Author Topic: Game of Thrones (spoilers)  (Read 60755 times)

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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #360 on: June 13, 2016, 07:37:11 PM »
0
Hmm, yeah, I think that's all pretty fair. I've been skeptical of Arya's storyline for a very long time. But I've learned that the show can have surprising payoffs. So as long as the character in question is not locked in a rape room being abused for shock value, I make an effort to be open-minded.

Arya's quest has been so thoroughly baked into the show from the beginning, that in my mind an epic payoff is becoming less of a hope and more of an assumption.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #361 on: June 19, 2016, 10:09:14 PM »
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BEST. EPISODE. EVER.

Those are all the words I have right now.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #362 on: June 19, 2016, 11:18:16 PM »
+2
Most people seem to be loving this episode. However, I’ve seen the Sansa vs. Jon business being criticized, i.e. why in God’s name didn’t she tell him?

It was a risky choice for sure, but I think this episode made it abundantly clear that when it comes to military strategy, Jon Snow most definitely knows nothing. He was unwilling to listen to Sansa’s advice (even after she called him out on that). Namely, (1) that Rickon is dead no matter what and (2) that Ramsay would set an irresistible trap. Both came to pass, and Jon was a gullible idiot.

The only way to defeat Ramsay was with an actual surprise attack. Because these are the alternatives:


Scenario #1

INT. JON’S WAR TENT - DUSK

Sansa: So check this out. Littlefinger’s army is totally… maybe… on its way. I think.

Jon: Uhh…

Sansa: No confirmation yet. Sorry.

Jon: What are you on about, girl?

Sansa: Baelish is totes on his way. Do I have to say it a third time?

Jon: Even if he is, we can’t trust him.

Jon (whispering to Davos): That’s his thing, right?

Davos (whispering back): Aye, Jon. I’ve heard he’s an untrustworthy fellow.

Sansa: Bro, trust me, I have a feeling. My instincts are razor sharp for real.

Jon: Nope.

Sansa: Yuh huh! Just wait one more day, pleeease?

Jon: He’s probably going to betray us and turn the battle in Ramsay’s favor. Eff that. We’re attacking at first light!

Sansa: *Sigh*

Jon: For the North! *Runs out of the tent waving his sword around*


Scenario #2

The Knights of the Vale combine forces with Jon’s army. Ramsay sees this, and being a very smart strategist, he keeps his forces inside Winterfell. They now have what is possibly an insurmountable advantage. The Knights of the Vale were enough to finish off the Boltons, but were they enough to actually siege Winterfell against an endless barrage of arrows and who knows what else? Not likely.

Feels like this was the way to win. Their victory was basically dependent upon Jon being dumb and Sansa being smart. (In fact, they make a pretty good combination.)
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #363 on: June 20, 2016, 12:30:40 AM »
+1
A BRIEF ASIDE (and yes, I'm sure I'll make even more posts). The AV Club "expert" review of this ep is absolutely confounding. Commenters are equally confused. I don't know if I've more fully disagreed with anything in... months?

In a nutshell, the reviewer wanted more subtlety and thought the battle was overblown, reaching for spectacle where none was necessary. He also did not like that there were emotional and thematic payoffs — because he doesn't remember the suffering that dominated last season? Because he doesn't realize that we're approaching the end of this whole story, so payoffs are going to happen? (Does he want any payoffs at all in this thing, or does he want it to fizzle out and collapse on itself in a heap of defeated sadness?)

Anyway, don't read the review, but do read these epic responses from the comments:



* * * * *

Yeah, this was an okay episode, but it really could've used a few more thematically rich pastoral elegies. Also, it was really inconsistent in its application of Plutarchan love sonnets, which I know about because I went to TV Critic School and therefore demand to see more of on Game of Thrones.

* * * * *

"But, as the title of the review suggests, to what end? If we think about “Battle Of The Bastards” in context of its three predecessors, I’m not convinced that this battle ends up accomplishing much of anything beyond sound and fury. "

I knew it. I fucking knew it. One of the best episodes of TV ever and Myles nitpicks it for not pandering to whatever vague, needlessly dense academic theory he wanted to apply to it.

Myles, let me explain criticism to you: There's academic criticism, where you stare at a blank wall until patterns begin to emerge and you write six thousand pages about the patterns you saw as though that accurately portrays what you saw, and there's functional criticism, which is when you and your friends watch The Force Awakens and say it was awesome because it was fun and had great characters and dialogue.

You ask "To what end?". Welp, off the top of my head:

1) To advance and consolidate crucial plot elements, including the restoration of Stark power for the first time since Season 1 (This is kind of important)

2) To set up future story elements including, most likely, Littlefinger's power grab.

3) To take advantage of this narrative opportunity to have huge, visceral, awesome battle.

4) To explore how the characters would react in such circumstances.

Advance the plot, reveal the characters, have a fun time doing both. Boom. That's criticism. No need to masturbate to thematically rich pastoral elegies, complete with links to Wikipedia articles because you know no one caught that reference.

If you reviewed Star Wars, you'd ask if we needed a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader, or criticize Raiders of the Lost Ark for inconsistently applying its theme of Homelessness.

* * * * *

Man, I've always been in general agreement with McNutt. I think he is a very astute critic and consistently engages with this show at a much higher level than most other TV reviewers on this site (or really anywhere). But I deeply disagree with this reading.

I think this show has reached the point where the good guy defeating the bad guy is not cliche, but rather a narrative subversion. I can't be the only one who fully expected Ramsay to survive this episode, and for the "good guys" to suffer far more significant casualties than they did. This isn't a boring, predictable result of a hero v. villain battle. This is John Snow finally clawing his way out from underneath the bodies crushing him - the first gasp of hope in a series that goes out of its way to show you how hope is futile.

* * * * *

Sorry, I couldn't hear this B grade over the sounds of me shipping Yara and Daenerys so hard.

* * * * *
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Lottery

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #364 on: June 20, 2016, 01:00:06 AM »
+1
I'm not sure if it was the best episode ever (I like episode 7 a lot, despite Arya's stupidity) but this was really, really good. After a whole lot of setting and building up, it's nice to have that big 'release episode'.

- That's the best battle scenes I've seen in a very long time. The part where Jon was getting crushed was really intense, almost had some trouble breathing myself. All medieval battle scenes should aspire to the sheer chaos and brutality of the one in this episode. Truly exceptional.

- Jon is a god-level warrior but a pretty lame tactician by the looks of things (or he's a bit easy to emotionally compromise). But seriously, come on Sansa, at least let Jonny know about the Vale dudes coming. They both kinda let down the team here.
Or maybe Sansa was willing to let Jon die for her battle plan to succeed. I wonder if there will be a point where Jon becomes merely an obstacle to her.
 
- I'm so glad that Davos finally learned the truth. Another superb scene. Patiently waiting for him to cut Melisandre to pieces.

 - Mereen was pretty great too aside from that weirdly smug Yara and Theon scene. But even that scene had purpose to it and we're  getting closer and closer to bridging the two worlds.
The dragon attack looked fantastic and I also liked Tyrion's presence in this one.

- Must have been hell tyring to shoot this episode.

- Poor Rickon didn't have any dialogue in this one- his last one either. Kinda unfortunate how little we saw of him over the duration of the show.

- While Littlefinger's support was valuable in this episode, I'm very nervous thinking about what he plans to do next. I'm hoping this more active Sansa will find a way to stay out of his control.

Sleepless

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #365 on: June 20, 2016, 08:54:58 AM »
+1
Best episode ever? I thought it was immediately after it finished. It might very well not be, but it definitely feels like the best episode we've had for 2-3 seasons at least. Wonderfully directed too.

Love the epic scope of everything - the giant battle in Mereen, the giant battle in Winterfell. All the piece-placing episodes are finally paying off. And if this is how GoT pays things off, it gives me a lot of hope for the final two shortened seasons, which I had been regarding with some trepidation knowing that we were getting toward the end.

The bridges between stories are *finally* being built and it feels like the train is just going to keep on accelerating to the end from here on out.

JB, you hit the nail on the head with your analysis of why Sansa didn't tell Jon.

Also, this: "This is John Snow finally clawing his way out from underneath the bodies crushing him - the first gasp of hope in a series that goes out of its way to show you how hope is futile."

I feel lucky that I hadn't watched for a few weeks so caught up with the past two eps on Friday and Saturday so I could watch this one live. It definitely felt like this run had a vitality and momentum that was absent in some of this season's earlier episodes.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #366 on: June 20, 2016, 11:08:43 AM »
+1
I'm not sure if it was the best episode ever (I like episode 7 a lot, despite Arya's stupidity) but this was really, really good.
Best episode ever? I thought it was immediately after it finished. It might very well not be, but it definitely feels like the best episode we've had for 2-3 seasons at least. Wonderfully directed too.

I might still be filled with adrenaline, but the next day I basically feel the same. This is in my top 3 for sure, assuming I could actually come up with a list. Certainly there have been more mindblowing moments in other episodes. But this one does stand apart as being densely packed with things that I love about the show, from beginning to end, executed almost perfectly. It offered such sublime pleasure over and over again, with those deep feelings of victory and dread combining intensely and endlessly. This was one of the most profound television experiences I've had. The opening chapter with Daenerys turned me into malleable mush, and the rest of the episode just had its way with me.

But seriously, come on Sansa, at least let Jonny know about the Vale dudes coming. They both kinda let down the team here. Or maybe Sansa was willing to let Jon die for her battle plan to succeed. I wonder if there will be a point where Jon becomes merely an obstacle to her.

I think my post above is a decent response to those concerns, but I also think you're right — Sansa was determined to take Winterfell back, pretty much at any cost. She has a clearer view of reality than most characters in this series (her point about Rickon being a good example) and has no time for sentimentality anymore. Jon, even with all he's been through, seems to possess half of her intelligence and emotional fortitude.

I never, ever, ever thought they could justify Sansa being locked in a rape room for several episodes, but by God, they might have just done it. I literally don't see how the book can bring Sansa's character to the same place without her involvement with Ramsay. My biggest problem with this whole series appears to be fading away before my eyes, and I did not expect that to happen.

To your point, I think Jon will get out of the way. Sansa will rule Winterfell, most likely with Littlefinger at her side in some capacity. Jon will do what he does best — fight the white walkers.

While Littlefinger's support was valuable in this episode, I'm very nervous thinking about what he plans to do next. I'm hoping this more active Sansa will find a way to stay out of his control.

I think it's in his immediate self-interest to put his betrayal spree on hold and earn the Starks' trust for a minute. Obviously what he did in this ep was the first step in that direction. Of course he will try to cause more chaos... but wouldn't it be fun to see Sansa get one step ahead of him?

Must have been hell tyring to shoot this episode.

If you haven't seen them, the making-of features on HBO Now are fantastic. They publish one with every even-numbered episode.
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polkablues

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #367 on: June 20, 2016, 11:40:10 AM »
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Oh, and Sansa is for sure pregnant with Ramsey's kid. "You can't kill me, I'm a part of you now." I honestly can't think of what the benefit of that storyline would be, or where they imagine they're going to go with it, but regardless, they're going there.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #368 on: June 20, 2016, 12:07:12 PM »
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Oh, and Sansa is for sure pregnant with Ramsey's kid. "You can't kill me, I'm a part of you now." I honestly can't think of what the benefit of that storyline would be, or where they imagine they're going to go with it, but regardless, they're going there.

I was worried about that for a second, but I really don't think so — especially because of Sansa's reaction. She wasn't fazed at all. She is in a better position to know whether she's pregnant (especially considering the time they've been apart), but she tells him pointedly that his words will die, his house will die, and no one will remember him. Her knowingly being pregnant would so weirdly undercut her moment of victory that I think we'd see evidence of that.

I think Ramsay simply means that the way he tormented her and changed her means that he will always be a part of her, which is absolutely true, and which Sansa described to Littlefinger. I don't think it's the writers winking at us in any significant way, because that'd be such a gross and counterproductive thing to do in that moment. Would they really think that's a good idea, creatively or otherwise, considering the widespread backlash they experienced after Sansa's wedding night?

More evidence to the contrary. Ramsay doesn't rape Sansa in the books, so giving her a child by him would be so off-story that it would probably be stretching too far in terms of book-to-show changes. Because her producing an heir to Winterfell with Ramsay's blood simply changes too much.

(If she is pregnant, either it results in the first Stark abortion or I turn against Sansa's story again.)

Update: Found this comment: "Abortion does exist in GoT, it's called "Moon Tea" and it has been established in the show since Lysa mentions drinking it to abort Petyr's baby."
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polkablues

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #369 on: June 20, 2016, 04:04:29 PM »
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I would be thrilled to be wrong, but there's very little doubt in my mind at this point.
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Drenk

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #370 on: June 20, 2016, 04:13:10 PM »
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I agree entirely with the AV Club review so I'll just disappear.  :yabbse-grin:
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Fernando

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #371 on: June 20, 2016, 05:05:17 PM »
+1
Oh, and Sansa is for sure pregnant with Ramsey's kid. "You can't kill me, I'm a part of you now." I honestly can't think of what the benefit of that storyline would be, or where they imagine they're going to go with it, but regardless, they're going there.

I was worried about that for a second, but I really don't think so — especially because of Sansa's reaction. She wasn't fazed at all. She is in a better position to know whether she's pregnant (especially considering the time they've been apart), but she tells him pointedly that his words will die, his house will die, and no one will remember him. Her knowingly being pregnant would so weirdly undercut her moment of victory that I think we'd see evidence of that.

I think Ramsay simply means that the way he tormented her and changed her means that he will always be a part of her, which is absolutely true, and which Sansa described to Littlefinger. I don't think it's the writers winking at us in any significant way, because that'd be such a gross and counterproductive thing to do in that moment. Would they really think that's a good idea, creatively or otherwise, considering the widespread backlash they experienced after Sansa's wedding night?

More evidence to the contrary. Ramsay doesn't rape Sansa in the books, so giving her a child by him would be so off-story that it would probably be stretching too far in terms of book-to-show changes. Because her producing an heir to Winterfell with Ramsay's blood simply changes too much.

Yes, there's no way she's pregnant, in fact it isn't possible because when she ran away it took her probably weeks to reach the wall, then she stayed there probably a couple, then they travel a lot trying to gain support of different houses and that had to take weeks if not months, then gather the army, plan the attack and reach again Winterfell, so even if I'm being conservative it's been at least three months since she saw Ramsey and my real guess is at least six months have passed...


But seriously, come on Sansa, at least let Jonny know about the Vale dudes coming. They both kinda let down the team here. Or maybe Sansa was willing to let Jon die for her battle plan to succeed. I wonder if there will be a point where Jon becomes merely an obstacle to her.

I think my post above is a decent response to those concerns, but I also think you're right — Sansa was determined to take Winterfell back, pretty much at any cost. She has a clearer view of reality than most characters in this series (her point about Rickon being a good example) and has no time for sentimentality anymore. Jon, even with all he's been through, seems to possess half of her intelligence and emotional fortitude.

It's because Sansa has learned from the best/worst, their triumphs and mistakes of Cersei, LF and knowing what Ramsey is capable of.
I too thought that Rickon was doomed no matter what and as painful as that was she understood and planned for the best (real) outcome.

To your point, I think Jon will get out of the way. Sansa will rule Winterfell, most likely with Littlefinger at her side in some capacity. Jon will do what he does best — fight the white walkers.

Agree, it seems there’s no point he stays there, question is, will he leave immediately or wait for some news from Castle Black that he and his wildlings are needed, that will be interesting, as for Sansa, she has Winterfell now and…what’s next? Will LF still want her to marry the little lord of the Vale? I hope and expect she will take control of things and ultimately she will decide for herself, she cannot go back and let people decide her future.

- I'm so glad that Davos finally learned the truth. Another superb scene. Patiently waiting for him to cut Melisandre to pieces.

No! It’s crazy but I love her character even if she burnt a little girl, I fear for her life and I don’t want her to die, I wonder if it comes to that Jon will interfere so Davos doesn’t kill her, in fact she's among my top 5 characters in the show so I hope she makes it.



Given that now we’re approaching the conclusion I fear less about losing ‘the good’ characters (Starks, Tyrion, Dany), I don’t mean all will live happily no, just that they will survive to be at the final showdown, some against white walkers others at Kingslanding.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #372 on: June 20, 2016, 05:09:48 PM »
+3
I would be thrilled to be wrong, but there's very little doubt in my mind at this point.

"Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear."

She has no sense of irony while saying this, and I don't think she's delusional, so I don't think she's pregnant. Unless this is prelude to an episode of I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant on TLC Westeros. Bottom line, this would be dumb, and I'm pretty convinced the writers are not making dumb choices right now.

Ramsay's words being literal there would be the stupidest thing all season. Not only because that plot development is a bad choice, but because it undercuts the thematic meaning of that sequence — that Sansa is indeed changed by Ramsay and in the last moment of the episode takes pleasure in killing for the very first time. (Which is arguably more upsetting than a pregnancy.)

For that to be displaced by "oops, I'm preggers" is the kind of self-sabotage the writers are surely not interested in.

Not to mention, as you said, there's no beneficial or interesting direction for this to take. It's a narrative dead end. Because Sansa is absolutely not having Ramsay's baby. This would be that plot in its entirety:


Sansa: Dude, guess what, I'm pregnant! This really sucks.

Littlefinger: Oh my God. Sansa, I can't begin to comprehend what this must —

Sansa: Do you have access to Moon Tea or not?

Littlefinger: Why, yes. I have some in my satchel. There you are. Now, it must be taken according to dir—

Sansa: *Gulp*

Littlefinger: Oh. So uhh. Are you okay?

Sansa: Listen. I just watched thousands of people being slaughtered. None of this is great. And this... pregnancy... is obviously something I thought might happen. So thank you for being prepared. Let's move on.

Littlefinger: Well. Alright. *shuffles papers* Here's the update on Riverrun...
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #373 on: June 20, 2016, 05:34:30 PM »
+2
Yes, there's no way she's pregnant, in fact it isn't possible because when she ran away it took her probably weeks to reach the wall, then she stayed there probably a couple, then they travel a lot trying to gain support of different houses and that had to take weeks if not months, then gather the army, plan the attack and reach again Winterfell, so even if I'm being conservative it's been at least three months since she saw Ramsey and my real guess is at least six months have passed...

Ah right, good call. Also for time scale, think of how much plot transpired with Ramsay in Winterfell during that time. Assassinating Roose Bolton et al., gathering new allies and consolidating his power, preparing his army, sending letters, etc. Also, Littlefinger's journey to and from the Vale takes place after Sansa's escape.


It's because Sansa has learned from the best/worst, their triumphs and mistakes of Cersei, LF and knowing what Ramsey is capable of.

That's a great point. Being dragged around the seven kingdoms as everyone's pawn / punching bag has yielded some benefits. She's seen so much of the world and its rulers, and she's been paying attention.

Agree, it seems there’s no point he stays there, question is, will he leave immediately or wait for some news from Castle Black that he and his wildlings are needed, that will be interesting, as for Sansa, she has Winterfell now and…what’s next? Will LF still want her to marry the little lord of the Vale? I hope and expect she will take control of things and ultimately she will decide for herself, she cannot go back and let people decide her future.

I assume Jon and Bran have to converge at some point in their battle against the white walkers. With Sam hopefully not far behind.

I don't think Sansa is marrying anyone anytime soon. And I don't think she would get any pushback on that from anyone at this point.

This is perhaps the Sansa quote of the episode, after Jon promises to protect her: "No one can protect me. No one can protect anyone."

There's a theory that this is a clever allusion to Arya ("no one") and foreshadowing that Arya might in fact come home and protect the Starks in this tumultuous time.

Given that now we’re approaching the conclusion I fear less about losing ‘the good’ characters (Starks, Tyrion, Dany), I don’t mean all will live happily no, just that they will survive to be at the final showdown, some against white walkers others at Kingslanding.

I'm on the same page. I think we're going to see a few more Starks die for sure, but probably not until they've fought honorably in "the war to come." When all of that goes down, the show could kill anyone, really, and that's alright. I think the only character who's guaranteed to survive is Daenerys.
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polkablues

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Re: Game of Thrones (spoilers)
« Reply #374 on: June 20, 2016, 05:46:54 PM »
+1
All right, you guys have talked me back from the ledge a little bit. It's just the "I'm a part of you now" line is such a weird fucking thing to have him say there unless it had that subtext.

Anyway, solid episode, great spectacle. I'm thrilled that Dany and Co. are finally going to be heading to the mainland.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

 

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