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Game of Thrones, Seasons 7 and 8


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#1
irishdancer2

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How am I the first one to be writing about this?!

 

The good: I loved the first half of this episode--the Freys' murder, Arya making friends with those charming Lannister soldiers, Jaime's clear discomfort at Cersei's descent into madness. Though I don't really care about Bran, I'm a bit miffed that we didn't see Jon getting news about him being at the wall, but perhaps that will come. The scene with little Umber and little Karstark bending the knee was sweet. While I wasn't a huge fan of Sansa undermining Jon in front of everyone, her new attitude toward Littlefinger was a breath of fresh air. For perhaps the first time ever, I am firmly on Team Sansa. The Hound is still working his patented blend of sarcasm and touching, though I worry his constant use of 'cu**' will make the word lose all meaning.

 

The meh: I thought the second half of the episode dragged a bit, but I understand they're setting the stage for the whole season. Dany managed to be a bit a boring even in her tiny bit of screen time, but hopefully that will be the last time we say that of her? Euron Greyjoy... is he supposed to be funny or obviously not? I'm not sure he'd be a particularly interesting character anyway, but now I think I'm just not invested in the King's Landing storyline since so many of the most interesting characters are gone.

 

 

Bonus: Jorah's grayscaled arm. Poor Jorah.



#2
Kyrian

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What did you make of the Ed Sheeran scene?



#3
Ryn

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It was great hearing Sansa mention she learned from Cersei, but Arya, too, is looking to be Cersei's match in the mass murder department. That was a dreadful, but satisfying scene. Everything she said was chilling. I was expecting her to slaughter the Lannister soldiers but I'm hoping she sticks with them a little bit and remembers a little bit of her humanity. Then she can kill them.

Overall, the episode seemed to move pieces a little closer together on the board. Quite literally with Cersei's floor map.

The Hound's arc has been surprisingly good. Knowing where things are with the Brotherhood in the books, I'm interested to see where the show takes them. Maybe in Cleganebowl, Dondarrion gives his life to the Hound to win against the Mountain?
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#4
Odine

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What did you make of the Ed Sheeran scene?

Vikings gets Wardruna. Game of thrones get Ed Sheeran. 

 

Personally I thought it was cheesy and needless. Though I would say that cause I cant stand Ed Sheeran. The song and whole scene felt cheesy. 

 

other than that, a pretty solid first episode back in. Agree with IrishDancer on pretty much all points. 

 

Very interested in the Hound's story arc. He is one of my favorite characters now. All the pieces moving on the board at the moment point to an epic showdown with the living versus the dead. I can't wait. 

 

Also loved the quick editing in the shots/sort-of-montage of Sam Tarley retching as he is pulling out bed pans and latrines and such. That was well handled!



#5
irishdancer2

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What did you make of the Ed Sheeran scene?

Like Ryn said, I think it was to show Arya getting a little humanity back. She started the scene sizing them up, locating their weapons, ready to strike, and then it became apparent they were just nice men sharing their food who wanted to go home. I really hope she doesn't end up killing them, but it is Game of Thrones. I also think they wanted a celebrity musical cameo. I love Ed Sheeran, so I thought the scene was nice.

 

Regarding Euron, he told Cersei they have the greatest fleet Westeros has ever seen. How is that possible? Theon and Yara took their best ships. We know he told the rest of the Ironborn to start building, but how long after the end of last season is this episode set? A few months? Could they really build that many ships in a few months?

 

I'm also amused at Jaime's suggestion that they need the Tyrells' grain and money. He's not wrong, but clearly he doesn't know Olenna Tyrell very well if he thinks that ANY amount of goodwill would make her willing to deal with them. Also also, any episode in which Varys doesn't speak gets automatically marked down in my book.

 

 

 

Also loved the quick editing in the shots/sort-of-montage of Sam Tarley retching as he is pulling out bed pans and latrines and such. That was well handled!

 

 I actually thought that dragged on a bit too long. I understand why it was there, but I thought it could've been cut down.



#6
The Choc

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I don't think Jaime was suggesting they try to realign with the Tyrells. I think he was more like "we need their grain and livestock, probably shouldn't have blown them up." Cersei is really pretty dumb. She can't see more than one move ahead.



#7
irishdancer2

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Ah, that makes sense. Cersei is definitely losing it, and losing Jaime by extension (which I love, because he's far too good a person to be around her these days). The look on his face when she said that Tommen had betrayed her... WTF lady.



#8
The Choc

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Cersei hasn't lost it, she's always been dumb and done dumb things.



#9
Lucas1138

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Cersei is most definitely crazy. More and more like the Mad Queen every day. She's consumed by vengeance and the lust for power.

 

The 2 best scenes were Arya with the Lannister soldiers and the Hound with the Brotherhood. Very A Feast for Crows-ish. Everything else was aight.

 

Except Euron. Euron is trash. He's going to be the worst part of this show until he's gone, I'm confident in that.



#10
DANA-kin Skywalker

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Euron seems deliciously evil to me.

I thought it was a good opener for the season. Not a ton happened, but it gave everyone a few minutes to remind us who, what, where, etc. it telegraphed well enough all the characters motivations.

I could have done without the excessiy long poop and vomit montage.
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#11
Odine

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I don't get the Arya/Soldiers fun-times-around-the-campfire love. It was kinda pointless. 



#12
Jacen123

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I really enjoyed the episode.  I liked the campfire scene because it provided a nice scene of Lannister soldiers who are seemingly decent people.  Considering how the show spends a lot of time illustrating how disgusting even the "good guys" can be, it was a nice change of pace from what's been happening recently.  It was especially important, I think, to include Arya in that, too.  I guess we will see if it impacts her, but this might help to make her at least slightly more hesitant to include grunts in her vengeance plans.

 

I started rewatching Season 1 last night and I was amused to hear Benjen give the "everything before the but is bull****" line to Tyrion.  It didn't really stick out to me before, but it was a nice callback.



#13
Lucas1138

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Euron is fine as long as you don't ask yourself questions like...

"Why exactly is he fearsome? What has he actually done?"

"Where did they get any wood, let alone enough for 'a thousand' ships?"

"Why were the Iron Born okay with Euron kinslaying his brother and usurping the Seastone Chair from Asha/Theon?"

"How did Euron expect to get in with Dany?"

"Why did the Iron Born accept that Euron's "big fat ****" was going to be enough to ally with Dany?"

"Could he really come up with nothing better than 'Where are my niece and nephew?... Let's go murder them'?"

 

Euron is laughably evil and not at all menacing. He sucks. His evilness hasn't been earned and his plans are ****. We don't really even have secondary tales of what makes him evil or menacing.

 

The Arya scene was perfect. The fact that it was so tonally jarring is what makes it great. It was an extension of the "war is hell" themes from last season (Broken Man, Septon Rey, reformed Hound, awfulness of the BotB). It was jarring tonally, just as it would have been for Arya. She comes up on these Lannisters amidst her murderous rampage, fully expecting it to end in bloodshed. She sizes up their weapons, and initially refuses their food (guest rite). The fact that she didn't was challenging to her worldview, as well as the audiences. We were waiting for something to go wrong, just like she probably expected it to. Arya has maintained her identity but lost her humanity over the last several seasons. The Lannister soldiers aren't evil just because they're Lannister soldiers. They're fighting someone else's war and it sucks for them as much as it sucks for anyone. Cast against the backdrop of the Hound and Brotherhood coming back to the homestead that Arya/Hound visited in S4, and finding the father and daughter dead it was really great.



#14
The Choc

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I get that Cersei is going mad but she kinda always has been this person. She's always had an us vs them mentality and seen enemies everywhere. Her schemes have just gotten bigger since she's had more power and since her father died.



#15
DANA-kin Skywalker

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I don't get the Arya/Soldiers fun-times-around-the-campfire love. It was kinda pointless.


I think the point was to simply tell the audience who she's going to gank next. And she's going to it sneaky-like.

Lucas1138: yeah, he's not well established, but he's a big dumb douchebag idiot head with muscles and a big ****, that is all, and I think I'm fine with that. Something about him makes me laugh.

#16
The Choc

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I think the scene is to teach Arya that not everyone associated with the people she is seeking vengeance upon is evil. Her initial reaction was she was gonna have to kill these guys. But she found out they were good men who just happened to be born in Lannister controlled territory.


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#17
irishdancer2

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I forgot to mention Sansa's line to Jon about needing to be smarter than Ned or Robb were. She has been trying for a couple seasons, but to see her finally putting it into practice by saying it to Jon and giving Littlefinger the verbal middle finger warms my heart <3

"Could he really come up with nothing better than 'Where are my niece and nephew?... Let's go murder them'?"

 

 

I completely agree with your characterization of Euron, especially this line. When I compare this line to the dialogue in season 1, I just cringe. It's such lazy writing.

 

A possibility just occurred to me... with Cersei losing her mind as queen, do you think it's going to come down to Jaime having to put her down, bringing the kingslayer angle full circle? With that said, do you think that Jaime was a better person before he killed the mad king, and then the vitriol that haunted him afterward turned him bitter and somewhat heartless? His moment with Brienne in the baths, that anguish he felt over people labeling him an oathbreaker and kingslayer, suggests that the initial choice wasn't an easy one.



#18
Lucas1138

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That (Jaime/Cersei) is one of the more widely accepted theories, I think.

 

I can't remember any characterization of Jaime pre-Kingslayer. I want to say he was a typically boastful, rich, amazing swordsman ***hole kid. But I can't remember specifics. I think there are moments in the book (like maybe as he reflects on Barristan, Gerold Hightower, and the White Book) that he thinks about how he was just basically a punk kid. So no, I don't think he was a bad person necessarily, just a privileged dick, then more or less embraced the "villain" role after he slayed the Mad King because that's what everyone expected anyway. He says he didn't bother defending his action to Ned when he found him over Aery's body in the throne room because Ned had already judged him anyway so what was the point.

 

Jaime is maybe my favorite book character.



#19
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The Jaime getting crap for killing Aerys is perhaps the greatest example of how the entire system of society in ASOIAF is messed up. Aerys was going to kill tens of thousands of people, maybe more, Jaime killed him to stop it. Should he have allowed Aerys to do it because of some oath? According to many in Westeros, including some we would consider "good guys", he should have.

 

You swear an oath to honor the King and one to honor your father, what do you do when your father is at war with the King. You swear an oath to obey the King and one to protect the innocent, what do you do when the King is about to kill the innocent?



#20
Lucas1138

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That's a great scene in the show (I think in Season 2 when Jaime is tied up after the Whispering Wood ambush and Catelyn is talking to him).

 

The rub is that no one but the pyromancers knew about the Mad King's plot.

 

It was pretty "clear" that what happened was Jaime slew the King after Pycelle argued to let Tywin and his army into the city.



#21
The Choc

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Jaime knew of the plot and just didn't tell anyone cause his attitude was **** everyone.



#22
Odine

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I think the scene is to teach Arya that not everyone associated with the people she is seeking vengeance upon is evil. Her initial reaction was she was gonna have to kill these guys. But she found out they were good men who just happened to be born in Lannister controlled territory.


Yeah I get it, but she's already had that lesson. With the actress in the theatre group last season. She winds up preventing the assassination and warning her mark that people are after her simply because she liked the woman. Aryas compassion is nothing new. Pretty much all last season was about her trying to shed some of that compassion, on her path to being a faceless one (or whatever they're called). She's not exactly been a dark heartless assassin for long. Scarcely 10 minutes into the first episode of this season we need to see her have heart to hearts with a bunch of baby faced lannisters to remind ourselves of her goodness?? Have we all such short memories? That scene was simply an excuse to have a celebrity musical cameo and it was needless.

#23
irishdancer2

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But that actress was just an assignment, part of her training. She left that training specifically to come back to Westeros and exact her revenge, and the Lannisters killed her family. It's not a stretch to think that anyone in a red cloak was in her sights as soon as she stepped back on the continent.


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#24
Lucas1138

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I think the scene is to teach Arya that not everyone associated with the people she is seeking vengeance upon is evil. Her initial reaction was she was gonna have to kill these guys. But she found out they were good men who just happened to be born in Lannister controlled territory.


Yeah I get it, but she's already had that lesson. With the actress in the theatre group last season. She winds up preventing the assassination and warning her mark that people are after her simply because she liked the woman. Aryas compassion is nothing new. Pretty much all last season was about her trying to shed some of that compassion, on her path to being a faceless one (or whatever they're called). She's not exactly been a dark heartless assassin for long. Scarcely 10 minutes into the first episode of this season we need to see her have heart to hearts with a bunch of baby faced lannisters to remind ourselves of her goodness?? Have we all such short memories? That scene was simply an excuse to have a celebrity musical cameo and it was needless.

 

If you think that scene was shoehorned in with Ed Sheerhan in mind...


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#25
Odine

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I think the scene is to teach Arya that not everyone associated with the people she is seeking vengeance upon is evil. Her initial reaction was she was gonna have to kill these guys. But she found out they were good men who just happened to be born in Lannister controlled territory.

Yeah I get it, but she's already had that lesson. With the actress in the theatre group last season. She winds up preventing the assassination and warning her mark that people are after her simply because she liked the woman. Aryas compassion is nothing new. Pretty much all last season was about her trying to shed some of that compassion, on her path to being a faceless one (or whatever they're called). She's not exactly been a dark heartless assassin for long. Scarcely 10 minutes into the first episode of this season we need to see her have heart to hearts with a bunch of baby faced lannisters to remind ourselves of her goodness?? Have we all such short memories? That scene was simply an excuse to have a celebrity musical cameo and it was needless.
 
If you think that scene was shoehorned in with Ed Sheerhan in mind...

Hahaha yeah, dude. Shoehorned for sure!