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#1 Edited by FinalDasa (3142 posts) -
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Game of Thrones started its fifth season this past Sunday and while the season continues on for the next few weeks I figured I'd give us all a spot to talk about it. While this is open for discussion please don't spoil anything from the books or from any leaked episodes for the show. Only discuss what has happened on shows aired and nothing else so everyone can enjoy all the crazy deaths and revelations as they happen.

However anything before season 5 is open game! So if you don't want to hear about the red wedding or who is and isn't alive then beware.

If you wanna know whereabouts the season is at any given time check out this wikipedia article. Not sure how quickly someone updates it but you can scroll down and see what episodes have aired and click through to read deeper details about what happened.

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#2 Posted by Turambar (8237 posts) -

When they said this season was going to diverge from the books, they were not kidding.

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#3 Edited by jaycrockett (840 posts) -

Seemed underwhelming. Honestly I sort of forget what's gone on from season to season so it will take me a couple shows to get back into it.

I was actually bummed to remember that Tywin Lannister had died. I thought he was a awesome bad guy.

No Arya or Bran Stark, two of the more interesting and sympathetic characters.

Hopefully Tyrion going to Danerys will make that whole side of the show interesting, because right now I really can't seem to care about those people at all.

When is winter supposed to be coming again?

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#4 Posted by TheHT (15540 posts) -

Hopefully this thread won't be like last season's with people going on and on about the books. All the whining and complaining and the thinly veiled insinuations of things to come.

Anyways, fuck Melisandre. I wasn't fully in Game of Thrones "mode" until that good ol' fuck yeah ending came around. Season 5 let's do this.

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#5 Posted by OldManLight (1328 posts) -

@jaycrockett: i'm honestly more sad about the loss of the hound than tywin but i agree, Tywin was a great character. that ending got me pumped. I was ready for an uncomfortably graphic burning to death scene because GoT but then they subverted my expectations.

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#6 Edited by Yesiamaduck (2421 posts) -

I enjoyed it but it was a fairly unremarkable episode.

I liked the ending, always refreshing to see some humanity in the got uiverse

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#7 Posted by TheHT (15540 posts) -

Also god damn, dem dragons.

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#8 Posted by GValo (621 posts) -

@yesiamaduck: I was hoping that the episode was just slow and boring for everyone and my third read through of the series hadn't killed the show for me.

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#9 Edited by AlKusanagi (1571 posts) -

@jaycrockett: At least Arya will be back next episode, but Bran will not appear at all this season. Wouldn't be surprised if he gets totally recast by the time he returns.

PS. Dark Sansa best waifu!

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#10 Posted by notnert427 (2079 posts) -

Ah, I was wondering when someone would make this thread.

Spoilers for Episode 1 to follow:

Tyrion remains awesome. The proposed alliance with Daenerys Targaryen is intriguing, and would make for a rooting interest for the audience with two of the most "honorable" characters on the show teaming up, though perhaps too much so. On that note, Jon Snow mercifully putting an arrow through Mance Rayder was a nice touch, especially given Ygritte's death. Things aren't all rosy for Daenerys, either, as her liberation continues to be less effective than desired, with reprisals now in play. I really appreciate that the show continues to explore this, as well-intentioned acts not working out swimmingly adds a layer of realism and depth to the show. Her dragons are now basically 100% out of control, and it's heavily implied that the caged beasts are getting even angrier, which might be even worse than the dragon who's off doing who knows what. I'm curious to see how that plays out, especially if someone else somehow manages to capture the free dragon. Here's hoping it's not Stannis Baratheon, who's fully lost his way. And the Stark children are basically all in limbo right now, so I'm hoping for some more exposition there.

The season's off to a good start so far, with some nice potential storylines. While I haven't read the books, I'm glad the show is not afraid to take some liberties from them so we won't have a bunch of people smugly already talking about how they know what will happen. Instead we'll get a bunch of whining about what the book did differently or better, which might be a slight improvement. I hope the discussion here centers on the show, and that's all I'll say about that. I digress. I'm excited to see where they go next. I predict that shit is going to get real with Daenerys, her Unsullied, and her Dragons. I think they're about to lay waste to the Sons of the Harpy and the uprisings in her conquered cities with a ton of collateral damage that will have Daenerys further questioning herself. We'll see...

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#11 Posted by Junkboy (651 posts) -

I gave it a 7/10 lots of things I liked but many I didn't as well. We lost fan favorite in the Hound but Tywin (Charles Dance) was just the single best actor in the show and his scenes really had some magic in them. I will miss them both a ton.

I do want to ask, before someone just says something about them, how do we feel about talking about the 3 other leaked episodes of the fifth season? For those that don't know the first four episodes were leaked online from a screener before the season began. @finaldasa You should add something to the first post about it, while some might've already watched it others might not want anything spoiled and would prefer watching them weekly as they're released.

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#12 Posted by FinalDasa (3142 posts) -

@junkboy0 said:

I do want to ask, before someone just says something about them, how do we feel about talking about the 3 other leaked episodes of the fifth season? For those that don't know the first four episodes were leaked online from a screener before the season began. @finaldasa You should add something to the first post about it, while some might've already watched it others might not want anything spoiled and would prefer watching them weekly as they're released.

I mention it in my post, no discussion of leaked episodes. Only discuss episodes that have aired on TV.

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#13 Posted by Junkboy (651 posts) -

I mention it in my post, no discussion of leaked episodes. Only discuss episodes that have aired on TV.

Apologies I must've skimmed right past it. Good to hear though!

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#14 Posted by afabs515 (1999 posts) -

Black Swansa is the best character 180 I have ever seen. I hated her before, and now I'm super interested in everything she's doing. Can't wait to get into the Arya stuff next week, because she is by far my favorite of everyone remaining (and always has been). This episode felt to me like a bunch of setup, so hopefully next week's is more exciting.

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#15 Posted by fattony12000 (8450 posts) -

It was cool and good.

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#16 Posted by mechakirby (448 posts) -

Haven't read any of the books, but there's no way the Hound is actually dead right?

Also its been so long, can someone remind me what the heck happened with Sansa? I had no idea what was going on with her in episode 1. Why's she's hanging out with little dick?

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#17 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

From the first episode it sounds like things might actually happen this season, contrary to the book's lack of things.

Almost all of the good characters are dead or irrelevant at this point so I guess I'm just watching to hear the theme song.

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#18 Edited by LawGamer (1481 posts) -

Standard first episode for this show: kinda boring, gotta remind everyone what the hell has been happening and who everyone is. Things usually pick up around episode 3-4. Overall, I'm looking forward to things diverging from the books, especially since I wouldn't put money on Martin finishing them at this point.

Thought that the flashback with Cersei was interesting, but I was surprised that they cut out part of the witch's prophecy. Seems like such a small think to leave out and would have explained a lot about why she always had it out for Tyrion.

Surprised that they offed Mance so early, unless they have some twist with that. Seems like a waste to cast Cirian Hinds for the role and use him for all of 15 minutes. I'm also continually disappointed by how they handle Stannis on the show - they made him so rigid and unlikeable that he's just kind of 1 dimensional (don't get me wrong, he's still a colossal dick in the books, but he at least has some humanity to him).

Also, I'm really glad Bran and his magic super-friends are not going to be appearing this season. With the exception of Hodor, I hate those parts of the books, and they've been even less interesting in the show.

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#19 Posted by GiantRobot24 (62 posts) -

@lawgamer said:

Standard first episode for this show: kinda boring, gotta remind everyone what the hell has been happening and who everyone is. Things usually pick up around episode 3-4. Overall, I'm looking forward to things diverging from the books, especially since I wouldn't put money on Martin finishing them at this point.

Thought that the flashback with Cersei was interesting, but I was surprised that they cut out part of the witch's prophecy. Seems like such a small think to leave out and would have explained a lot about why she always had it out for Tyrion.

Surprised that they offed Mance so early, unless they have some twist with that. Seems like a waste to cast Cirian Hinds for the role and use him for all of 15 minutes. I'm also continually disappointed by how they handle Stannis on the show - they made him so rigid and unlikeable that he's just kind of 1 dimensional (don't get me wrong, he's still a colossal dick in the books, but he at least has some humanity to him).

Also, I'm really glad Bran and his magic super-friends are not going to be appearing this season. With the exception of Hodor, I hate those parts of the books, and they've been even less interesting in the show.

I was wondering the same thing about the Cersei flashback. Maybe they didn't want to find some some convoluted way to have a character define valonqar for the audience? But I suppose she could have just had Maggy say little brother instead.

I specifically thought it was weird just how Mance's burning was handled. If I remember right in the books it wasn't actually Mance that was burned it was the wildling with all the bones and Melisandre used her magic to disguise Mance as said wildling after he was burned for some reason that escapes me right now. In the episode it really seems like it was actually Mance burning.

Completely agree about Bran. So much time walking in the snow. I don't even care that there's no coldhands in the show. Just get Bran to where he is in the books and do something interesting with him already.

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#20 Posted by Hunter5024 (6706 posts) -

Show watchers can rest easy, there's really not much left to spoil. The show is pretty damn close to where the books left off, and I expect several of the characters will overtake their book counterparts by the end of the season. I think Sansa already has. I have no idea where Petyr is taking her. Pretty slow episode, could've used some Arya. I was reminded how much I like Pod and Brienne though, they're much better in the show. Does anyone else find Daenerys insufferable as queen? She's portrayed as this super compassionate person, but she seems very selective about who she's compassionate towards.

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#21 Posted by LawGamer (1481 posts) -

@lawgamer said:

Standard first episode for this show: kinda boring, gotta remind everyone what the hell has been happening and who everyone is. Things usually pick up around episode 3-4. Overall, I'm looking forward to things diverging from the books, especially since I wouldn't put money on Martin finishing them at this point.

Thought that the flashback with Cersei was interesting, but I was surprised that they cut out part of the witch's prophecy. Seems like such a small think to leave out and would have explained a lot about why she always had it out for Tyrion.

Surprised that they offed Mance so early, unless they have some twist with that. Seems like a waste to cast Cirian Hinds for the role and use him for all of 15 minutes. I'm also continually disappointed by how they handle Stannis on the show - they made him so rigid and unlikeable that he's just kind of 1 dimensional (don't get me wrong, he's still a colossal dick in the books, but he at least has some humanity to him).

Also, I'm really glad Bran and his magic super-friends are not going to be appearing this season. With the exception of Hodor, I hate those parts of the books, and they've been even less interesting in the show.

I was wondering the same thing about the Cersei flashback. Maybe they didn't want to find some some convoluted way to have a character define valonqar for the audience? But I suppose she could have just had Maggy say little brother instead.

  • Yeah, that's what I thought too. But like you said, just have them say "little brother." Just seems like a major plot point to leave out given what it seems to imply about Cersei's eventual demise.

I specifically thought it was weird just how Mance's burning was handled. If I remember right in the books it wasn't actually Mance that was burned it was the wildling with all the bones and Melisandre used her magic to disguise Mance as said wildling after he was burned for some reason that escapes me right now. In the episode it really seems like it was actually Mance burning.

  • It was so that Mance could travel south to Winterfell and rescue "Arya Stark" from the Boltons. I guess the show is throwing out that plot line, which makes sense, as it never really amounted to anything in the books. I guess I just think its weird to cast someone of Cairan Hinds quality to play a role if you know he's not going to be on the show very much.

Completely agree about Bran. So much time walking in the snow. I don't even care that there's no coldhands in the show. Just get Bran to where he is in the books and do something interesting with him already.

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#22 Edited by Aegon (7287 posts) -

@turambar said:

When they said this season was going to diverge from the books, they were not kidding.

One of the writers for the show said that the show is basically an alternate universe now ("Westeros 2").

The further on in the Westeros 2 timeline we go, the less I like it (which is why I didn't make the thread this time around). Some of the character motivation changes and interactions just make less sense to me and feel awkward and forced. I'll continue watching though. There are still some enjoyable verbal exchanges between characters.

@hunter5024: Sansa is doing a thing that does not happen at all in the books and I don't think it will. So a lot of plot threads can't be spoiled simply because they aren't the same anymore or have been cut out completely.

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#23 Edited by Bollard (8010 posts) -
@giantrobot24 said:


Completely agree about Bran. So much time walking in the snow. I don't even care that there's no coldhands in the show. Just get Bran to where he is in the books and do something interesting with him already.

How can you not be pissed off about Coldhands! It was the only redeemable part of that plotline...

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#24 Posted by ZolRoyce (1761 posts) -

My take away from the episode was, holy shit, is the Mother of Dragons finally going to do some shit with her Dragons?
I'm not bored by her parts or anything, but it has been so many seasons of building her up and building her army up and building her dragons up and holy shit, DO something with them.

So I hope this means that at some point she'll finally start her trip to the other side of the show and have her dragons set white walkers on fire or something, I don't know.
At least they brought two of the more interesting characters over to that side now so that will be fun hopefully.

I'm looking forward to, if we get to see it at all, how the Wildings? Wildling? Wild people react to that Jon did at the end, if they go "way to go you did the right thing!" or "you're still a dick head!"
Wouldn't mind seeing Jon become some sort of figure head of the Wild peeps.

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#26 Posted by vocalcannibal (407 posts) -

This is something interesting I keep seeing people skim over, especially book readers:

I don't think they noticed that Cersei's prophecy has not been revealed in-full yet. The actress for young Cersei is credited for three episodes, which makes me think they'll gradually reveal the most important points that the prophecy hits throughout other flashbacks during the season. The first was in this episode, which is that a young and more beautiful queen will take everything away from Cersei. Maggy also says that Cersei will have three blonde children and Robert will have twenty, but we knew those things already.

And here's what makes me think book readers weren't paying attention (which are probably show spoilers so please beware): People keep saying that Cersei's children will die and that the prophecy somehow explains why she doesn't like Tyrion, even though Maggy never said those things. The closest part is that her children will have 'golden shrouds', but I don't think that's specific enough for people who don't already know the prophecy to realize what it means.

Also: Melisandre continues to be fantastically weird and creepy, I'm into it.

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#27 Posted by Scullinator (550 posts) -

Ill start by saying I own the books but have not read them.

So how do we know that there will be no Bran this season? I thought his story line was just getting interesting.

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#28 Posted by Brackstone (731 posts) -

Does anyone else find Daenerys insufferable as queen? She's portrayed as this super compassionate person, but she seems very selective about who she's compassionate towards.

I'm continually baffled by people who say she's their favourite character. She never really grows changes as a character, always has this "I'm right shut up I know what I'm doing" attitude, and to top it all off I really think Emilia Clarke is the worst actress on the show by far. It doesn't help that her plot of retaking the throne never progresses and just gets sidetracked constantly. The show's setting her up to be the best ruler for Westeros but I just don't buy it.

The episode was ok overall. I'm excited to see what the crazy cult people in King's Landing get up to, especially since Jonathan Pryce seems to be their leader. King's Landing as a setting desperately needs more interesting characters after all that happened last season.

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#29 Posted by ripelivejam (12726 posts) -

Finish the damn book, George.

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#30 Posted by RedRoach (1401 posts) -

@scullinator: Someone involved with the production confirmed it, I believe. The reason being that Bran's story was way ahead of everyone else's by the end of last season. Most characters stories were near the end of book 3 or a bit into book 4, however Bran at the end of the season was where he is at the end of book 5.

It was an alright episode, generally this show has pretty boring openers as we have to catch up with all the characters and remind everyone what's going on.

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#31 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -
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#32 Posted by LawGamer (1481 posts) -

This is something interesting I keep seeing people skim over, especially book readers:

I don't think they noticed that Cersei's prophecy has not been revealed in-full yet. The actress for young Cersei is credited for three episodes, which makes me think they'll gradually reveal the most important points that the prophecy hits throughout other flashbacks during the season. The first was in this episode, which is that a young and more beautiful queen will take everything away from Cersei. Maggy also says that Cersei will have three blonde children and Robert will have twenty, but we knew those things already.

And here's what makes me think book readers weren't paying attention (which are probably show spoilers so please beware): People keep saying that Cersei's children will die and that the prophecy somehow explains why she doesn't like Tyrion, even though Maggy never said those things. The closest part is that her children will have 'golden shrouds', but I don't think that's specific enough for people who don't already know the prophecy to realize what it means.

Also: Melisandre continues to be fantastically weird and creepy, I'm into it.

The prophecy does explain why she doesn't like Tyrion. To quote, "And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you." The books explain that "valonqar" is High Valyrian for "little brother," which Cersei takes to mean Tyrion. Of course, it could also mean any of:

  • Jaime, since he's technically the younger of the twins by like 10 seconds or something.
  • Tommen, since he's Joffrey's younger brother.
  • Stannis, the younger brother of Robert.
  • Bran or Rickon, the younger brothers of Robb.

And a smattering of other, less likely, candidates.

That part of the prophecy was left out of the episode. I wasn't aware the girl they cast as young Cersei appears in three episodes, so maybe they get into it later, but it just seems like it's more logical to keep the whole thing together which is why I think they're ditching it entirely. If I had to guess, the extra scenes with the girls will be flashbacks to Cersei's companion getting pushed to her death in the well - which would establish that the witch was bona fide and the prophecy therefore has some legs to it.

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#33 Posted by vocalcannibal (407 posts) -

@lawgamer: I meant the amount of the prophecy that was shown in the episode doesn't explain it, not the prophecy as it was written in the book. This is exactly what I was talking about, though. I've heard two book readers on two different spoiler-free podcasts say that the prophecy from the first episode has something to do with Tyrion and it doesn't. Not yet!

I also have a hard time believing that they'll leave it out entirely, especially if they're actually going to revisit the scene two more times. I think you're partially right, though. Cersei will be shown killing her friend, and I think they'll also at least make it clear that the prophecy involves all of her children dying before her. With both Myrcella and Tommen being more important characters this season, it doesn't make sense to me that they wouldn't include that part. And as far as deaths deviating from the books go, I feel like Myrcella in particular might not make it to season 6.

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#34 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

Does anyone else find Daenerys insufferable as queen? She's portrayed as this super compassionate person, but she seems very selective about who she's compassionate towards.

Me. She is a idealistic and foolish. Oh you don't like slaves? So murder every master in the city, sounds like a great plan. The reality of this would be even worse of a disaster for a ruler to make than in the show so in a way they let her skate. If this was a real slave owning society probably everyone in any position of authority would have a slave. These are all the people who have skills and knowledge and know how to fulfill their roles. All murdered and replaced by slaves or lower class people. What could go wrong??

Trust me, I'm anti-slavery (controversial, I know). But this would be a total disaster. Imagine in the American Civil War if the North killed every slave owner in the South post-war.

She is as "compassionate" I suppose as someone who could crucify all those people and piss all over most of their cultural traditions. Also sent away her most loyal ally. I'm not a fan. Her character is also pretty flat, as @brackstone mentions. I don't like her. Hopefully something changes or this inevitability they present her ruling with takes a left turn. Not like this is a show where the "right" or "just" or "good" guys win, anyways.

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#35 Edited by Hunter5024 (6706 posts) -

@brackstone: @artisanbreads: Glad to see I'm not the only one. My enthusiasm totally deflates whenever I realize it's one of her scenes. I feel like the show would benefit from adding a few scenes that give us more of a reason to like her. I get that this world is full of rotten people, but theoretical monsters like The Hound, Jaime, and Tywin are likable in their own way. Dany should be one of the most sympathetic characters on the show and she's just not.

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#36 Posted by Spoonman671 (5874 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

Does anyone else find Daenerys insufferable as queen? She's portrayed as this super compassionate person, but she seems very selective about who she's compassionate towards.

Me. She is a idealistic and foolish. Oh you don't like slaves? So murder every master in the city, sounds like a great plan. The reality of this would be even worse of a disaster for a ruler to make than in the show so in a way they let her skate. If this was a real slave owning society probably everyone in any position of authority would have a slave. These are all the people who have skills and knowledge and know how to fulfill their roles. All murdered and replaced by slaves or lower class people. What could go wrong??

Trust me, I'm anti-slavery (controversial, I know). But this would be a total disaster. Imagine in the American Civil War if the North killed every slave owner in the South post-war.

She is as "compassionate" I suppose as someone who could crucify all those people and piss all over most of their cultural traditions. Also sent away her most loyal ally. I'm not a fan. Her character is also pretty flat, as @brackstone mentions. I don't like her. Hopefully something changes or this inevitability they present her ruling with takes a left turn. Not like this is a show where the "right" or "just" or "good" guys win, anyways.

She's become obnoxiously self-righteous. I guess it's appropriate for her understanding of these situations to be immature, because she is still pretty young (right? I don't really know), but I can't help but wonder why her character is so popular.

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#37 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

@hunter5024: I haven't read the books, so I can't say how she compares. To me it's like she's supposed to be other wordly and symbolic or something. In the end it just makes her flat and unlikable. When she's ruling poorly, unable to control her dragons, sending away allies... I don't see much to like. Even in the romance there is nothing humanizing. It was nice to see last episode that she got a dose of "this is the local culture, stop fucking with it" as a tip from her lover (can't remember his name). But even that romance seems to be she just thinks he's hot and he thinks she's hot/powerful. There's nothing personal going on, that they've shown at least.

It's certainly not a morality thing. The Hound is like a top 5 character for me for example. There's just not much there, and if she's going to be that way hopefully she'd be a better ruler or something.

I don't want to say it's poor acting since that might just be accurate to the book. I'm not sure, but I just don't care for her. It's almost like you dropped a Star Wars prequel character into the show when she's around.

@spoonman671: I think she's so popular because she's beautiful and powerful and seems destined to win. She is iconic as I say. She has that air about her on the screen, but that wore thin personally. If she gains some wisdom or is redeemed or something that could be an arc I suppose that could make her interesting or likable.

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#38 Edited by Brackstone (731 posts) -

It's almost like you dropped a Star Wars prequel character into the show when she's around.

This is just such a perfect way of describing the problem. Daenerys has that strange mix of being bland, incompetent and inconsistent that you really only see elsewhere in the Star Wars prequels. As far as rulers go, Joffrey was about as incompetent, but at least he wasn't bland and inconsistent.

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#39 Posted by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -
@artisanbreads said:

It's almost like you dropped a Star Wars prequel character into the show when she's around.

This is just such a perfect way of describing the problem. Daenerys has that strange mix of being bland, incompetent and inconsistent that you really only see elsewhere in the Star Wars prequels. As far as rulers go, Joffrey was about as incompetent, but at least he wasn't bland and inconsistent.

haha it came to me thinking it over. She is reminding me of the way Anakin and Amidala were on screen a lot of times in those movies.

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#40 Edited by Ravelle (3160 posts) -

@spoonman671 said:

@artisanbreads said:

@hunter5024 said:

Does anyone else find Daenerys insufferable as queen? She's portrayed as this super compassionate person, but she seems very selective about who she's compassionate towards.

Me. She is a idealistic and foolish. Oh you don't like slaves? So murder every master in the city, sounds like a great plan. The reality of this would be even worse of a disaster for a ruler to make than in the show so in a way they let her skate. If this was a real slave owning society probably everyone in any position of authority would have a slave. These are all the people who have skills and knowledge and know how to fulfill their roles. All murdered and replaced by slaves or lower class people. What could go wrong??

Trust me, I'm anti-slavery (controversial, I know). But this would be a total disaster. Imagine in the American Civil War if the North killed every slave owner in the South post-war.

She is as "compassionate" I suppose as someone who could crucify all those people and piss all over most of their cultural traditions. Also sent away her most loyal ally. I'm not a fan. Her character is also pretty flat, as @brackstone mentions. I don't like her. Hopefully something changes or this inevitability they present her ruling with takes a left turn. Not like this is a show where the "right" or "just" or "good" guys win, anyways.

She's become obnoxiously self-righteous. I guess it's appropriate for her understanding of these situations to be immature, because she is still pretty young (right? I don't really know), but I can't help but wonder why her character is so popular.

Exactly, I believe she's 14-15 years old in the books and a bit older in the show but still too young to effectively rule. She never got to learn how to manage a city and its people so she does things by heart, a heart of a teenager. She also doesn't know what she wants to be to the people of Mareen, a queen or a mother. She can't be both. Be loved as a mother and suffer the consequences of being weak or be a queen and bring justice to people no matter what side they're on.

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#41 Posted by AndyLonn (116 posts) -

@alkusanagi: Probably won't be recasted as Isaac Hempstead-Wright has been on tours and such with the show, Sure, Tommen, Myrcella, Rickon and other child actors who up to this point haven't been as essential to the show I can understand them recasting. But I don't ever see them recasting Bran, it would be like recasting Jon Snow or Daenerys

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#42 Posted by hankrazorbeard (104 posts) -

I was going to write a bunch about each character, but all I really wanna say is that each season after the first felt more and more fan-fiction(ey?)

Next season, we're at 100%.

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#43 Edited by cLoudForest (97 posts) -

Can we talk about how Varys's explanation of his plans and motivations makes absolutely no sense whatsoever? It's pretty typical for Benioff and Weiss to have a character just completely lay out their entire motivation in one speech because they can't seem to abide ambiguity or subtlety when it comes to character motivation, but even by their standards this was just weird and not convincing at all. Remember them having Littlefinger (he of the wandering accent, which seems as bad as ever this season) doing just that whilst metaphorically twirling his moustache like some archetypical villain a while back? This was kind of the mirror image of that with us being told that we can safely put Varys in the box marked "Good Guy".

So, the plan. Apparently, Varys and his "friend" (Illyrio Mopatis, who we've not seen since they were conspiring together in the basements of the Red Keep in the first season) decided that Robert was "a disaster as king" and needed to be replaced for the good of both the smallfolk and "the country"(?!), replaced by someone that the nobles would take seriously but who would also be capable of ruling compassionately. "Peace and prosperity for the realm" is what Varys wants, apparently. Ergo, Dany for the ruler of Westeros.

First of all, for someone that wants peace, Varys sure likes to instigate war a lot. If Robert was such a terrible king then why did Varys try to save him by telling Ned what the Lannisters had in store for Robert? If it was merely to precipitate conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters (as Varys said to Illyrio at the time, "The Lion and the Wolf will soon be at each other's throats"), then he clearly doesn't give a toss about peace, prosperity or the smallfolk, who of anyone suffered the most in the war since they're the one's who got screwed from all sides during the conflict. The entire point of the "Brotherhood Without Banners" stuff was to show that, apart from them, nobody was really concerned with fighting for the good of the smallfolk at all. It's just rival families wrestling for power and bugger the consequences for the ordinary folk.

Also, why was Robert, in Varys's words, "a disaster as king" and a disaster for whom? I mean sure, Robert was a lecherous drunkard with little interest in or aptitude for politics, so I guess you could say he was ineffectual and obviously a lamb to the slaughter as far as being able to resist the Lannisters taking over is concerned, but a disaster? Compared to whom? If Varys and Illyrio were working to achieve a Targaryen restoration, then it looks to me like they were initially backing Viserys NOT Dany given that she was being used merely as barter in order to gain Drogo's Dothraki army for an invasion of Westeros (more war and destruction: does anyone really imagine an invading Dothraki army being nice to the smallfolk?) If you want to call anyone a disaster when it comes to being a prospective ruler of Westeros then Viserys would have been it. The one good thing that you can say about Robert is that he got Aerys off the throne, a man who used to burn people alive for looking at him wrong and whom even Jamie thought deserved nothing better than a sword in the back. Viserys would have just been more of the same, and hardly the type to bring peace and stability to Westeros.

Finally (yeah I know, at last), it seems Varys must have only moved his allegiance to Dany pretty late in the game. Let's not forget that it was Varys that told Robert that Dany was pregnant, thus prompting Robert to attempt to have her and her unborn child killed. The only way that makes sense is if Varys thought that having Dany killed on Robert's orders would give Drogo the motivation he needed to move to invade Westeros and perhaps put Viserys on the throne. If the plan was to have the attempt fail, then that seems like an incredibly risky ploy given that Jorah didn't seem to know much about it and only intervened by chance to stop Dany drinking the poisoned wine. In fact, Varys had secured a pardon for Jorah so that he could return to Westeros at that point, so it may even be that having heard of Viserys's death they'd given up on the plan. I don't see that Varys could know one way or the other whether Dany was going to be a capable and compassionate ruler until she had a chance to prove her mettle in Slaver's Bay. Before that, for all he knew she (or more to the point Viserys) could have just been another Targaryen nutjob, the product of centuries of inbreeding and no more desirable a ruler than Aerys was.

It's possible that Varys isn't been honest and just saying what he thinks will be persuasive to Tyrion, but I don't see why Varys would believe that this would be any more convincing to Tyrion than it is to the viewer. In fact, Tyrion cuts through Varys's lament about the powerful exploiting the powerless pretty sharpish, as he's just not the type to swallow that stuff even for a second. Either Varys has got some other motivation that he's not willing to reveal to Tyrion or the writers have fumbled this badly...

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#44 Posted by AndyLonn (116 posts) -

@cloudforest: I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, And I'm off course not sure about this, so Spoiler alerts:


I think the whole "The show is gonna ommit (f)Aegon is bullcrap, In the promotional material for this season, we've seen Tyrion on a boat, which is where he first learned about Aegon in the DotD. I think Aegon is aboard that ship, and Tyrion will lern more about Varys and Illyrios motivations going forward. As you said, if Varys were backing the restoration of the Targaryan line as we know it, It's been a rocky road so far. The assassination attempts on Dany, them loosing Viserys, etc. In all honesty, if Robert was such a bad king, Why didn't they work towards having Renly succeed him, or even present their own faux Targaryan heir. Illyrio atleast knew that Viserys would be a horrible choice.

And what does Illyrio have to gain from there being peace in Westeros. He's a merchant, Better to have 7 kingdoms than having only the one to barter with. Prices are adjusted according to demand and the more customers, the higher the price.

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#45 Posted by cLoudForest (97 posts) -

@andylonn: it's certainly possible that they'll go in the other direction, but I have a horrible suspicion that we're supposed to take Varys's word at face value although it just seems too bizarre to contemplate. I don't know how anyone wouldn't just laugh in Varys's face at his "peace and prosperity for our country" line, and I guess Tyrion might have done so if he were in a better mood and not more intent on crawling out of his box, into a wine barrel and staying there. Even if Varys was trying to persuade Tyrion whilst withholding his true motivations, I can't imagine why Varys would think his account would be persuasive to Tyrion, the cynical realist par excellence. It's like he doesn't know Tyrion at all, and I think that if Tyrion were able to think straight right now then he'd be immediately suspicious of Varys. Luckily, the writers have made Tyrion so bereft that Varys doesn't even have to make sense because, as long as wine is available, Tyrion seems willing to go anywhere he's sent.

My skepticism on the Aegon front comes from the fact that they seem to have already committed to covering quite a bit of material this season as it is, what with the stuff with Myrcella in Dorne, Arya's adventures in Braavos, John with Stannis at the wall and the Hardholme expedition, the Sparrows and Cersei in King's Landing, Brienne and Pod still roaming about, Littlefinger and Sansa playing master and apprentice, Dany dealing with the Sons of the Harpy, fighting pits and dragons, and whatever they decide to do with Reek and the Boltons. I just can't see them wanting to introduce more characters this season or having the time to develop the whole back-story of the various tributaries of the Targaryan line. I'd be glad to be proven wrong, but I think we're seeing some major cutting going on and my confidence in the showrunners being able to do that and still have the story make sense from the perspective of character motivation is somewhat diminished at this point.

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#46 Edited by Spoonman671 (5874 posts) -

@cloudforest: @andylonn: I think it can be assumed that Varys has gained a certain measure of trust from Tyrion after releasing him from jail and smuggling him out of the continent. As sly as Tyrion is, I think he's got blindspots when it comes to these sorts of things, otherwise he wouldn't have fallen for Shae's "my lion" routine.

I've recently heard an interesting fan theory that Varys is actually a faceless man who is manipulating the political situation and biding his time in order to assassinate some target or, as seems more likely, bring about some coup for the devotees of the Many-Faced God/Great Other(?)/Red God. At this point it almost seems as plausible a motivation for this character as anything else.

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#47 Posted by cLoudForest (97 posts) -

@spoonman671: I'm not sure I can agree that Tyrion trusts Varys to the point that he'll switch off his faculties and believe whatever Varys tells him, especially when what Varys says makes no sense whatsoever as an account of his motivations given how he's acted, which irrespective of whether Tyrion believes him or not, is the larger problem for us as the audience. I think at best we can say that perhaps Tyrion simply doesn't care very much at the moment what Varys is up to because he's completely succumbed to self-loathing at this point. Tyrion does ask, "Why did you help me to escape?" to which Varys blandly replies "Because your brother asked me to", and it doesn't seem to me that Tyrion is particularly convinced by that answer. Although Tyrion doesn't push the point particularly hard, he is right, Varys has given up a lot and it's hard to believe that it was simply to help a brother out, so I don't think Tyrion does believe Varys completely. The completely milquetoast "good of our country" line is going to be massively deflating if that's actually what Varys is supposed to have been up to all along.

As to Shae: well, Shae of the TV show isn't Shae of the novels. Since they've played down the whole Tysha angle in the show, there's no reason to think TV Shae's affection for Tyrion was anything but genuine, at least for as long as it lasted, because the show has been at pains to make Shae seem a "good" person all along. I'm not sure you can even say she betrays Tyrion particularly in the end, but if she does then it's largely because she thinks he abandoned her first. Personally, I don't think she's really given much choice after being caught by the Lannisters.

There's a more plausible theory about Varys out there, but it involves what looks like being solely book material left out of the show, so it's probably best not to go there...

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#48 Posted by SSully (5582 posts) -

Show watchers can rest easy, there's really not much left to spoil. The show is pretty damn close to where the books left off, and I expect several of the characters will overtake their book counterparts by the end of the season. I think Sansa already has. I have no idea where Petyr is taking her. Pretty slow episode, could've used some Arya. I was reminded how much I like Pod and Brienne though, they're much better in the show. Does anyone else find Daenerys insufferable as queen? She's portrayed as this super compassionate person, but she seems very selective about who she's compassionate towards.

Daenery's has no compassion for slavers and the "higher born" type of people. She is firm in her goals and beliefs with her posse, but I can't really think of a time where she wasn't compassionate to someone who didn't deserve it. Not sure why you find her insufferable for compasion. Most people hate her, specifically in the first few seasons, because she is very inexperienced but still acts very entitled.

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#49 Posted by cLoudForest (97 posts) -

So, does anyone else think that Darth Sansa might come to regret rejecting Brienne's offer of protection? It's hard to fault Littlefinger's argument, though. Brienne doesn't exactly have a great track record when it comes to keeping those she pledges to protect away from harm. I think that perhaps if Sansa had thought to ask more about the marriage proposal Littlefinger received then she might have decided differently. He didn't actually say who marriage was being proposed to, did he...

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#50 Edited by Ares42 (3992 posts) -

@cloudforest: The reason Robert was a terrible king was because he was driving the kingdom into ruin, which leads into Varys' main motivation. Varys is a "come from nothing" man that has weaseled himself into a situation of power, and what he wants is to keep that power. The reason he wanted Targaryen rule in the early seasons was because they were a strong family that "noone" would ever fuck with, and he had good "cred" with them. The reason he ended up helping Robert/Ned was because under a Lannister rule his role would get even more diminished (which was proven correct as Cersei has pretty much been driving him out and taking over his role for the last few seasons, clenching her grip around the throne). Ultimately he realizes that the only way he'll become a valued advisor again would be to join Daenerys, which is the only potential ruler that would give him any consideration.

Basically his wish for the kingdoms well-bing is a half-truth. He wants a strong Westeros, because a strong Westeros means he's got his coushy job and position. Without his Master of Whispers title he's a complete nobody.