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Game of Thrones S04E04: "Oathkeeper"


If you haven't been paying attention to director's names in television, now would be a good time to start. And one who should definitely be on your list is Michelle MacLaren, the woman behind this week's episode of Game of Thrones, "Oathbreaker," as well as The Walking Dead's "A" and Breaking Bad's "Tohajiilee." More than most Game of Thrones directors, MacLaren seems to understand that the show's stories aren't parallel plots in a common world, but cogs in a bigger machine that are all connected beneath the surface (credit to "Oathkeeper" writer Bryan Cogman for knowing that too; together, he and MacLaren make a great team). 

Many of MacLaren's scene transitions in "Oathkeeper" started with pans left or right or up or down (and one simple voiceover that bled through from one scene to the next, revealing Joffrey's murderer); this gave the episode a sense of continuity, and prevented it from feeling like another section in the hopping-about-Westeros travel guide that Game of Thrones sometimes feels like when it's juggling multiple characters and latitudes. 

And MacLaren's theatrical connectivity was timed perfectly, because OMG you guys it just feels like Game of Thrones is about to smash a whole bunch of new characters together, doesn't it? Margaery and Tommen, Brienne and Pod, Summer and Ghost! But there are even more important pairings and meet-ups ahead, some of which we've been waiting for since the beginning of the series. Sansa is off to the Eyrie as Littlefinger's hostage/traveling companion, and Arya is headed there too, as she's in the same boat with the Hound. Meanwhile, Bran has found his way to Craster's Keep, which is Jon Snow's current destination. For supporters of Team Stark, this is huge news, as the Stark kids haven't seen each other since early in Season 1. For all the awesome throne-jockeying maneuvers, thrilling scenes with dragons lighting slave masters on fire, and revealing moments where the White Walkers providing free colored contact lenses for babies that are currently happening on the series, part of me just wants to see Stark siblings hug it out when they're finally reunited after all the tragedy they've been through. And we're this close to that, which fires up the pilot light in my heart. Can't you just imagine Arya running up to Sansa in Lyssa's throne room and tackling her big sis with a big old hug? Or Jon picking up his little half-bro Bran and twirling him around in jubilation? Our television screens would melt. Though of course we can't get our hopes up too high, as they'll all probably die before that happens, because George R.R. Martin.

"Oathbreaker" carries the unfortunate label of "set-up episode," but it moved the pieces into place for something greater than Game of Thrones' next plot: a Stark family reunion! Hooray! Now fill your favorite hollowed-out enemy skull with some wine and let's discuss what happened. 



"I will answer injustice with justice" —Daenerys "Breaker of Chains" Targaryen a.k.a. Mhysa

Well THAT was easy. After arriving at the gates of Meereen with thousands of soldiers, an armada of catapults, and three fire-breathing dragons, Dany's show of force and barrels full of symbolic inspiration was just motivation for the slaves within the city to do it themselves. Grey Worm and some buddies tunneled underneath the city and helped the captive Meereen workforce out with some simple math: three is greater than one, and since the slaves outnumber the slave masters three to one, this should be a layup. And it was! The sacking and reclamation of Meereen by the free people was exhibited in one scene when the numbers were more like 300 angry slaves to one helpless slave master. That was it! No dragon firebombs, or Unsullied slaughter, just a cut to a bunch of dark-skinned slaves pawing at their new pale-skinned overlord and muttering that ear-numbing "Mhysa" chant that makes me want to jump off a cliff. At least there was no crowd surfing this time because that sh*t was pretty dumb. 

For as dainty and prim as Dany can look, she can also be a mean sonofagun, and she refused Ser Barristan's suggestion that she show the slavers mercy and nailed 'em up to sign posts half-crucifixion style just as they had done to the children of the city. And though I'm normally a man of compassion and leniency, GOOD FOR HER I say! Using children as signage was a waste of perfectly good child slaves. Think of all the sweaters those kids could have been knitting instead of showing the direction to Meereen to the exactly zero travelers that are moving across that hellscape. These dudes were very inefficient slave owners and got what they deserved if you ask me. But one has to wonder if this behavior by Dany—now arguably just in its eye-for-an-eye philosophy—could lead to something more dangerous. I get the sense that she's getting a little drunk on her power and she's surrounded by enablers except for wise old Barristan, who has been through this rodeo once or twice before. Sure it's freeing slaves today, but it could be genocide tomorrow! 

And so Dany frees another slave city thousands of miles away from where the rest of the action is taking place. What's next for Dany? I have absolutely no idea. There doesn't seem to be any specific direction with her plot, and if she spends the rest of Season 4 emancipating another desert slave city, I may jump through my TV screen and rip out the tongue of the next person who says, "Mhysa." Come on, girl, get across that sea and into Westeros! It's called the Narrow Sea, for crying out loud, not the So Wide It's Impossible to Cross Sea! Have the Unsullied form a man bridge and just walk across. Maybe spend more time building boats and less time building catapults and giant Targaryen flags?



"I don't want friends like me." —Littlefinger

This is going to be one very long boat ride for Sansa because she's stuck in close quarters with Littlefinger's mustache twirling, cryptic pearls of nefariousness, and creepy shoulder touches. Remember, Littlefinger was in love with Catelyn Stark, and now he's off to marry her sister with her daughter also in tow. "I'd risk everything to get what I want," Littlefinger said, and in this case it's the next best thing to Catelyn and that's kind of gross. I kind of feel bad for Sansa. Her dream of being a princess and marrying some lord has become her nightmare as she's passed around from pint-sized terror to pinter-sized imp to a man who was obsessed with her mother. Poor Sansa. 

In a fantastic sequence of events (again, all woven together by Cogman and MacLaren), the answer to the mystery of Joffrey's murder was all but presented to us on a plate in a somewhat subtle but also direct kind of way. Littlefinger copped to his involvement in the murder, revealing that he was part of the plan to poison Joffrey but that it was in partnership with some "new friends" who really wanted Joffrey dead. And as Littlefinger mentioned that there's "nothing like a thoughtful gift to make a new friendship grow strong," we were already starting a scene with Littlefinger's new friend, Lady Olenna Tyrell. Here's how we think it all went down: Ser Dontos handed Sansa a necklace made out of poison, and probably Lady Olenna Tyrell grabbed one of the stones and plopped it into Joffrey's drink. "But I DO know [that Tyrion didn't kill Joffrey.] You don't think I'd let you marry that beast, do you?" she told Margaery, which sounded like a confession to me. 

Olenna! That cunning Queen of Thorns! Most women in Game of Thrones have relied on the power between their legs, to quote Cersei, but that power isn't the same as it used to be for Olenna for reasons I won't mention here and she's been forced to be more creative in shifting power. And she's using all the tools at her disposal, including her granddaughter Margaery. In many ways, the current struggle for the Iron Throne is between Tywin and Olenna, who are each using props (their grandchildren) to ensure their family name is better off down the line. Score one for the elderly! As Tywin said, wisdom makes a good king, and who is wiser than wrinkly old people pulling strings behind the scenes? 

One more bit of wisdom bestowed upon Margaery was straight out of Olenna's wild days as a sexual dynamo humping her way up the royal staircase. Seeing that her sister was to wed Olenna's eventual late husband and take a seat of considerable power, Olenna crept into Luthor's chamber and gave his loins a carnal feast that would render his ambulatory functions useless and sway his affection towards her, hosing her sister out of regal standing. And in no short words, she suggested Margaery do the same to Tommen. 


In my favorite scene from the episode, Margaery followed the Queen of Thorns' advice it was entirely uncomfortable, hilarious, and brilliant. Margaery entered Tommen's chambers and took on the role of sexy baby sitter, promising to be besties with her husband-to-be (provided the Lannisters approve the pairing) and teasing a smidgen of fulfilling Tommen's blossoming erotic fantasies that are sprouting up in his puberty-addled mind that's teetering away from innocence. This was a clinic on mental domination, and nothing seals the deal like saying, "Remember, our little secret," and then having a fake-out liplock move to a kiss on the forehead. Olenna's legs may be closed for business, but she can still run shop through Margaery's.  



"That will be all, Lord Commander." —Cersei Lannister

Oddly enough, it was actually a quiet episode for the Lannisters. Heck, Tywin never even showed up at all. Jaime continued practicing with Bronn, and all we really learned was that Jaime needs to keep his golden hand screwed on real tight. Jaime visited Tyrion and their sibling kinship was reestablished while Jaime updated Tyrion on what was happening outside of his prison cell (Cersei wants Sansa's head). And Jaime and Cersei had another one of their cold-shoulder meetings so Cersei could say that Tommen needed more guards. 

The most interesting aspect of these scenes had nothing to do with what was going on in them, but in dealing with the aftermath of last week's incestuous rape scene between Jaime and Cersei and the Internet outrage that followed. I'm not sure what to make of Jaime now, and there appeared to be no consequences for his actions (rape) from last week. Even his scene with Cersei seemed to pretend that nothing happened under Joffrey's corpse in "Breaker of Chains," as Cersei acted no different to him than she had been acting towards him before. Granted, that attitude was cruel with an underlying feeling of pure hatred, but that's how Cersei treated Jaime when he came back from his adventures, so it's hard to tell if this is a new kind of deep-seeded anger or Cersei's typical routine of pushing Jaime away to make him want her more. The fact that there was no clear-cut indication of anything leads me to believe that Game of Thrones really didn't mean that scene, which was definitely rape in my eyes, was meant to be rape at all, but angry pent-up sexual energy released at an inappropriate time and just more of Game of Thrones f'd up relationship building. 

So what are we supposed to think of Jaime now? At this point in the books, he had the biggest character swing and most readers came around to loving him. And the show wants to put him on the same path, especially with the scene of Jaime giving Brienne his Valyrian blade, a new set of platemail, and Westeros' most amazing squire, Podrick Payne (aww!). But that road to redemption still has one giant rape-sized speedbump on it, and at this point I find myself wishing that scene never even took place because I'm not sure what it added to the story except a lot of outrage and muddled intentions. From reading the books (up to Book 3, A Storm of Swords) I feel like I know who Jaime really is. Jaime was purposefully placed in a position to get off on the wrong foot with readers and viewers when he pushed Bran out of the window. But deep down, Jaime is a man with a noble code. It's just that he can't help but break that code because of a crippling weakness for his sister's affection. "The things I do for love," he said as he shoved Bran to his supposed death in Episode 1. And those things are often stupid, but Jaime wouldn't be the first person in the Seven Kingdoms or even our world to do something stupid for love. My fear is that Jaime's actions in the rape scene were beyond stupid, and that could tarnish who the character was actually meant to be. 



"Gift to the gods." —Craster's widow-daughters

The story around Castle Black and the happenings north of The Wall has taken its time to get interesting (how slow is Mance Rayder anyway?), but after "Oathkeeper" it arguably is the most intriguing thing currently going on in the show. Jon Snow wants to kill the mutineers holding down Craster's Keep to keep the truth about the diminished numbers of men on The Wall secret from the wildlings, Bran has coincidentally stumbled upon Craster's Keep in his journey up north, and Locke, Roose Bolton's lieutenant tasked with finding Bran and Rickon, is tagging along with Jon with the intention of handing Bran over to House Bolton in order to continue the eradication of the Stark line. Not good! I can't wait to see this play out. 

But Locke might not be Jon's biggest problem because the mutineers might be the most despicable people this show has given us, and that's saying a lot. Their leader, a man whose name I can't seem to dig up (UPDATE: my mom has since informed me that his name is Karl, thanks mom!), was drinking wine out of Mormont's skull! And that headbone was picked clean, so either they have dermestid beetles up there or they gnawed off the flesh themselves. And the rest of the guys were just raping Craster's daughter-wives out in the open! It's like rape is so far not a big deal to this show that it can just happen in the background. How did that casting call for rapey extras go? The "consecutive episodes without a rape" sign stays at zero. Will we go for three-in-a-row next week? If we're being honest, I'm getting a little weary of all the rape in this show! 

Another thing that's making me uncomfortable? All the baby torture! Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age and newfound parenthood has me off like a rocket whenever I hear a baby's cry, but watching Rast abandon a baby in the middle of the snowy forest as sacrifice for the white walkers was rough. The baby's wails caught the ear of Bran, who couldn't mind his own business and resist the urge to play noble k-niggut. So of course he and his team of children got captured by the mutineers. First rule of surviving in Westeros: ignore all pleads for help. They only get you in trouble.

But the HOLY MOLEY moment of the episode was saved for last, when we got a peek into the world of the white walkers in a chilling and mind-blowing scene. A white walker brought Craster Jr. Jr. Jr. back to his pals and their clubhouse, where the baby was placed on a pedestal inside a ring of Stonehengian rocks. There, one especially powerful looking white walker touched the baby's face with his ungroomed fingernail and the baby's eyes blue-iced over, adding another member to the army of frigid frights slowly heading south. 



WEEKLY POWER RANKINGS

Each week, I'll rank the episodes of Season 4 from best to worst. But remember, these are just my opinions! Feel free to post your own in the comments!

This week: "Oathkeeper" was a slower episode that moved pieces around the board, but the promise of what could come from those moves is fascinating. The forces closing in on Westeros continue to get stronger, while Joffrey's death weakens Westeros from the inside. Something's gotta give soon. I'm probably in the minority for liking this episode a lot, but I'd still put it just behind "Breaker of Chains." 

1. "The Lion and the Rose" (Episode 2)

2. "Breaker of Chains" (Episode 3)

3. "Oathkeeper" (Episode 4)

4. "Two Swords" (Episode 1)



NOTES FROM THE RAVENS

– Ser Pounce is now my favorite character! Put him on the Iron Throne, I say! Also, I like to think that the symbolism of a kitty crawling into bed with Tommen just as Margaery was mini-seducing him was not accidental. 

– Meanwhile, Missandei and Grey Worm had the least sexy bout of flirtation ever. 

– What if Sansa had one of those nervous habits where she chews on her necklace? What then, Littlefinger? Hmmmmmm?

– One of only two Valyrian swords in King's Landing and Brienne named it "Oathkeeper"? Boooooooring. And classic Brienne.

– Another Jaime question: What is his motivation for sending Brienne to find Sansa? Does he really want to keep his oath, or does he want Brienne to find Sansa for Cersei? 

– Okay, how exactly DID Margaery get past the kingsguard and into Tommen's room? I shudder to think. 

– What percentage of the White Walker army is made up of Craster's inbred male sons? And how scared are we supposed to be of a White Walker baby? What is going there?

Please, no book spoilers in the comments!


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/26/2016

Season 6 : Episode 10

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I can't believe people are still harping on calling that scene a rape. There are actual rape scenes many times on this show including this very episode multiple people are being raped in the background yet no one says a word. Yet people keep going on and on about the Cersei scene which wasn't a rape at all. It makes perfect sense that it wouldn't be brought up again it was an insignificant event.
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"It's like rape is so far not a big deal to this show that it can just happen in the background. How did that casting call for rapey extras go? The "consecutive episodes without a rape" sign stays at zero. Will we go for three-in-a-row next week? If we're being honest, I'm getting a little weary of all the rape in this show! "

Yeah yeah har har. It it helps, just imagine how much rape real life brigands committed in our own real life dark ages. Does it justify it? No, but at least HBO isn't pulling any punches. Actually the Craster rapeathon made me pretty uncomfortable too (those constant moans going on in the background..), but rather than chastise HBO, I say good job for making a uncomfortable scene properly uncomfortable. Although yeah, gotta love what those actors were probably told when the scene was set up for them.

Also, not for nothing, but rape IS a crime in Westeros. Am I the only one who remembered that a lot of the Crows ARE/were rapists, and that they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for members that they even accepted criminals, even the worst kind (aka rapists)?

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"Their leader, a man whose name I can't seem to dig up (UPDATE: my mom has since informed me that his name is Karl, thanks mom!)"

You didn't recognize the actor playing the head mutineer at Krasters? I actually had the weird privaledge of watching this (and the following episode of GoT) shortly after I caught Pacific Rim on TV. Dude was the statistician scientist playing opposite Charlie Day. Weird to see him a total dweeb with a cane one scene, and rapey cutthroat in another (he also was Dagget's underling and the one who tried to ambush Catwoman during an exchange in the third batman movie).
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"The fact that there was no clear-cut indication of anything leads me to believe that Game of Thrones really didn't mean that scene, which was definitely rape in my eyes, was meant to be rape at all, but angry pent-up sexual energy released at an inappropriate time and just more of Game of Thrones f'd up relationship building."

This seems to operate under the presumption that Game of Thrones episodes are shot and edited a mere week or so before the previous, which of course it isn't. Either that or the showrunners are magical psychic beings who knew the future when they made it (and did it anyway)...actually that sounds more probably.

I do agree it seems like the scene from last week hardly happened (or Cercei's "further" level of disdain and contempt just looks similar to the last one..). Anyway either way, it hardly seems as dire as some people are making it out to be. Rape is bad mkay, and it's still unclear where we're going with it, but I really think the amount of paragraphs we continue to dedicate to it need to be taxed or something at some point...because it would fix our economy twice over if we did.
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Anyway, in the end it's what GoT does best, f'ed up "anything" building, we really need to accept that (for now) and move on.
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I loved how the scenes just took over one after another in stead of making me remember that: Oh we have to jump to another place in the world of GoT.

I'd actually forgotten about the scene between Jaime and Cersai from last week. And when remembering it now that I've read the review doesn't really change my mind about Jaime. I've come to love the man that he is. Even if he did rape his sister in the last episode. But I love to see him care for someone and do what he can to save probably three persons: Brianne, Pod and Sansa from Cersai's wrath. And seeing him and Cersai grow apart is just a bonus.

And that last scene was mindblowing. How did he/it? do it? And will the baby be a baby for the rest of his live? I mean if the baby is dead it shouldn't be able to grow up. Can't wait to see what will happen next on the show.
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@WILLG: No idea how many old Gods are. The new Gods are 7: Father, Mother, Warrior, Maiden, Smith, Crone and Stranger.

Its in their wedding vows (season 2, Robb & Talisa's wedding).
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I thought the 7 Gods were the old gods and the New gods (of the red-headed crazy woman who's *not* a Stark) are the 2... dark and light, as she explained to the girl with the half-scarred face...

Poor Hodor this episode, though...
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The old Gods are the trees Ned prayed to in season 1, and Bran has been praying to ever since.

Hence why Arya prays to the old Gods and the new.

Since the Red woman has been burning everyone who prays to the 7, I reckon R'hllor must be an even newest God.
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In the last scene where the white walker master touched and turn into blue the baby there were 12 stones in a circle.
Question because i haven t read the books.The old Gods where 12?
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I feel Jaime sent Brienne and Podrick away to save them: he knows they can't find Arya, there's no way they could find Sansa at this point, but at least this way they would be safe from Cersei.

I'd say Jaime sent the two people that meant the most for him and Tyrion to spare them, not the Stark girls.
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– Another Jaime question: What is his motivation for sending Brienne to find Sansa? Does he really want to keep his oath, or does he want Brienne to find Sansa for Cersei?

He wants to do something noble/heroic to fill up his page in the book of lord commanders of the kingsguard. Although I guess that depends on perspective. The Joffery fans (if they exist) could consider avenging him noble and heroic I guess.
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I just think it's neat that all Tyrion had to do to convince Jaime he didn't killed Joffrey was to acknowledge him as his son.

After all these years, all those humiliations, the attemps to murder him and Tyrion never did more than slap Joffrey ...just because he was Jaime's son.
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I have a question.
Its regarding Stannis and Gendry sacrificing blood.

When Milesandre takes blood from Gendry with those leeches. Its three of them and then Stannis throws them into the fire saying "Usurper robb stark, Joffrey" and so on. After Robb stark is dead Stannis gets mad at Ser davos for letting Gendry go. And there is the conversation like "do you really think a drop of blood made him die" and "I don't know if its blood magic or just that men die in wars"..
Later on when Joffrey dies Stannis says; "I said those words when I tossed the leech into the fire, a leech filled with bastard blood".
So at this point Stannis truly believes that because of those leeches filled with Gendrys blood tossed into the fire, both of them died.

My question is this; If just drops of blood of any family from the "true king" could do all that, than why don't Stannis do that with his own blood?, I mean he wouldn't die from it, its just a little blood. And they believe that that was enough to kill both Robb and Joffrey. Then why do they need to sacrifice Gendry for something bigger? Just donate a little blood Stannis, it won't hurt him.

Maybe this is explained better in the books, Ive only read the first two so far.
But it doesn't really makes sense, if I havn't missed anything.
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It always goes back to what Jaqen said: only death may pay for life

  • The life of Drogo's baby so that Khal Drogo would be kept alive in season 1,
  • The three guys Arya named to replace the three guys she and Jaqen saved in season 2,
  • Three drops of life - blood - for the three Kings Stannis wanted dead, etc.
Who knows? Maybe Ned Stark's death has bought something beyond 2 swords as well.

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Things I've learned from Game of Thrones - finding you inner Hodor.

I've taken to saying "hodor" to anything my wife asks me that I don't particularly want to answer.

For example: Question: Honey, does this dress make me look fat?
Answer: Hodor

So much better than anything else I can say in situations like that...
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And just a tip of the hat to the righteously macabre coolness of.........the White Walker's horse. Very nicely done. Looks like a low maintenance beast.
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Those horses have been featured in my nightmares since the season 2 finale.

Now, we can add The Baby Walkers to the list.
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I thought this episode was fantastic!

Oath keeper is the perfect name for that sword. Next to kingslayer, Jamie's most popular nickname is Oathbreaker. Brienne naming the sword oathkeeper means a lot.

I am also of the mind that the rape scene last week was not meant to be scene as rape and that they failed in the execution of that tremendously.

The stuff with Bran and Crasters keep and the walkers, is IMO the first time the show has completely stepped away from the books and IMO it was fantastic. I was wondering what they would do with bran for the next two seasons considering most of his story has been told, there is only a little left of book Bran to tell so far and they found an interesting way to expand that.

Also, is it just me or did anyone else notice that they went back to using real wolves ala season 1? Summer it was hard to tell, but ghost looked real to me. I am probably more happy about that than anything else. I felt the wolves were wasted the past two seasons due to the limits of cgi.
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Couldn't have agreed more 'bout Bran's encounter in the Craters keep. Can't recall such scene in the book. For us book readers, till ADWD,we've all known his last destination ,whom and what he met and what he'd become. Interesting to follow how he should escape from the Mutineers . Note that Summer had met Ghost prior to be injured/captured, and Jon was on his way to the keep. Would Bran have got the chance to meet his half-brother too? Or...? only in his dreams only or perhaps in ours..:D
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Brienne and Jaime's exchange really touched me, esp when Jaime said his goodbye softly and Brienne couldn't even say anything.
I loved when Jaime said he had a final gift and they cut to a close up of Pod's grinning, slightly vacant face though. Couldn't not laugh.
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I am very much upset as to what happened to Hodor.
Very upset indeed.
Upset!


HODOR!
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I'm still adamant that Pod is not a gift, but I've got to agree the whole scene was even better than the one time Renly made Brienne part of his Kingsguard (and that scene was amazing).

I like how Pod often strikes me as the love child Bronn and Tyrion never had. Sure, no mother would let her baby go without a kiss, but the fact that Bronn told him that was never going to happen placed him as "the mom" in my eyes.

Also, how confident must be Jaime? He has just sent Brienne with the - and I quote - "most amazing man" that half of Littlefinger's brothel ever had, and he looks as peaceful as ever.
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I love the humor in the article. Making reading a recap funny is always a plus. Anyway I agree about the pacing. At least this episode was more focused one area at a time than pacing all over the place aimlessly. The other plus was how each event lead into the next almost seemlessly.
I am on the fence about the 'rape' thing. First of all incest is probably the sickest thing cersi and jamie have done, so is rape that bad considering what the 2 have been doing? That said i kinda feel Jamie did it out of rage because Cersi has been denying him or even acknowledging him. So as horrible as it was, it was Jamie getting revenge. Giving Briane the sword, the armor and pod were all very touching. 'awwww...' I dunno how much they expanded Bronn's role compared to the books, but i love his underhanded tactics and brash honesty.
I think the siege of the city by Dany was anticlimatic. Sure probably not enough of the budget to show a prolonged attack, but i was kinda hoping for more. I loved the justice of nailing the slavers on those crosses. Lol, 'waste of child labor' remark. Brilliant! Not quite as awesome as burning the slaver last year, but i love the violence on this show and she's had some good scenes when death is involved.
I do agree that Olenna pretty much made a confession. Now whether Margary was in shock out of anger that olenna would jeopardize her chance to be queen just to kill the monster or if she understood olenna did it for margary's well being, that's another issue.
I feel like an idiot not noticing Locke was Bolton's man. I was wondering why did that guy look so familiar. Shame he's with Bolton, he has similar qualities about him like Bronn, just a bit crueler (chopping Jamie's hand off for one).
Smh, Bran why did you get caught? I just hope they aren't captive for more than the 1 ep. I want to see him finish his journey. As for a possible reunion with Jon Snow, maybe it would be like their meet with Sam, they talk, but eventually they part ways. I don't see why they can't get a little face to face chat.
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Rape is most definitely worse. The incest, while gross, was at least consensual. I also don't understand your wording about Jaime doing it out of rage and for revenge. Is that supposed to justify it? I think they did a very poor job inserting a scene that, while perhaps not meant to be a rape, definitely was, and then doing little to address it. Enough people are confused by what consent is and isn't, we don't need to see a rapist portrayed as the heroic character merely one episode later, without addressing the rape at all.
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Alright, fine. I guess some writer thought it would be good shock value and there is no way to really understand why that scene was written the way it was. Incest is still gross though.
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I would not put Bronn and Locke in the same league at all.. I mean maybe they'd be comparable swordsmen but we don't know cuz they've never met on the show. While I'm sure Bronn is capable of some pretty effed up things (obv he has no qualms about murdering for money) he doesn't seem like the kinda guy who would be stupid enough to cut off the hand of Jaime Lannister (significantly depreciating his value as a hostage), or get testy so easily and throw Brienne to the bear without a second thought.. Bronn is loyal (if bought), clever and brave. I don't think Locke is truly brave, and he has a cruel nature about him. Plus, its gotta be said, look who they serve? Roose Bolton is a traitorous piece of shit, while Tyrion is the man lol..
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Ok, I may have been too broad in the comparison. I meant as in humor. Some of their scenes were really funny. Locke's 'buy yourself a golden hand and fuck yourself with it' and Bronn's reply to not fighting with honor: 'no but he did'. So comparing thru that than character. Yes i'd pick Bronn and Tyrion too.
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if anyone is thinking of a stark reunion so early in the game, i weep 4 u. it's never gonna be that easy in game of thrones,u should know that by now. before jon gets to craster's i envision bran would have a found a way outta there literally seconds before jon gets there,this GOT,it's the only scenario that makes sense! and sansa n arya,please don't hold yur breath,GOT made me a pessimist in season 1 and it's the only way to deal with the happenings on this show,just think the worst and u can deal
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We have to keep in mind Cersei isn't a XXIst century girl, more to the point she isn't a XXI's century girl learning about sex through an HBO show.

Cersei is a woman in a medieval society who's used to keep incestual relationships with twin brother and cousin Lancel though the course of her marriage, a woman that owns the men she's having sex with, a women that no one says no to.

Jaime sending Brienne to save Catelyn's daughter, and helping the brother Cersei asked him to kill, must be the loudest "No" anyone has ever said to the former Queen Regent. There's no ambiguity in my mind about it.
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IA 100% about Jaime. The lack of reaction or aftermath to the rape scene just makes it apparent to me that the showrunners really intended it to be more ambiguous and just totally failed in that regard. I have no problem going on and pretending that it was more ambiguous, as they intended, but I fear other viewers - especially those who have not read the books - will have more of a problem with that.

Can I just say, when Littlefinger was questioning Sansa and asked about Tyrion being a candidate for killing Joffrey - when Sansa said, "He didn't do it," and LF asked why she thought so and she said, "I just do" - the Tyrion/Sansa shipper in me went AWWWW. It was especially cute because so far, she had actually been pretty logical in answering his queries, but there it was just like, straight-up gut instinct.
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Sansa knows her own husband, I'll give her that much.

She may not love him, she might not even like him, but she does know him and that's a start.
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Yeah me too.
I love the chemistry they have especially in the books!
As Alayne Stone LF bastard daughter, Sansa grows tremendously interesting.
I'm very curious to see to see in which direction her story line will go.



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That's a book spoiler dude, the bit about Alayne Stone. I agree with ur comment tho.
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Seems like statutory rape waiting to happen, but I hate to make a fuzz out of ambiguity either.
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OathKeeper is a great name Tim but I guess you perfer Widow's Wail
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"[...]nailed 'em up to sign posts half-crucifixion style just as they had done to the children of the city. And though I'm normally a man of compassion and leniency, GOOD FOR HER I say."

you keep banging on about rape scenes and how disturbed they make you, and yet the brutal crucifixion of over 100 nasty slavers is fine with you. evidently rape and mysoginy is rife in westeros, just as is murder and torture, so why the moral high-ground over the depiction of one but not the other? change the record already.

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Sansa and Arya reunited ? Jon and Bran reunited ? I dont' think they would change the books that much. The fact that Ned's arrest and death tore the family apart is a big deal, and I don't think we'll ever see two Starks in the same frame until the very end, if ever. Bran warging into Summer to help is probably the closer we'll get.
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Whenever Arya makes it back home a Stark dies. Technically, her aunt Lysa is not a Stark but Sansa is one, so I'd would be looking for fire if I was The Hound.
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( spoilerish answer ) You're assuming Arya is gonna reach the Eyrie ...
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Just because I read the books doesn't mean everyone else did. And just because I know an answer doesn't mean I cracked the formula to get there. Think e=mc2 only in literary terms.
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"And so Dany frees another slave city thousands of miles away from where the rest of the action is taking place. What's next for Dany?"

I thought I heard mention that they were a town or two away from the coast. I'm guessing one more city saving...perhaps with a greater show of force to show how badass she really is.

All I know is that at this rate, the number of slaves loyal to her who would take up arms on her behalf is going to be CRAZY!

"Margaery followed the Queen of Thorns' advice it was entirely uncomfortable, hilarious, and brilliant. Margaery entered Tommen's chambers and took on the role of sexy baby sitter"

One of my favourite scenes perhaps of the entire series...helped greatly by some fantastic "acting" by Dean-Charles Chapman. I put acting in quotes because if I were a 17 year old kid and had Natalie Dormer getting her flirt and innuendo on in front of me...I'd have saucer eyes too.

"The fact that there was no clear-cut indication of anything leads me to believe that Game of Thrones really didn't mean that scene, which was definitely rape in my eyes, was meant to be rape at all, but angry pent-up sexual energy released at an inappropriate time and just more of Game of Thrones f'd up relationship building."

Looks to be the case, but awfully hard to imagine a missed step THAT large from a series that's gets tone and subtlety so very right. That that scene could come off as differently as intended as it did...hard to imagine a mistake that large.

"Ser Pounce is now my favorite character! Also, I like to think that the symbolism of a kitty crawling into bed with Tommen just as Margaery was mini-seducing him was not accidental."

DEFINITELY not an accident. Also, I'd like to see Ser Pounce and Lord Tubbington join forces and take over the world
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I like Denarys, really, but could we have some other storyline for her other than freeing slaves. The "Mhyssa" thing's really getting on my nerves!

Why's Cersei so certain that Tyrion and Sansa killed Joffrey? She's a cold vengeful bitch but she's not stupid. She can't just base everything on Joffrey's last gesture (we all know how wise Joffrey was). She hates the Tyrells as well. Why haven't she thought about that? Her hatred for Tyrion stems from what? Jealousy?

When's the next royal wedding scheduled? Or, when's the coronation day? After they trial and behead Tyrion?

It's a non brainer for me that Jamie sent away Brienne to protect her. But it's so sad to see her going away!!

And ewwww, ain't that inbred baby cute!! And it's so sad to see him change!!
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Forget to add: instead of boring English lessons, couldn't we have some Valerian lessons or Great North Dialect lessons?
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I for one want to see White Walker Dialect lessons, especially since the baby walkers must have been taken as young as unsullied like Grey Worm were.
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Ok I just need to ask?
The "rape scene" last week, remember in episode 1 cersei was more loud then than the rape scene. In the rape scene, she didn't scream? she did not even once aim to hit his face, aim to claw at his face or body at all! all she said was stop this isn't right. Just from this its so f'd up. but to me in cerseis eyes she wasn't going to let anyone know jaime forced sex on her, and in jaimes eyes, he isnt going to say he raped her, or even talk about it to anyone at all for that matter. So I didn't take it as rape, just as him finding himself and trying to take control of his life after losing the hand and seeing and hearing cersei after returning. Anyone else think that it was not rape?
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If Bran meets Jon instead of Cold Hands, then it is normal to think that Arya will go to the Erye to hug it out with Sansa instead of travaling to Bravos. HATE THE CHAGES THAT THE WRITES made, to much revealed to soon, to many changes that really affect the story and the characters, starting to get really bummed out about the direction the show is heading and how it does not follow the main story.
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Ole Georgie boy said it best - the book and tv show are two different things. If you like how the book did it, they'll always be there for you to read. As it is, the two are separate and going to happen at a different pace because of how tv is filmed, what is cost effective and how the weather suits. They aren't going to be the same.

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Yeah i get cost effective, i get that there will be changes, but i want to see changes that enhance the experience, not diminish it!!! They are making the characters stupid for example what was the reason the tv Sam told tv Jon the fact that his brother is alive. It is the 5th book and Jon does not know.
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Not even in fiction are we free of political correctness. Ay! I think there is something inherently noble in the character of Jamie Lannister and it is made all the more interesting because he is not a perfect man. I cried at Jamie and Brienne's goodbye.
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Maybe I'm heartless, but I was actually relieved when they revealed what happened to the babies. All along I assumed the White Walkers/Others were eating them or killing them or something and when he was handed over to the dude with the horns, I actually held my breath because I expected it to be horrible.
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I don't know, when what we know now was his brother carried him, the baby looked peaceful, happy even.

It was the baptism of ice what made him cry, and even then I'm not sure if he cried because of what was going to happen or because The White Walker left the baby walker alone at the table.
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ehm, i may be out of line here, but maybe, nothing really happened this week between Jamie and Cersei because ... it WASN'T rape? Just a thought.
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Then again, Cersei isn't a XXIst century teenager learning about sex through HBO, she's a medieval Queen used to engage in incestual intercourse with cousin and brother, a woman no man says no to.

She wants Tyrion's and Sansa's heads because she doesn't like them, what do you think The Queen would've done to a man if she was actually raped?
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Did the scene come off as rape? Undoubtedly.
Did the show-runners intend it to be seen that way? I don't think so.
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I partly agree .. to me it didn't come off as rape, but then again maybe it's because I KNOW the show-runners didn't intend for it to be seen that way.
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To me, it didn't come off a rape because it wasn't. Neither in the context of their relationship, nor the context of their dynamic or even what Cersei and Jaime were after at that point.

There's simply no way Jaime would be breathing at this point if it was.
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It was rape but Cersei is a very twisted woman. She was probably seething afterward but not traumatized. Hopefully the show won't bend to the political correctness and show Cersei in therapy next season.
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lol ... Cersei's therapist sounds like the worse job ever!
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This is easily one of my favorite of your reviews, Tim! A *ton* of typos, though....
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"...just a cut to a bunch of dark-skinned slaves pawing at their new pale-skinned overlord and muttering that ear-numbing "Mhysa" chant that makes me want to jump off a cliff. At least there was no crowd surfing this time because that sh*t was pretty dumb."

I could not agree more. As well with the Jaime arch. It was a very strange scene that felt very out of character last week. I do think he means to honour his oath to see Sansa safe, his talk with his 2 siblings seemed to make him realize how things had permanently changed.

Anyway! Loved this episode, maybe because as a book reader I finally had my turn to sit and go "HOLY CRAP WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?" by the end of it. Karma paying me a visit after the laughs I've had from seeing people react to the Red Wedding.
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I don't know if anyone noticed but you have it wrong with Dany. She really is far away from Westeros. The Narrow Sea is between Westeros and Essos and Daenerys is in Meereen, so not only Narrow Sea is between her and the Iron Throne but also Dothraki lands.
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U got your ratings wrong. This episode was better than breaker of chains.
MHYSA....I hate this word.
I think sansa will die. Since arya always turns up when her family members die.
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If anymore Starks die, I will lose my sh**
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I'm not sure if Sansa will die, but I don't see her back in Winterfell ever.

Worst case scenario: she's stuck at The Vale. Best case scenario: Sansa rules Casterly Rock.
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ahhaha ... true story. Arya, so cute, yet so cursed!
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She wont die. She will come back and rule winterfell.
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A great episode,although is was setting things up nicely a bit like Boardwalk Empire , I can't see a happy reunion for the Stark siblings . Every time Ayra turns up family members gets dispatched . At least dany story is getting somewhere still needs the proclaimers song in the back ground I doubt those sign posts would pass Heath and Safety.

It was macabre at Craster's Keep but I hope Jon and his merry men sorts it out, Hodor is goner I am afraid. Locke will dispatch some starks in the melee for the lannisters and I knew the granny had something to do with Joffrey murder.
Seen the trailer for the next episode a new King arises Tomen and also Ayra does some practicing sword fighting with the hound. Jon and the magnificent seven fight against the mutineers.
The White walkers scene was great but craster has to be the most fertile man north of the wall or them white walkers must being recruiting elsewhere!
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Da lat da (Da lat da), da lat da (Da lat da)
Da-da-da dun-diddle un-diddle un-diddle uh da-da
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That guy from Torchwood is definitely in the race for most despising character.
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Burn Gorman makes such a great bad guy doesn't he. C'mon he's drinking wine out of Monmont's skull for pete's sake!!
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  • I couldn't help but laugh at a lenghthy scene at Craster's with Karl in the foreground going on about what a creep he is and the periodic jiggling of blurred body parts in the background. These guys!
  • Jaime - having known for a longer time than many believe that his sister is a vile bitch - sent Brienne off to find Sansa in order to save her from Cersei. I thought that was pretty clear, especially given how Jaime's visit to the Queen went. His relationship with Brienne stands for the good in him. He wouldn't send her on a bounty hunt.
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Is it just me or are those white walkers the most gentle warm and loving people in this series? The way he held that baby and looked at it. The way the other one caressed its cheek. I felt all fuzzy.

Damn you Sam
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Nope, I don't want to see the remaining Starks hug it out nor do I think they will. Jon and Bran won't have time. And though I'm sure Sansa would finally smile seeing her sister, I'd love it if Arya up and slapped the taste out of her mouth (then maybe hugged her...and slaps her again). One can guess that during their journey The Hound has told Arya enough for her to realize Sansa is even dumber than she was when last they met. I simply adore Diana Rigg and watch everything I can that she is in. The character of Olenna is marvelous. I figured she poisoned the cup from the shot they showed of her looking at it and the Emma Peel-esque "I'm about to kick your arse" glint that was in her eye. It was the perfect hint. As for Dany, well, I've kind of given hope there. I'm not sure how boring the flirtation was between the Unsullied commander guy and the handmaiden interpreter chick was because my mind stuck on castration. At best he doesn't have to squat to pee. He may be a nice guy but he's missing something!! To quote Sweet Brown,"Ain't nobody got time for that."
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The books make it clear (Kraznys points it out as part of his sales pitch on the Unsullied) that all external genitalia are removed. Like an army of bitter Ken dolls.
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Well they can raise the dead in this world, I'm sure he can find someone to fix that "little" problem. ;)
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For all those wishing for Dany to head to Westeros... Keep on wishing! That b!tch is going to be in Meereen for a while. A LOT of ishh has to happen before she can even think about going to Westeros. And I'm not one to spoil anything but I'm just annoyed w/ all the "what's next, no more cities, set sail stuff" lol sorry bout it
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No, you're not spoiling anything at all ... don't worry.
smh
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I actually thought this was the best episode so far (maybe not better than the wedding ep) certainly much better than last week. As a book reader all the new stuff in the second half was actually refreshing. Im really interested in where the whole Locke/Jon/Bran/Wildling storyline goes but i have no doubt Bran is gonna get outta that situation (Aww poor Ghost & Summer right?) and make it to the three eyed crow by the end. Very exciting! Would be nice I guess to see a Stark bros reunion... As for the sisters I'm less hopeful esp cuz I know what happens. I loved that Pod joined Brienne immediately instead of stalking her down for days before she almost kills him. LMAO to all the people who thought that white walker at the end would be Coldhands, I mean its still possible I guess but we'll see. This was also funny saw this on YouTube (for book readers); "If they cut Lady Stoneheart I'm going to fu**in' end someone!" HAHA but yea great ep overall I didn't feel like it was setup at all a lot of ishh went down. Can't wait for #FirstOfHisName

And FYI "Marrying a Targaryen back then was all the rage!" Queen of Thorns FTW
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A good episode, i am desperately hoping for Jon to find Bran even if i doubt it will happen. Anyway, Arya wasn't on screen in this episode and that's a shame.
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One more bit of wisdom bestowed upon Margaery was straight out of Olenna's wild days as a sexual dynamo humping her way up the royal staircase.

Best metaphor ever.
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Yes ... there are loads of reunions being set up. But you know that they most likely won't happen. :-) Given that Bran's storyline of being held hostage at Craster's keep didn't happen in the books (and it's essentially filler to give Bran some screen time so that we don't forget about him until his actual plot comes back around) - a reunion there isn't likely. More likely is that they will pass tantalisingly close to one another in the dark. :-) (Similar to their last 'almost reunion'). As for the Sansa/Arya reunion ... can't see that happening either.
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The episode was also sequenced very well ..One scene led to other... The Jamie Lanister scene led to one where Tyrion was in cell.. It lead to Sansa... Very well sequenced I must say.
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I'm glad Sansa just knew her husband couldn't have killed Joffrey.

She may have been a poor judge of Joffrey's character, but she knows her husband I'll give her that much.
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My friend said half of book 4 focuses on just one character, which in a tv adaption could get boring. Maybe the reason they're going off script from the books is to work around this obstacle. I couldn't care less about Craster's sons, I just hope the wolves make it out okay.
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Not quite right. Books 4 and 5 are basically overlapped. Both books cover essentially the same time period (with book 5 going a little beyond the time that Book 4 ends). Book 4 focusses on half the characters ... and book 5 focuses on the other half. Season 4 of the TV show is covering basically the end of book 3 (last fifth) and the starts of both books 4 and 5. However there have been some major deviations from the books ... and after 4 episodes of season 4 they are nowhere near as far along as I would have expected (and they've added quite a lot of additional filler) ... so I suspect they're slowing down the pace to allow GRRM time to finish the next book.
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You may be right, I haven't read the books so I don't really know. What I do know is that GRRM has revealed the ending of the last two books to a couple of people working on the tv show. So the tv show doesn't actually have to wait for the books to be finished.
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Lots of deviations from the books lately, but I guess that keeps it kind of fresh for everyone. It's been a fun ride so far, that's for sure. But as for anyone who wants to get up in arms about rape or "baby torture," or your favorite characters being killed off, I just have this to say: GROW UP! Not only do these kinds of terrible things happen every day in what I like to call "reality," but everyone should've figured out by now that this story isn't going to try to make you feel good about much of anything. And this is WAR, people. Just be glad you're on this side of the screen, and enjoy the ride. It didn't help that the sensitivity police got riled up last week with the Jaime/Cersei scene (which was one of the aforementioned deviations) which I did NOT interpret as a rape. Highly inappropriate and at least as uncomfortable, but when you consider their warped relationship, and the fact that they were standing over their child- which they could admit only to each other- it struck me as more the "angry pent up" affair mentioned in the review. I mean do you really think that Cersei wouldn't have clawed the one-handed man's eyes out if it was a rape? Or that someone like her, who's no stranger to sinister plots (as Tyrion alluded to earlier in the season), wouldn't have acted more venomous at their encounter in the following episode? It was just the two of them again after all. I think the Joffrey-in-the-Temple scene was too ambiguous, but this outcry is only going to be a distraction. Make your peace with the fact that this show is going to make you uncomfortable. Or don't watch it.
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I completely agree with you! Oh and here is something else. When The Red Wedding happened everyone was in shock, said it was sad but in the end the majority wasn't disgusted by it like they were the with the Sept scene. Don't you think somebody stabbing a unborn baby is something just as horrible? I just don't remember people being so upset hey that AND that particular stabbing wasn't even in the book either.
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I take comfort in the reality that GOT makes me squirm and twitch.......
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Are some people expecting some kind of "very special episode" of this show examining the horrors of twincest rape? What could be the conceivable repercussions here? What can Cersei even do? Who could she turn to about this situation. Forgetting the fact that their relationship has been shown to be aggressive in the past; aside from our personal modern cultural conceptions; besides the fact that we have a limited perception of what their sexual relationship even is; the only recourse she has in this situation is to be pissed at Jaime. Which she was.
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Olenna Tyrell was played by '60 sex symbol Diana Rigg so can easily picture what she told about her skills :-). I still don't get the exact way the poisoning happened. I wish we had a flashback or something. (I understand the poison was in the necklace, but how it arrived to the cup?)
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Oleanna poisoned Joffrey's drink. She removed the stone from Sansa's necklace and when she returned to her seat, she was right there where Joffrey's cup was. She was careful not to poison Tyrion. After Tyrion drank from the cup she administered the strangler.
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Ok, thanks, that was my problem. I understood she took the stone of the necklace but I cannot imagine how she could poison him and not Tyrion, specially when he dropped the cup. But thanks!
Besides that, I see the plan as unnecessarily complicated. Why couldn't Olenna have the poison herself in a jewel or just in the pocket.
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Because the plot may have been revealed prematurely if Ser Dontos became somehow compromised. This wouldve placed Baelish, Harrenhall, and possibly other houses in peril. It could also eventually have placed House Tyrell in peril, and everyone Oleanna privately met with in King's Landing, under suspicion.

Oleanna wanted her participation to be undiscoverable (had something gone wrong). Thats another reason Sansa was kept in the dark.

I think the unnecessary transaction between Sansa and Oleanna was mainly to keep Dontos clueless about Oleanna's participation, which could only have been revealed if Dontos then, Baelish were flayed.

Because a flayed man holds no secrets.


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Thanks for the time you invested in explaining me! :-)
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Remember that strange scene at the wedding when Oleanna was making a major production of complimenting Sansa. I believe she took a bead from the necklace then.
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Yes, I agree about that. Thanks.
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