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Game of Thrones (spoilers)

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Robyn

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Reply #735 on: May 06, 2019, 08:19:45 AM
In the next episode of GoT; Jon Snow regret his decision to leave Ghost:


Sleepless

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Reply #736 on: May 06, 2019, 08:21:45 AM
Ha! I actually enjoyed that episode. It had uneven moments, but then this show always has. There is a definite sense of an ending has occurred, Tormund and Sam say their goodbyes, to them all is right with the world now the NK is defeated. 80 minutes gave it time to breathe, get all the necessary mourning and fucking out of the way, but things are finally happening now. Characters are making stupid decisions (Jon especially) but then, they often do (Jon especially). I expected at least one dragon to die prematurely, so it was nice to have at lest that prediction come true. But yes, that scene outside the gates was way overmilked. I was actually really hoping Tyrion would be mowed down by arrows there, it'd be unexpected but they seemingly telegraphed it minutes earlier when the mast of the boat fell on him. I don't know what else he could add in these final two installments, as he does seem to have lost everything. And control. Dany is now a baddie. Called it. Jon is still as boring as ever. I'm still Team Cersei, but she's become increasingly one-note and cartoonish, so I don't know who I'm supposed to be rooting for at this point. They called out that Sansa has had perhaps the greatest transformation of any character, so maybe her... It doesn't feel like they've set her up as a leader who wants the best for the seven kingdoms though, merely the north/herself. And if she isn't involved in this final battle, I really don't see what claim she might eventually have once everyone else is dead. At this point, I'm just thankful that there's no clear and obvious final ending to what's going to happen. Everything is up in the air, which is good, because I really didn't want to see Dany easily win and take the throne. Hoping the surprises keep coming.

So this starbucks thing is legit?
He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.


Robyn

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Reply #737 on: May 06, 2019, 08:34:11 AM
A lot of people who disliked last episode enjoyed this one. I'm confused.

For the night is dark and full of opinions...


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #738 on: May 06, 2019, 09:49:12 AM
I think it's pretty clear what's happening with Jaime. Remember what prompted his departure—news that Cersei was winning. I don't think he wants Cersei to win.

When Bronn gets in, I'm sorry but that's a SNL sketch.

Yeah, what the hell? They couldn't write that scene better?

That was definitely an interesting scene. I'm not even quite sure if it works to the intended effect, but it's interesting. I think it's walking a bit of a tightrope. It's played for comedy a bit, but it's also reminding us who Bronn really is. Personally I think Bronn's likability mostly derives from the actor. I have no affection for that type of character who has no discernible honor, even when the world is ending. Of course they might be setting up an arc, but I'm over him.

I hated the way the dragon died. Dany thought it was a good idea to just fly into KL and then be like "opps he's dead now"?

She was flying into Dragonstone, which should be one of her safe havens, but Euron ambushed her there.

I would bet that all the dragons will be dead by the end. The symmetry is just too irresistible.

Jon's dumbness in this episode was too much. Everyone being dumb is just convenient for the writers at this point

This is a criticism I can sort of get behind. In seasons 1 through 4, this was a story about very smart people scheming against each other. In seasons 5 through 8, it's a story about bad decisions. In some ways, this is a wise storytelling choice. D&D know they can't match GRRM's skill for crafting a labyrinthine battle of intellects, so given no choice, they went a different way. I think this is okay; I'd rather have them play to their strengths.

With that in mind, I think book readers need to come to terms with the reality that the second half of this series is not a book adaptation.

In some ways, Jon's stupidity is a virtue. He doesn't have the capacity to scheme. His superpower is that he's pure of heart—which for this story is heroic enough.

They called out that Sansa has had perhaps the greatest transformation of any character, so maybe her... It doesn't feel like they've set her up as a leader who wants the best for the seven kingdoms though, merely the north/herself.

You're right, she doesn't want to rule. She just wants someone good (and who she can trust) to rule. Daenerys is NOT that. I think they really effectively sold Sansa's genuine worry this episode, just as they sold Dany's rage.

Sansa's character motivation is that she's determined to never be subservient ever again. For obvious reasons. The fact that they've made this an absolutely essential centerpiece of the final season is pretty interesting and impressive, I think, considering it isn't and probably won't be part of her character in the books at all.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


©brad

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Reply #739 on: May 06, 2019, 12:00:03 PM
So I understand their ideas, and why they are making them. I just don't enjoy the way it's playing out. It feels dumb.

It's becoming a bit too sentimental for my taste as well. Everything in this episode seemed off somehow, like they are not even in the same GoT universe anymore. Things are getting silly and melodramatic. They are turning every interaction to a fanfiction idea of Cleganebowl or something...

The show is still viscerally thrilling, and I'm genuinely excited for the last two episodes, but overall I agree with this. The writing just isn't there. There was two scenes of extended conversation between Varys and Tyrion where they literally repeat themselves in each scene.

The continued incompetence in military strategy from team Dany is maddening, and makes it hard to even root for a group this short-sighted. We didn't need to lose another dragon. Whether she's going mad or not, Dany should be smarter than this. They spent years and seasons building her into arguably the most dimensional character on the show, only to dumb her down for the sake of plot contrivance. 

And FFS producers, how can you not pony up some dough to allow Jon Snow to have a goodbye moment with Ghost?

Sigh. There were still some fun moments. it's still overall so good. Ultimately the collective fanbase has spent several years marinating on how this show should end, so it's inevitable many will be bummed when their theories don't pan out.

 
 



Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #740 on: May 06, 2019, 12:26:23 PM
And FFS producers, how can you not pony up some dough to allow Jon Snow to have a goodbye moment with Ghost?

This was my #1 issue with the episode. Only makes sense if Ghost makes a surprise return.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


Drenk

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Lottery

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Reply #742 on: May 06, 2019, 09:28:56 PM
Ultimately the collective fanbase has spent several years marinating on how this show should end, so it's inevitable many will be bummed when their theories don't pan out.

Certainly, some people are disappointed that their theorising was all fruitless and that's on them but I think a lot of folks were searching for substance or details where there wasn't any, with no particular theories in mind. Some elaboration and explanation would go a long way, it's doubly frustrating when the show has fallen in love cutting away from scenes (a fourth paternity reveal may have been too much for some but Sansa and Arya's immediate reactions would have been worth it).

At this stage I almost feel sorry for Dany, she'll be forced to become a massive psycho because her advisors failed her over and over after she arrived in the country (that said, no one has made any smart decisions in a very, very long time). There were a few moments in the last ep where she reminded me very much of Viserys.

Ignoring the Ghost neglect one part I liked was when both Jon and Tormund agreed that Jon would be happier beyond the wall. If Jon survives, that would be an ending I would really like. Then he can hang out with Ghost.


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #743 on: May 07, 2019, 05:14:18 PM
I'm not a nitpicker. This is known. I even defended the jetpacking in Season 7. However, the show has a real problem with battle strategy. The core of the problem is that we see their battle-planning scenes from beginning to end (as we did this episode), but it's mostly just a series of opinions or proposals. The details are not debated in any meaningful way for any length of time. A fragile consensus forms in an extremely rushed way, and suddenly there's no further discussion. These scenes would greatly benefit from being two or three times as long.

The #1 thing that challenges my appreciation of a TV show is characters violating their own characteristics. Certainly people can act unlike themselves at times, but that is usually not the story being told when this happens.

Significant out-of-character moments in this episode:

– Jon not saying goodbye to Ghost
– Tyrion randomly harassing Brienne about her virginity, and not in a fun way
– Tormund suggesting only men can ride dragons (I thought he admired empowered women)

But a more significant character issue is that of Sansa. What Sansa said in this episode is pretty much exactly the thing I hoped she'd never say:

"Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a little bird all my life."

Wow! This is literally the worst, most character-gutting thing Sansa could have said. I worried about this during Season 5 while Sansa was locked in the rape room:

Sansa slogs through this continuing trauma and eventually ends up empowered on the other side. And she owes her self-empowerment to surviving and overcoming rape. From a storytelling perspective, this could actually be the worst result, and the one I feared when this whole disaster began.

They could have walked the line, but they chose to credit Sansa's trauma for her character development. Not the way she overcame it and transcended it. Not the way she persevered and drew on her own inner strength. Nope. The writers, and Sansa as their proxy, credit the violence itself. Even worse, they explicitly tell us that she would have remained "a little bird" without it, implying that her strength and intelligence are a result of those traumas. Yikes!

We could read between the lines, stretch a bit, and choose to have a less problematic interpretation. But the fact is, the writers have not done the work to respect the nuance of the topic, and they've done a disservice to their favorite character.

And yet, I think I still love this episode.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #744 on: May 07, 2019, 09:10:42 PM
I'm beginning to think both Jaime takes are true—he's "addicted" to Cersei and hates himself for it, but he also intends to kill her. I keep coming back to the point I made before—the news that Cersei might be winning is what prompts his departure.

Some incredible insights on the Bald Move podcast this week. Seriously. (They even backed up some of my Sansa thoughts.) It was enough for me to renew my membership for a full year (for ad-free feeds).

They offer one possible defense for Jon ghosting Ghost. It might be there to show that he's turning away from his northern roots (remember that scene also included Tormund saying Jon has the North in him). This reminds me of the theory, which I like, that Ned Stark cosmically doomed himself when he killed Sansa's dire wolf.

I rarely have such a love-hate relationship with an episode, but here we are. This is a perplexing one. There are so many little flaws, some of the characterization is off, and the writers are simply done sweating the details. On the other hand, this has some truly breathtaking moments. Emilia Clarke's portrayal of Daenerys is just magnificent here, completely selling this stew of volatile emotions. Her best work since late Season 7.

This season is kind of a mess, sometimes inexcusably so, but I still love this show to my core.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


©brad

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Reply #745 on: May 09, 2019, 05:50:05 PM
This season is kind of a mess, sometimes inexcusably so, but I still love this show to my core.

Oh of course, I do too as do the majority of fans I would assume. As much of a hot mess as this season's been at times, D&D aren't beyond redemption. As long as they:

Stop having our core characters acting stupid/out of character.
No more asinine battle strategy gaffes.
Keep this final dragon alive for the reminder of next episode at the very least ffs.
Don't take Dany down a mad queen path. Make that an audience fake-out.
Give Tyrion something to do that actually works. He's been wrong and largely useless for a while now.





Lottery

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Reply #746 on: May 09, 2019, 09:29:09 PM
Honestly, that's a lot to ask of them right now.

2 episodes left, I'm hoping for something dramatic and fun and ideally something meaningful. Just please don't let it be contrived.
One thing I look forward to seeing is how they'll divide the content of the last 2 episodes- will the big climax cover both episodes or will they have a dedicated summary/epilogue episode.


MAJOR BOOK SPOILERS.
Spoiler: ShowHide

Despite the vast differences, it's pretty interesting to piece together what could happen in future books. It's quite possible that the show suffered heavily by excising Aegon's plotline.
So potentially- Aegon arrives in Westeros. Steamrolls everyone and becomes king. Tommen and Myrcella die somehow. Cersei gets deposed and imprisoned. Dany arrives and to her dismay Aegon is already there as a beloved king. And now she has a legitimate problem- the issue of her being some foreign tyrant is far more valid. Up North, Jon comes back and secures leadership. Euron (?) brings down the wall- Jon and Dany have to focus on the WW. Euron saves Cersei/deposes Aegon (or maybe Dany gets rid of him)? Then we have the equivalent of these last couple of episodes.

There are so many branching plotlines at this point in the books that the above could be mostly wrong but I think it's somewhat logical.

No idea on what the third 'holy shit moment' could be that GRRM told D&D though.

EDIT:
It's worth mentioning that Euron is an evil pirate wizard in the books.
But considering the speediness and cloaking abilities of his fleet, show Euron may also be a wizard.


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #747 on: May 10, 2019, 12:20:24 AM
Here's how GRRM (vaguely) characterizes the end of the show:

"The major points of the ending will be things I told [Benioff and Weiss] five or six years ago. But there may also be changes, and there’ll be a lot added." (source)

This sounds to me like the fate and characterization of Daenerys and Jon will be the same from book to screen (or screen to book in this case).
"Hunger is the purest sin"


Lottery

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Reply #748 on: May 10, 2019, 01:52:17 AM
Yeah, definitely in terms of specific things like 'Dany's campaign unravels and she resorts to wide-scale destruction' or 'Jon becomes King/Jon dies'.
But in terms of characterisation, Book Jon and Show Jon are already very, very different and Martin will probably approach Dany's possible descent quite differently (which may be largely dependent on the abilities of her advisors and the internal conflict she faces if she has to fight the 'other dragon').

Some of the character plotlines are a bit up in the air. Sansa's will be totally different. Rickon's one will be different.
If there's one character arc/ending I want to keep from the show, it's Theon's. Not his final charge specifically but dying for Winterfell is the best way for him to go.


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #749 on: May 10, 2019, 10:57:25 AM
Good points. I guess I'll learn about those differences when I start the books again—especially curious how Jon is different. D&D openly consider Jon to be fairly dumb.

I suppose we know from the books that Sansa can't take the throne, right?

SPECULATION SPOILERS

Heard a theory about who might end up on the throne, which is supported by the betting odds and a purported leak. I won't say who it is, but I will say it might be my favorite result. They actually dropped an insanely clever hint for it in this last episode. If you want to know who it is, just google "iron throne odds."
"Hunger is the purest sin"