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A Thread of Ice and Fire - BOOK AND TV SPOILERS
  • So I’ve been really liking this season so far, and on the whole really liking the changes that have been made for the sake of economical story telling. Even things I was pretty wary of, like using Gendry in place of Edric Storm, or the way Loras is being used currently, are things I’m looking forward to seeing how they pan out, and that I’m starting to feel pretty confident about. Also, the show is handling the Jon/Ygritte stuff so much better than the books.

    One thing that kind of bums me out though is the way the show is telegraphing some of the big plot twists that are coming. I’m really, really interested in seeing if non-readers will react to the Red Wedding, because to me it seems so obvious what’s coming. It seems like people are finally putting together who Theon’s torturer is, but I think at this point a lot of non-readers are thinking that it’s some kind of payback for what he did to Winterfell. So maybe the Boltons betraying Robb only seems obvious to me, since I know what’s coming. I also feel like they’re working extra hard to make Joffrey an irredeemable little monster, I guess so that no one feels for him when the Purple Wedding comes—but is that really a problem anyone would have?

    I do really dislike the Theon stuff on multiple levels—it’s bad storytelling, for one, it’s just tires spinning, and also the violence is totally gratuitous and gross. (That’s one thing that I really don’t like about the show, is the way violence is used in general.)

    I think having Melisandre and Arya meet is interesting—does this mean that the grey girl thing will play out differently or maybe be excised entirely? I forget, has Jeyne Pool even been introduced in the show? I’m guessing so but it’s hard to recall. I’m curious as to who Melisandre sees Arya kill, as well, and whether they are actually going to meet again. Fuck, actually that whole exchange bothered me because it just doesn’t seem like it’ll play out in a way that makes any sense. That said, Melisandre meeting Thoros and being in awe of him bringing Beric back from the dead was awesome. I really like the way the show is fleshing out the religion around R’hllor.

    I’m also interested in the conversation between Melisandre and Thoros, because I feel like it kind of confirms my theory about how things are going to play out after the events at the end of aDwD.

  • I kind of skipped this whole thing because I haven’t read the books, but I am current with the show. I do have a question though - is this whole “lord of light” thing from the books? Like, the “one true god” ish is really not sitting well with me.

    I think she saw Arya killing everyone she has sworn to kill. Joffrey is a cowardly little psychopath and I hope Arya sticks her sword right in his eyeball. I’m also super into all the bad things happening to the Kingslayer. That dude sucks.

  • heather: Religion is a complicated subject in this world, but suffice to say that you do NOT need to worry about the show becoming some weird Christian allegory. Fleshing out the “The Lord of Light” angle is something they need to do at this point in the story.

    Jeb:

    I’m curious as to who Melisandre sees Arya kill

    Dareon got a shoutout in the opening scene with Sam and Gilly.

    I will have more thoughts tomorrow when I’m less drunk!

  • Also, the Faith of the Seven is way, way, way more analogous to Christianity/the Catholic Church, despite them believing in seven gods.

    Anyway, I think the followers of R’hllor actually believe in two gods anyway: “There are no gods but R’hllor and the Other, whose name may not be said.” I guess it could be seen as a sort of God/Satan thing, but I don’t really think it’s analogous.

    PS this thread is going to be super full of spoilers from the books, so if you don’t want the show spoiled, there is also discussion about the show in the TV/movies thead.

  • Chris - I am very much looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

  • After the last two episodes, I’m definitely less concerned about them telegraphing the RW too much, mainly because that scene with Jamie, Brienne, and Roose struck just the right balance, and because of the different way they’re handling the Freys’ role. We know Roose is pragmatic, but we don’t know that he’s already directly working with Tywin (that’s the main thing I was afraid of), and we know that Walder is petty and vindictive, but playing up the country bumpkin angle makes the Freys seem a little more harmless. And in the world of the show, Robb wants their support more than he absolutely needs their support.

    And yeah, I’m not keen on the Joffrey thing. A big part of his character is that, while he’s definitely sadistic and power-crazed, he’s also deeply cowardly, and always gets other people to do his dirty work for him. And his sadism is supposed to stem from a childish interpretation of all the “this is how a king acts!” bullshit Robert spouted over the years, and an overcompensation for not feeling as gruff and manly as his “father.” He’s supposed to be an idiot kid with shitty parents and way too much power; turning him into a straight-up serial killer is less interesting, I think.

    Religion is an interesting issue. While certain of the red priests clearly have power, the books take much greater pains to insinuate that it’s because dragons have returned to the world, something that may or may not have anything to do with the god they worship. And whether the Old Gods are the Great Other, or whether both the Old Gods and R’hollor oppose the Great Other is open question as well. And it might well be that we’ll never know whether any of the world’s religions have any accuracy to them at all, or if they are just different ways of making sense of a world where, you know, magic exists.

    We can probably say with relative certainty that the Seven are complete bullshit, since they never seem to do anything, and the religion of the Seven is such a clear analogue to the medieval Church. You could make a mildly convincing case that Seven do some stuff through Davos, but that’s getting into the weeds.

  • the red religion seems to me to be most comparable to zoroastrianism or manicheaism.

  • Blucas said: Religion is an interesting issue. While certain of the red priests clearly have power, the books take much greater pains to insinuate that it’s because dragons have returned to the world, something that may or may not have anything to do with the god they worship. And whether the Old Gods are the Great Other, or whether both the Old Gods and R’hollor oppose the Great Other is open question as well. And it might well be that we’ll never know whether any of the world’s religions have any accuracy to them at all, or if they are just different ways of making sense of a world where, you know, magic exists.

    This is super interesting, and I think that you hit the nail on the head with the idea of them being ways of explaining magic, just as we once used religion to explain natural phenomenon. It’d be interesting, though, if the Old Gods were The Other, especially since then Bran will be important in a completely unexpected way. I also sort of like the idea only in that the Children of the Forest seem pretty innocuous and sympathetic, but maybe they’ve raised the army of wights and others as payback for being driven out and nearly made extinct. GRRM goes out of his way to humanize even the most villainous of his characters, but the others are totally one dimensional standard boilerplate SF baddies—maybe the way to “humanize” them is to make us feel for their puppetmasters. It would also explain Coldhands, right? But then again, I’m not really sure how much this actually jibes with the text; I’m having a hard time remembering what—if anything—the children have said about the others.

  • I should probably head over to westeros.org at this point

  • Oh, I think it’s totally possible that people are so used to the oooo mysterious sacred calling fantasy trope that they’re missing just how ominous, weird, and not necessarily on-the-level all the Bran stuff is. There’s even a theory floating around that the paste Bran eats in ADWD is, uh, Jojen, and when you look at the text, it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

    There’s still the Targaryen crazy-gene to explain, too, and the seasons. It’s “A Song of Ice and Fire,” and we’ve seen good and evil on both sides. It could be that the resolution of the series is the one that people like to speculate about, with Dany and some combination of Jon/Tyrion/Aegon/Arianna/Arya/your-favorite-character-here riding dragons and burning wights, or it could be a more hippie MUST RESTORE BALANCE type thing involving both Bran and Dany.

  • Oh, and I can’t remember if I’ve posted this before, but v important if you haven’t seen it:

    http://www.otcontinued.com/viewtopic.php?t=15268

  • Hahahaha, yeah. I read that a while ago. Best fan theory ever.

  • Can someone tell me if dude getting his nards cut off happens in the books? Is the torture porn really something that is part of the story?

  • It’s something that happens in the books, though it’s a little more complicated. It happens off-stage, though the way we learn about it is definitely still very disturbing.

  • gah I am so over Theon’s storyline.

  • I don’t care if it is a spoiler, who is the psycho torturing him? I don’t get why it is happening, even if it is just for sport. All other parts of the last episode connect in some way story-wise, and this doesn’t.

  • I understand that they couldn’t just let Alfie Allen sit out this season and next but Jesus Fuck do I not need to see this shit and beyond being fucked up torture porn it doesn’t add to the story in any way whatsoever. And I mean, this is literally all that’s happening with Theon until aDwD, so do we have to sit through more of this next season too?

    Otherwise, though, that was a pretty great episode. The Jaime/Brienne stuff is great and I’m really looking forward to the Hound and Arya interactions. Also I wish we didn’t have to wait until the end of next season to see the last of Shae.

  • heather said: I don’t care if it is a spoiler, who is the psycho torturing him? I don’t get why it is happening, even if it is just for sport. All other parts of the last episode connect in some way story-wise, and this doesn’t.

    Revealing who he is would give away the biggest thing that’s going to happen this season, even if he’s not directly involved.

  • aw why don’t you like shae? Too whiny? I’ve been rolling my eyes at her lately but I thought she was really cool at first.

  • I originally liked her better in the show than in the books, but she just gets more and more annoying, and the fact that the actress who plays her really can’t act is more and more apparent.

  • Yeah, that is definitely something you don’t want spoiled, heather, trust me. It’s too related to, you know, the biggest thing and most shocking that happens in the entire series.

    That torture porn scene is even ickier when you realize that Martin wrote the episode

    I, too, wish that they would’ve left Alfie Allen out of the season, or just had one or two scenes with him, but uhhhh unfortunately there’s a ton of gross stuff for them to do with him next season as he’s built back up into Reek. I’m really, really hoping we don’t get any “hunting” scenes, but at this point I don’t think the show has that kind of restraint.

    Re: Shae, it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. In the books, Tyrion’s always calling himself an idiot for thinking she actually might love him, and her character is younger, and more naive. It’ll be a tougher trick to make Show Shae plausibly betray him, and an even tougher trick to have Dinklage Tyrion kill her and retain his likability, and I’m not sure the show is willing to make its version of Tyrion unlikable.

  • yeah that’s the upcoming plot point I find hardest to believe based on the tv representations of these characters

  • dang, I figured something like that would have to go down since I can’t see him being able to live with both Sansa AND Shae- maybe the show will have someone else kill her? I can see her betraying him because she’s getting angrier each episode and is probably going to express that in some way that isn’t just more whining.

  • That was my background at work for a while :)

  • Er, sans Ghostface

  • peacocks said: dang, I figured something like that would have to go down since I can’t see him being able to live with both Sansa AND Shae- maybe the show will have someone else kill her? I can see her betraying him because she’s getting angrier each episode and is probably going to express that in some way that isn’t just more whining.

    Well, this week we got a scene that introduced the murder weapon so… remember that a year from now!

    Also, goddamn it, you probably REALLY don’t want to read this thread until after episode 9. I really want to talk about Talisa’s pregnancy (which, depending on what happens in the next couple episodes, might actually be a weird instance where the show spoils future books http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/57608-is-jayne-westerling-carrying-the-heir-of-winterfell/), and about the fact that Talisa and The Blackfish are among the retinue accompanying Robb to the Twins, but we haven’t seen the Greatjon yet this season.

  • Yo dude. The thread is marked as containing book and tv spoilers, so you can’t say they weren’t warned.

    I think what’s most interesting about the pregnancy thing is that it’s introduced in an episode by Martin himself. Maybe it’s a winking nod to the fan theory but nothing more, ultimately a red herring. I mean I know Winterfell and the north are greatly important, but how many potential heirs to Winterfell do we have at this point? How would Robb’s child really affect things?

    What are your thoughts on the Greatjon?

  • Oh gods, the argument in that thread about whether the Westerlings are swimmers or not

  • Whenever you guys say something spoilery I barely know what it means so I probably won’t remember it whenever it happens in the show anyway. Also, with most stuff I can handle knowing what happens and still be able to enjoy the show. I like inside scoops! Once my grandpa got mad at me and told me the ending to All Quiet on the Western Front but to his dismay he didn’t ruin anything for me.

  • The big thing about Talisa/Jayne being pregnant is that a son would absolutely, unequivocally be the heir to Winterfell, and would completely ruin Littlefinger’s plan, and Bolton’s plan, hell, and Manderly’s plan (though some people think that Wylla Manderly is actually Jayne in disguise).

    My current theory is that, when shit goes down at the RW, Robb is going to charge the Blackfish with taking care of his wife and kid. If the Blackfish is at the RW, that’s really the only plausible reason he would try to escape rather than fight. They can escape back to Riverrun if the writers want to do the whole siege thing with Jamie next year, or they can just skip it, and have them be in the wind. But if she’s at-large and pregnant, that’s a huge deal.

    The other possibility is that she’s actually not important at all and just dies at the RW.

    re: the Greatjon, I’m just bummed we haven’t seen him, ‘cause I like his particular little angle of the RW, where there are those two Freys whose sole job is to get him too drunk to fight, and they fail. They still might do that with the Blackfish. And I always thought that there must have been some reason that Martin bothered to have him survive, but I guess that might just be to make it more plausible that the Umbers would heel to the Boltons, with him as a hostage.

  • Also, 0 stars if we don’t get to see Catelyn cut the throat of a mentally-handicapped man

  • I am going to spend next Sunday night hanging out on twitter with #gameofthrones up and laughing in an evil manner.

  • I really hope they do it as well as they did the Battle of Blackwater. Part of me is hoping Talisa dies too.

  • I just hope they can build that sense if foreboding as well as the novel did. While the Red Wedding itself was insane and brutal, the lead up was so, so tense.

  • Yeah, part of what’s great about it is that it’s really obvious that something bad is going to happen, but you’re still not even remotely prepared for the level of carnage. I was reading some unspoiled speculation last night (I recommend this, it’s pretty fun), and everyone’s all like, “The Hound will get in a scuffle and kill Edmure, ruining Robb’s plans!” or “Talisa will die!” or “Arya will be forced to marry a Frey!” They have all these theories that make total sense in terms of storytelling, but the Red Wedding is such a crazy big reset button that no one expects it. It’s almost like a different story afterward.

  • Gods, I cannot wait.

    (Also, where are you going for your speculation?)

  • I was just looking at winteriscoming.net; they had a prediction post by someone who hasn’t read the books. TwoP has a long unspoiled speculation thread, too.

  • Blucas said: Yeah, part of what’s great about it is that it’s really obvious that something bad is going to happen, but you’re still not even remotely prepared for the level of carnage.

    The way this chapter is written is one of the most masterful chapters in any of the books, I think. I guess I don’t really know from great horror writing, but to me, it feels like great horror writing. The fact that it’s told from Cat’s perspective is so perfect; she senses that something is amiss, but her almost overwhelming faith in the rules of noble society reassure her—that is, blind her, as she forces herself to ignore the obvious signs that something is wrong, even if she can’t quite put her finger on exactly what. The description of the music is also just fantastic. The whole tone is so haunting and creepy.

    I’m a little curious how the show will handle things, since the show seems to align itself with Robb’s POV over Cat’s.

  • Yeah, my main concern is that they’ll try to spin it so Robb acquits himself heroically, ie, he’ll essentially lay down his life so Talisa can get away.

    I was only half-joking above, I do really, really hope we get Cat cutting the throat of an innocent Frey: that moment is so perfect and brutal.

    If nothing else, I guess we know we’ll get “Jaime Lannister sends his regards,” since they set it up at Harrenhal, though I sort of worry that they’ll play up Bolton’s treachery, making it seem like Robb might prevail, instead of having it be a final little insult.

  • I just read all but the last two posts, which started to look a little spoilery, and I’m excited to see what happens! it won’t be til next season, right?

  • Nah, it’s goin’ down on Sunday.

  • My friends got us the blu ray sets as a wedding gift and holy shit are these things packed with awesome (and super nerdy) special features!

  • I read a review of the most recent episode that said something like “often Peter Dinklage has been laden with the task of carrying this whole show on his back” and I was like ninja what, are we event watching the same show here. Charles Dance has stolen just about every scene Dinklage has been in this season

  • That being just one example of how strong this cast is all around

  • Yeah, before the whole Tyrion-Sansa wedding sequence, I thought there was a pretty good chance that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau would take Dinklage’s Emmy slot this year, but Dinklage can just submit that episode, so probably not.

    But yeah, Charles Dance is absolutely killing it. That scene with Joffrey might be my favorite not-from-the-books scene they’ve ever done.

    3 seasons in, it’s really easy to start harping on the show’s flaws, but when you place yourself back in 2009, and start to think about all the ways they could’ve fucked this show up, it really is an impressive achievement on basically every level.

  • I haven’t seen the episode yet, but

    1) Twitter was hilarious.

    2) I’m glad that all the post-mortem interviews are talking about how hard it was for Michelle Fairley to film that scene and how sad she was to leave the show lol

  • Dude Tumblr is even better than Twitter.

    Also that is hilarious.

  • Ay, thanks to milly for bringing this to my attention, but can we talk about the fact that Sean Parker had a $9 million semi-GOT-themed wedding?

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/06/03/article-2334770-1A1E407C000005DC-989_638x796.jpg

    Costume design by the lady who did LOTR, a 600K stone gate entryway (I promise you that there’s no single set-piece on the actual show that cost 600K).

    And

    wait for it,

    They have an infant daughter named “Winter.”

    Hopefully they stuck to Westerosi bedding customs

  • Well, that was sufficiently brutal