his estranged wife. So, if he doesn't do that, what will he be doing?

    @Teebore: "How long before the Lannisters accept that Pycelle is an ineffective fuckwit?"

    I've always got the feeling that Pycelle isn't the complete fuckwit he portrays himself as.

    "Which, I think, is supposed to be the bookend to the scene between them in Baelor's Sept next to Joffrey's body, in that he forced himself on her there, and she returns the favor here."

    I don't take that scene as Cersei attempting "to get even" since the writers believe there was never any rape so there's nothing for Cersei to get even for. The entire implication of that sentence is a much larger discussion.

    "If she was, she probably could have taken it ran by now."

    Maybe, but the Hound had other uses. Women...once they don't have a use for you they take all your money and run. Am I right, guys?

    "but to me, it was clear she was heading to Dagobah, er, Braavos to begin her assassin training, but I'm curious how others read that."

    I originally thought the coin meant a Braavosi had to do whatever Arya said and, thus, they were sailing for the north but everyone believes she's going to Braavos so I probably just misinterpreted things.

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  13. A quick word on the Tyrion's wife discussion, I won't say too much for obvious reasons, but in the book it's fairer to say he begins to obsess over his old wife, rather than trying to find her (I mean, how could he, particularly whilst headed for a different continent?). That said, there is some interesting stuff in book 5 that might connect in a rather grim way to this plot thread, so it'll be interesting to see if they reintroduce it next year.

    "He kills her. I'm not sure how to feel about that. "

    A lot of people are really upset about this, based on the ideas that it's an act of "fridging" a female character to give dramatic weight to a male one (which I agree with), that it's really grim how so many male viewers were clamouring she deserved to die (which I also agree with), and that Shae wasn't nearly so unpleasant this season as people have made her out to be (which I definitely don't agree with. Screw Shae. Just don't, y'know, strangle her).

    "I don't think I'm intelligent enough to speak of the implications of the show presenting us with a freed slave wanting to be a slave again. "

    As Teebore said, the show implied an obvious false dichotomy, as does pretty much everyone who brings up the tired argument that some US slaves might have had a better life pre-emancipation. Which, yes, probably, if you've got close to 4 million slaves in a country, some of them might actually find their post-slave life harder in some respects. But this set-up always elides the fact that it was the rich who owned the slaves, and the idea that they couldn't afford to keep on their favourites by paying them is utterly ridiculous. What it boils down to is the argument that slave-owners are terrible human beings, who will continue to be terrible human beings after emancipation, but not every slave felt the brunt of that terribleness, and gosh darn doesn't that make things complicated when talking about basic social justice?

    Well, uh, no. No it doesn't.

    "Not only did I miss that, I missed Shae's death too! Boy did I biff that one pretty terribly."

    I'd also argue Pyp and Grenn were in enough episodes of seasons 1, 3and 4 (Grenn was in S2 as well) to be worth counting. They were certainly in the show more than Styr or Karl.

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  14. @Reese

    "He at LEAST got to sit on the Iron Throne & feel all important for a little while (during Tyrion's trial) before getting murdered on the porcelain equivalent of said throne"

    Dude, you don't even wanna go near the Iron Porcelain Throne. It's forged from the armour of thousands of men who crapped themselves when the dragons showed up. Not recommended.

    "now Tommen won't have Tywin manipulating him from behind the iron curtain."

    Sir, I salute you.

    @Blam

    "Y'know, I respect the whole "free folk" thing of not having a king, sharing food and drink and tents and lovers, and generally being a bunch of snowbound hippies — hippies who are really, really good at killing people — but maybe some kind of state visit by Mance Rayder to Castle Black, asking for parley with representatives of the Seven Kingdoms, might've been the way to go before slaughtering whole villages."

    That's definitely a fair point, but it's worth pointing out that with seemingly pretty much the whole of the Watch's rangers dead at the Fist, Mance must have figured he had a real chance for a surprise attack that would wipe the Watch out. A parlay would spoil that advantage. I'm not saying that means it shouldn't have been tried, but I can understand Mance's decision not to.

    Also, there's actually quite an interesting subtext going on here as regards immigrants. You have a huge number of people fleeing a genuinely horrible fate who want to come into your lands, but don't have the slightest inclination to modify their behaviour to fit around yours, because what you see as obviously the right way to do things just seems arbitrary and ridiculous from their perspective. On the other hand, the extra manpower would probably come in handy. So what do you do?

    @Teebore"

    If he knocked three times, would it mean Tyrion wants him? :)"

    Three knocks is for White Walkers. I think. It's getting awfully confusing.

    "to me, it was clear she was heading to Dagobah, er, Braavos to begin her assassin training, but I'm curious how others read that "

    I thought this was needlessly badly explained. I'm sure in the books it's made clearer as to whether the coin means the Captain has to do whatever she says, or just that he's compelled to give her a berth.

    It is of course an interesting question as to what would be more fun to see; Arya hanging out with assassins, or Arya stabbing ice zombies to (more) death.

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