Game Of Thrones Season 5 Discussion Thread

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#201 Posted by Brackstone (925 posts) -
@gvalo said:

@cloudforest: Wasn't part of the whole delay with Dance of Dragons because he couldn't figure out how to get the characters where he wanted them to go? Seems like his biggest problem has been knowing the ending but not having clear beats he has to hit to get there. He just writes then realizes "crap I want to get to point B but I'm written myself into a hole"

This has been my main issue with the series since about season 2, but I know it's an issue that originates in the books. They build up to large, world changing events like Stannis taking Kings Landing, or Robb moving south, but both get cut short, and everything else moves on practically unchanged. King's Landing has been exactly the same before, during and after the war. Only now with the Sparrows is the atmosphere of King's Landing any different, but that will probably get sorted out this season so everything can go back to normal.

Even with Oberyn, they build up to this guy, clearly opposed to the ruling family, having large political clout in the city, but then he just dies. In all these cases, it seems like GRRM let characters and situations naturally evolve for a time, then realizes "oh crap, if this plot advances naturally any more, it messes up my plans for the conclusion 5 books from now, I better stop things from getting interesting before I'm ready. I know, I'll kill people off for shock value, to show how edgy and harsh this world is"

Ned's death was good, it set off the entire plot, caused massive changes within the world, it made sense. Tywin's as well, made sense for where the plot was going. Everything else seems like it's just been used for shock value, or to prevent things from changing. Jon's plot seems to be the one that advances steadily, but it does advance slowly. It seems like every other plot that doesn't reach a sudden, shortsighted conclusion has to suffer through filler and delays just so they all reach the right place at the same time for whatever big conclusion GRRM has planned.

On another note, regarding sudden pointless character deaths, I think Bronn is next, as much as I hate to say it. He's doing the whole one last job, getting ready for retirement thing, isn't plot critical, and they probably want to show how badass the Sand Snakes are even though they are the exact opposite. Like Barristan, it will have little to no actual ramifications, and will happen because the show runners just want to shock the audience by killing another fan favourite. And this is a shame, since King's Landing/that area of the story has been hemorrhaging most of it's best characters over the past 2 seasons, and Bronn is probably the best secondary character/sidekick in the show. Seriously, pair that dude up with anyone and he'll give you some great scenes.

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#202 Edited by cLoudForest (102 posts) -

@gvalo: I'm not clear on specifics, but as far as I understand it he's had problems structuring the material that he's already written so it can be published as much as anything. As you'll probably know, the 5 year gap in the story that he planned after Storm of Swords he couldn't make work and then he had problems incorporating storylines that were meant to run concurrently in A Feast for Crows and had to shift some of those chapters into A Dance With Dragons. Some of that existing material he then rewrote and added to, which included some new "catch-up" material he felt was necessary because of the split and which probably contributed to the delay but he also ended up removing a lot of stuff, too. It looks like that a large part of what exists of Winds of Winter are chapters that he ended up having to excise from ADWD, so he seems to have been constantly battling to structure it into separate novels for quite some time and under-estimate how much material there ends up being once he's actually put the story he's got in his head on the page.

The show runners have to pretty much already know the overall arcs at least at a high level and what they're going to do with them because they've already said they want to finish after 7 seasons.

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#203 Edited by GValo (633 posts) -

I completely agree with everything you said about Bronn. Dude came up as a hired hand to having his own castle AND fans love him. It's time for him to go. Sadly it will end the awesome buddy cop storyline he has with Jaime.

I love the sparrow storyline just because of how much it changes King's Landing.

The show runners have to pretty much already know the overall arcs at least at a high level and what they're going to do with them because they've already said they want to finish after 7 seasons.

Yeah I think at some point knowing the high level end is going to cause them to do something completely out of character (already kind of happening with Littlefinger in a way) or they're going to have to kill a major player. The twisting and blurring of storylines is pointing that way a bit already.

I'm glad he decided against the 5 year jump. Half of the book would have been "here is what has been going on since we last saw you" stuff.

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#204 Edited by Quid_Pro_Bono (1131 posts) -

Even with Oberyn, they build up to this guy, clearly opposed to the ruling family, having large political clout in the city, but then he just dies. In all these cases, it seems like GRRM let characters and situations naturally evolve for a time, then realizes "oh crap, if this plot advances naturally any more, it messes up my plans for the conclusion 5 books from now, I better stop things from getting interesting before I'm ready. I know, I'll kill people off for shock value, to show how edgy and harsh this world is"

Yup, I completely feel this way as well. No death in game of thrones has felt more pointless and shock-baiting since Oberyn. I still feel it was totally out of his character to lose sight of the battle so completely. It made no sense to bring in such a fantastic character and kill him unless it would pay off in a big, big way. So far, I have to say that trading the genius that is Oberyn for Ellaria and the Sand Snakes seems like a truly raw deal.

The better play, regardless of what the books do, would have been to have Oberyn win the trial by combat, but have Cersei find a way to still find Tyrion guilty, and have Oberyn start a revolt against King's Landing which is fueled by public outcry against Cersei and the Crown. That way you could have your Oberyn cake and eat it too, with him taking over whatever the Dornish role is, Tyrion still needing to escape, Tywin still getting killed, the Mountain getting reanimated, etc. etc. You could have him and Ellaria square off with the current prince of Dorne (whose name escapes me) about how to handle the situation, and could have the Sand Snakes fighting alongside him. Oberyn breathed life into the show by being both happy and extremely shrewd and competent, which made him seem like a truly dangerous person and put everyone else in Westeros on tilt. Having him amount to a deluded over-confident failure is a pretty big waste of a great actor in Pedro Pascal and an interesting and different character amongst a cast that is becoming increasingly samey.

Didn't really mean for this to turn into an Oberyn love post but I'm still pretty peeved.

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#205 Posted by DefaultProphet (840 posts) -

Even with Oberyn, they build up to this guy, clearly opposed to the ruling family, having large political clout in the city, but then he just dies. In all these cases, it seems like GRRM let characters and situations naturally evolve for a time, then realizes "oh crap, if this plot advances naturally any more, it messes up my plans for the conclusion 5 books from now, I better stop things from getting interesting before I'm ready. I know, I'll kill people off for shock value, to show how edgy and harsh this world is"

Yup, I completely feel this way as well. No death in game of thrones has felt more pointless and shock-baiting since Oberyn. I still feel it was totally out of his character to lose sight of the battle so completely. It made no sense to bring in such a fantastic character and kill him unless it would pay off in a big, big way. So far, I have to say that trading the genius that is Oberyn for Ellaria and the Sand Snakes seems like a truly raw deal.

The better play, regardless of what the books do, would have been to have Oberyn win the trial by combat, but have Cersei find a way to still find Tyrion guilty, and have Oberyn start a revolt against King's Landing which is fueled by public outcry against Cersei and the Crown. That way you could have your Oberyn cake and eat it too, with him taking over whatever the Dornish role is, Tyrion still needing to escape, Tywin still getting killed, the Mountain getting reanimated, etc. etc. You could have him and Ellaria square off with the current prince of Dorne (whose name escapes me) about how to handle the situation, and could have the Sand Snakes fighting alongside him. Oberyn breathed life into the show by being both happy and extremely shrewd and competent, which made him seem like a truly dangerous person and put everyone else in Westeros on tilt. Having him amount to a deluded over-confident failure is a pretty big waste of a great actor in Pedro Pascal and an interesting and different character amongst a cast that is becoming increasingly samey.

Didn't really mean for this to turn into an Oberyn love post but I'm still pretty peeved.

Well he did use poison on his blade, not very sporting.

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#206 Edited by CheapPoison (1127 posts) -

@quid_pro_bono said:

Even with Oberyn, they build up to this guy, clearly opposed to the ruling family, having large political clout in the city, but then he just dies. In all these cases, it seems like GRRM let characters and situations naturally evolve for a time, then realizes "oh crap, if this plot advances naturally any more, it messes up my plans for the conclusion 5 books from now, I better stop things from getting interesting before I'm ready. I know, I'll kill people off for shock value, to show how edgy and harsh this world is"

Yup, I completely feel this way as well. No death in game of thrones has felt more pointless and shock-baiting since Oberyn. I still feel it was totally out of his character to lose sight of the battle so completely. It made no sense to bring in such a fantastic character and kill him unless it would pay off in a big, big way. So far, I have to say that trading the genius that is Oberyn for Ellaria and the Sand Snakes seems like a truly raw deal.

The better play, regardless of what the books do, would have been to have Oberyn win the trial by combat, but have Cersei find a way to still find Tyrion guilty, and have Oberyn start a revolt against King's Landing which is fueled by public outcry against Cersei and the Crown. That way you could have your Oberyn cake and eat it too, with him taking over whatever the Dornish role is, Tyrion still needing to escape, Tywin still getting killed, the Mountain getting reanimated, etc. etc. You could have him and Ellaria square off with the current prince of Dorne (whose name escapes me) about how to handle the situation, and could have the Sand Snakes fighting alongside him. Oberyn breathed life into the show by being both happy and extremely shrewd and competent, which made him seem like a truly dangerous person and put everyone else in Westeros on tilt. Having him amount to a deluded over-confident failure is a pretty big waste of a great actor in Pedro Pascal and an interesting and different character amongst a cast that is becoming increasingly samey.

Didn't really mean for this to turn into an Oberyn love post but I'm still pretty peeved.

Well he did use poison on his blade, not very sporting.

Well Dorne will take a somewhat different route to dealing with this. Lets call it less flamboyant. I don't know how if that his brother will get the same fanbase in such a short time, but I think the direction is very interesting. I think they could do the same with his brother, but I feel he might just not be there cause he just doesn't have that 'swagger'.
That being said it does not fully excuse the problems you brought up. For all I know it might just be that.

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#207 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

I thought the execution of that Oberyn death was super lame (it was super WOW BE SHOCKED in execution and way over the top) but the point of the show is anyone can die. Can't pick favorites!

He was a cool character but that's Thrones, to me. I loved Ned!

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#208 Posted by Quid_Pro_Bono (1131 posts) -

@defaultprophet said:
@quid_pro_bono said:

Even with Oberyn, they build up to this guy, clearly opposed to the ruling family, having large political clout in the city, but then he just dies. In all these cases, it seems like GRRM let characters and situations naturally evolve for a time, then realizes "oh crap, if this plot advances naturally any more, it messes up my plans for the conclusion 5 books from now, I better stop things from getting interesting before I'm ready. I know, I'll kill people off for shock value, to show how edgy and harsh this world is"

Yup, I completely feel this way as well. No death in game of thrones has felt more pointless and shock-baiting since Oberyn. I still feel it was totally out of his character to lose sight of the battle so completely. It made no sense to bring in such a fantastic character and kill him unless it would pay off in a big, big way. So far, I have to say that trading the genius that is Oberyn for Ellaria and the Sand Snakes seems like a truly raw deal.

The better play, regardless of what the books do, would have been to have Oberyn win the trial by combat, but have Cersei find a way to still find Tyrion guilty, and have Oberyn start a revolt against King's Landing which is fueled by public outcry against Cersei and the Crown. That way you could have your Oberyn cake and eat it too, with him taking over whatever the Dornish role is, Tyrion still needing to escape, Tywin still getting killed, the Mountain getting reanimated, etc. etc. You could have him and Ellaria square off with the current prince of Dorne (whose name escapes me) about how to handle the situation, and could have the Sand Snakes fighting alongside him. Oberyn breathed life into the show by being both happy and extremely shrewd and competent, which made him seem like a truly dangerous person and put everyone else in Westeros on tilt. Having him amount to a deluded over-confident failure is a pretty big waste of a great actor in Pedro Pascal and an interesting and different character amongst a cast that is becoming increasingly samey.

Didn't really mean for this to turn into an Oberyn love post but I'm still pretty peeved.

Well he did use poison on his blade, not very sporting.

Well Dorne will take a somewhat different route to dealing with this. Lets call it less flamboyant. I don't know how if that his brother will get the same fanbase in such a short time, but I think the direction is very interesting. I think they could do the same with his brother, but I feel he might just not be there cause he just doesn't have that 'swagger'.

That being said it does not fully excuse the problems you brought up. For all I know it might just be that.

It certainly has potential, it's just a situation that I think the showrunners should have recognized what they had on their hands. Aaron Paul's character Jesse in Breaking Bad was originally written to be killed off in the first season, but they recognized what he brought to the show and rewrote. Then again, I don't make television, so what do I know?

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#209 Posted by htr10 (1062 posts) -

@quid_pro_bono: I know we're going on a tangent here, but seriously? Jesse was supposed to die in the 1st season? That seems crazy. The relationship between Walt and Jesse is that show.

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#210 Edited by LiquidPrince (17073 posts) -

I haven't read the books, even though I have them all, mostly because I don't want to be spoiled on any deaths. I also know that the show has changed and diverged on many things. At the end of last season people were expecting LSH. Not knowing anything about her, I was wondering, does it seem that they have actually completely skipped over that storyline, or is it still potentially in the show? I only ask because of the Stone Men reveal of this week got me wondering if she might still appear, although they are probably completely unrelated.

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#211 Edited by Lunnington (536 posts) -

@liquidprince: I don't think she'll be in the show. There's a lot of foreshadowing that the book did for her appearance that the show hasn't had any of. They also completely skipped over a character in the books which, until now, we thought was a really important character. If they're throwing characters like that out the window then LSH is the last person I'd expect to show up. I think this is the first season where it's clear that the showrunners are sort of going their own way with things. I'm not even sure if major book happenings or deaths are even going to occur now.

I'm not complaining though. If I get two alternate versions of a story I really love then it's all the better.

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#212 Posted by Ghostiet (5832 posts) -

I echo the Oberyn sentiment. Especially since we had a soulcrushing moment like that already: the Red Wedding. And the Red Wedding was actually masterfully executed because it made perfect sense in the story - you could see that shit coming from a mile away with Robb's decisions over seasons 2 and 3, but it was still shocking due to the pure audacity of the act, from the author and characters in the story both. And the way he died in the show really makes me think that the showrunners just wanted to have that Red Wedding moment again; in the books it's a bit less cruel for the sake of making effective gifs, and I'd say more impactful.

@htr10 said:

@quid_pro_bono: I know we're going on a tangent here, but seriously? Jesse was supposed to die in the 1st season? That seems crazy. The relationship between Walt and Jesse is that show.

Yup. It was also supposed to accelerate Walt's descent into villainy, but that was a really early idea - once Aaron Paul got cast and they filmed the pilot, they've abandoned the idea. It happens all the time in shows. The Wire's Omar Little was supposed to die, too, and he ended up becoming one of the most important characters of the show, involved in multiple arcs; same with Boyd Crowder in Justified, who was to die in the very pilot, but they saw the chemistry between Olyphant and Goggins and that entire relationship became the crux of the series.

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#213 Posted by GValo (633 posts) -

I'm not complaining though. If I get two alternate versions of a story I really love then it's all the better.

I was originally going to stop watching all together once it started showing new stuff that isn't in the books yet and then I realized it would be this. I'm completely fine with it because while they may share an ending, the journeys will be different and I'm on board for both rides.

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#214 Edited by notnert427 (2268 posts) -

This is a great thread. While I love the show and think it's one of the best things on television, I find myself agreeing with many of the criticisms raised here. Some of the exposition on the show is really off. I feel like many characters/storylines need more screen time, and then they waste so much time elsewhere on filler bullshit and focus on stuff no one cares about. For example, we only needed about five minutes of Ramsay's sadism to completely get that he's an awful person. Yet the show has spent what feels like the majority of the last few seasons beating this into our heads. Move the fuck on. They also spent way too much time on Bran & the superfriends just wandering around, a role which has now been sadly reprised by Brienne/Pod (both of whom used to be interesting) following Sansa from afar. And is anyone still enthralled with Dany's repetitive liberation crusade?

Even with characters/storylines that have real promise, it just feels like they're stalling. I want to see Arya doing more badass assassin training, not idly doing menial tasks to humble herself. Stannis just finally decided to march after spending what felt like a ridiculous amount of time hanging out at Castle Black for...reasons? I want to see Dany's dragons fuck shit up, and no, killing one dude while chained up isn't it. Darth Sansa could also be so much more awesome than they're letting her be. Tyrian is detour after detour so far. At this point, Jon Snow is the only character that's properly being developed. I figure they're doing this to try and wait on the next book, but IMO, they've earned the right to take their story in whatever direction they want. From what I can gather, it's not 1:1 to the books already anyway, so take some Fleetwood Mac advice and go your own way.

I'll also agree with the Oberyn thoughts here. That character was fucking great. He was a mysterious outsider with some depth, had the potential to throw some huge wrenches in the whole King's Landing dynamic, damn near did it with the coolest fight scene in the series, and then they just fucking killed him, which was not only upsetting because we lost an awesome character, but because it was incredibly incongruous after dominating the Mountain like a badass. Instead, now we've got the lame, petty Sand Snakes who I don't give the tiniest shit about, and who will probably only serve as an annoying roadblock to the Jamie/Bronn buddy cop storyline progressing. If the Sand Snakes take down either of those characters, which seems very likely, it will piss me off in a huge way.

The show and books seem to be actively anti-fan service to me. As mentioned, some of the deaths like Ned and the Red Wedding made sense to set up other storylines, and then others are just shock value garbage. Oberyn definitely qualifies, and Selmy, while not as shocking and not nearly as much of a fan favorite, was the latest example of pointlessly killing off a character that arguably needed to be fleshed out further. I feel like things have gotten a bit up their own ass. After the Red Wedding got so much publicity and generated so much discussion, it seems like they loved being fancied as "the story where anyone can die" and have tried to repeat the Red Wedding to smaller degrees with little to no success.

No show does a better job of setting up storylines, which is what keeps me coming back, but man, so many things turn out disappointingly anti-climactic. Joffrey should have taken an arrow from stealth Arya in his stupid face while he was mocking Tyrian. Oberyn should have dropped the Mountain and then nonchalantly just hung around King's Landing like it was no big deal while Cersei lost her shit. Bronn/Jamie should just randomly show up and cut the Sand Snakes to pieces in the middle of their next dumb rally session. Dany's dragons need to go rogue and just torch these fucking cities so she can move on and become a less idealistic and more cutthroat character, which would be far more intriguing than her constantly vacillating "how do I rule?" bullshit. I'm not saying everything has to be what the audience wants to see, but fuck, give us something. Where's the payoff, man?

I'm still holding out hope.

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#215 Posted by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

I'm a big patience guy with this show. And I've always liked it.

Have to be honest. It's losing me right now. The last episode was kind of just bad, it wasn't that not much happened. I mean not a ton did happen, but everything that did? Questionable.

The Ramsay part is absolutely ruining it for me. There is nothing redeeming or interesting about his character whatsoever. My friend and I actually started laughing at the end of the show tonight because of how dumb it was and over the top. This is not something we have ever done.

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#216 Edited by DeShawn2ks (1109 posts) -

@artisanbreads: You and your friend started busting up laughing at the end of this episode? Me and my girlfriend were pretty bummed. Couldn't in any world find myself laughing after that. Hopefully something really good comes out of these changes.

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#218 Posted by DeShawn2ks (1109 posts) -

@artisanbreads: Yeah I know it's a tv show set in a fictional fantasy world thanks for reminding me. That shit just makes me real uncomfortable real or fake in a good or bad TV show or movie. Got to be honest with you when that went down fast forwarded straight to credits. The changes haven't bothered me to much so far but after that was like NOPE!!!

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#219 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -
@deshawn2ks said:

@artisanbreads: Yeah I know it's a tv show set in a fictional fantasy world thanks for reminding me. That shit just makes me real uncomfortable real or fake in a good or bad TV show or movie. Got to be honest with you when that went down fast forwarded straight to credits. The changes haven't bothered me to much so far but after that was like NOPE!!!

Hey that's part of why I don't like it. But I can step back and see it's a show though and think about how all this was crafted and say "that's really dumb and in poor taste". Like I said, bad episode. Ramsay is a stupid character and he ruins the show.

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#220 Edited by DeShawn2ks (1109 posts) -

@artisanbreads: Yeah same here. A lot of times with this show I can honestly say I have busted up laughing at some out of place shit. I jokingly call it paying the HBO tax. I'm with you on this season. Passed few episodes I thought were pretty bad. Sorry I didn't look at it from your angle.

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#221 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -
@deshawn2ks said:

@artisanbreads: Yeah same here. A lot of times with this show I can honestly say I have busted up laughing at some out of place shit. I jokingly call it paying the HBO tax. I'm with you on this season. Passed few episodes I thought were pretty bad. Sorry I didn't look at it from your angle.

No problem, I don't mean to be over the top and didn't mean to be insulting, it's just honestly how I look at the show. I think about it as a work of fiction. Frankly, I can watch some real dark shit in a show and not have a bad reaction to it. It's just a matter of if I might see the purpose of it most of all, for me.

Like I didn't get the Jamie raping Cersei scene next to Joffrey's dead body either. This was awful. It's been awful scene after awful scene with Ramsay and where has it gone? What have we learned? What has changed with Ramsay? Nothing. Maybe that's their point? He's so evil? I just think it's very poorly done and sort of ruins the whole spirit of the show, with shades of gray and characters where even if you hate them, you might understand them and they might not be such a 2D evil guy.

It wasn't my only issue with the episode either. How about all that build up for the terrorist action and it gets blown up in two seconds. How about Jamie and Bronn (sp?) just waltz into the royal gardens as two white guys because I guess hey they are wearing turbans so that's good enough to pass through any security?

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#222 Edited by DeShawn2ks (1109 posts) -

@artisanbreads: Its all good I said something to you first. I can't do the dark stuff. I'm either fast forwarding or walking out the room. It is pretty ridiculous how easy it was for them in Dorne. Don't know what's up with this season but a lot of it has been pretty bad. Maybe it's all the changes and some of the casting. I was pretty excited to see the sand snakes and to me they have been the worst part of season so far. I need to go have a laugh now. Going to go wash this off with some Silicon Valley.

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#223 Edited by SomeguyJohnson (178 posts) -

Ramsey isn't there to be a multidimensional character, Ramsey's there to make you feel for Theon; he's new Joffrey. They're going over the top to make you hate him in the similar ways and for the same reasons.

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#224 Posted by htr10 (1062 posts) -

In that last scene, I was shouting out loud for Theon to kill Ramsey during the Sansa rape scene. The King's Landing stuff is what has disinterested me this season because the collection of characters is weak beyond Cersei. The stuff in Dorne seems great in theory, but man, have I been disappointed with the Sandsnakes. I thought they would be fearsome warriors, but instead they're just a bunch of kind of annoying kids. Not sure what to think about the Arya storyline, but it certainly seemed to take a big step forward this episode. Most interesting part of the episode for me was Arya getting struck for 'lying' when she said she left the Hound to die because she hated him.

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#225 Posted by gnomeonfire (1124 posts) -

Dorne is a fucking mess, it's so bad! Everything about it, the writing, directing, the acting even feels out of place and awkward. Dorne honestly should have been scrapped in favor for something else; the Iron Islands, Aegon, or the Riverlands would have been better. They don't need to have all three, just one of them instead of Dorne; but nope, we get this laughable garbage.

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#226 Posted by htr10 (1062 posts) -

A lot of negative posts so far. For what it's worth, I hated season 4 until I went back and watched it a second time. This season has 4 episodes to make itself great, but yeah, so far, through 6 episodes this season seems way weaker than the last 4 seasons.

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#227 Posted by TheHT (15870 posts) -

I was bit... I dunno, bored, at the end of last weeks episode. This week didn't disappoint though. Felt like a proper Thrones episode.

Sheesh.

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#228 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

@artisanbreads: Ramsay is just a shitty character in general, not an interesting villain or anything; the show couldn't make him somehow redeemable from the source material.

Joffrey was great by comparison, very well acted and interesting; even humorous in his own way. Being a dick works if you're the king, doesn't really work if you're just some random douchebag.

Liking Baelish a fair amount, albeit I would have appreciated it if he said "hey you know, being a dumb fuck good warrior doesn't really make you a good general" to Cersei or something; though that's obviously counter to the logic of the show/Martin.

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#229 Edited by triplestan (259 posts) -

Based on what I've seen here it seems a lot of people are real down on this season. I agree with a lot of the criticism in this thread, but I actually like this season a lot in comparison to the book (sacrilege, I know). A Dance with Dragons Part 1 definitely suffers from a lot of characters just treading water, and it has definitely translated to this season in some bad ways, but the parts that have sucked at least haven't sucked as much as they did in the book I guess?

The whole Dorne bit sucked anyway, but it's worth it for the payoff, and I'm super excited to see what they do with it in regards to Jaime and Bronn (who aren't involved in that part of the book at all). Likewise, the stuff involving Tyrion and Jorah are pretty exciting considering it essentially redacts a whole cast of characters who are utterly forgettable.The Wall stuff I could give or take, but again it's table setting for bigger and better things. Sansa is way more interesting in the show as well, in large part thanks to Sophie Turner's fantastic performance.

Most improved award has to go to Daenerys' storyline though, hands down. I feel like a lot of what has happened in the show - including, but not limited to the death of Barristan Selmy - has given a bit of inciting conflict to a storyline that desperately needed it, and I'm so happy they did it. Barristan essentially becomes a non-entity from that point on, so as far as I'm concerned they can kill all the Barristan Selmys they want if it'll spice up the proceedings a little bit.

All in all, I'm pretty optimistic regarding the future of the show. Partly because I know what's going to happen, but mostly because I don't.

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#230 Posted by Brackstone (925 posts) -

Ramsay continues to be terrible, but my main issue was this: how did all the northern lords get to Winterfell so fast and unceremoniously? Like, they were waiting for them all to arrive, but then we just cut to the night of the wedding? It was weird. This marriage was supposed to have big political ramifications, but they completely ignored all that.

In other news, Old Lady Tyrell is still one of the best characters on the show, and the trial scene in general was quite good. Olenna's another one of those characters where you can just throw her into scenes, and you'll get quality television.

The Sand Snakes continue to suck. These three supposedly super badass characters were fought off by a 50 year old retired mercenary and a man who fights poorly with his left hand because has no right hand. Jaime did better against whatever her name was than he did against the nameless soldier a few episodes back. In no way can they be taken seriously. The one with the whip was maybe the most ineffectual character the show has had. Seriously, I'd be more worried about Tommen in a fight. Bronn's little dig at the end of the fight was pretty good though, he continues to elevate whatever scene he's in. Too bad that scratch he took is totes going to poison him to death next episode (just a prediction, but a pretty obvious one).

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#231 Edited by Whitestripes09 (918 posts) -

Honestly I'm really liking the way the show is going more compared to the books. I just feel like some stuff in the books is so unnecessary and extremely boring. After watching the 1st few seasons of this show and seeing everyones reactions to what was going on, my initial thought was "Sheesh... people are going to be in for a real cock block once things start rolling with the Feast for Crows/Dance with Dragons Season" Of course, the show runners aren't going to risk losing viewers to poor writing on GRRM's part, so they changed it all for the better thankfully. My only problem with this season is the portrayal of Dorne. I feel it's pretty boring aside from Brom and Jaime, and the Sand Snakes are nowhere near as cunning as they were in the books. They knew a lot better than to take out their revenge on Myrcella in the book and had a pretty interesting plan for her that I don't really want to spoil in case they do bring it up later in the show.

People seem to be criticizing this season so much, but I feel like if they actually read the books this season was based on, they would probably have a new sense of gratefulness. I was really worried that this season would be the nail in the coffin for the TV series.

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#232 Edited by Sergio (3625 posts) -

I've been lukewarm about the differences between the books and the show. Tonight's episode firmly puts me in the camp of disliking the show more than the books, which is saying something since I thought the last couple were dreadful. I think the showrunners have gone too far for my tastes.

At this point I'm watching out of a morbid curiosity on how much worse the show could get.

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#233 Posted by Aegon (7312 posts) -

I'm not sure how people can say the show is better after witnessing that Dornish heap of garbage. That's about as bad as TV can get.

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#234 Posted by Devil240Z (5704 posts) -

I'm glad I haven't read the books cause I'm actually enjoying the show pretty well. I basically want to see everything go down in flames. I want to see some dragons fuck shit up and I want to see the army of dead fuck shit up.

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#235 Edited by Mirado (2557 posts) -

Man, those Sand Snakes...I just don't know. They're falling into the same trap: lotta hype, little payoff. Hell, even Jamie kept up with one of them, and he was just in a fight with a grunt to reinforce how far he's fallen (he even did the comedy sword catch I was waiting for them to use). On top of that, he gets dissed by the guard captain, further reinforcing that this elite team of bastard daughters ranks below "man who sat around long enough for people to question if he's still badass."

I assume Bronn's going to croak, right? I mean, poison on spears seems to be the Dornish thing, so if she takes after Spin-2-Win then that little cut is going to remove another fun character. Either way, this whole Dorn thing is a bit of a mess, from the way the characters are handling it in-universe (Jamie: "Improvise!" Snakes: "Charge!") to the way the writers are handling it (some of the worst exposition and dialog in the whole show).

Ramsey continues to try and claim the title of Ultimate Joffrey, but I've got a feeling that this is less about his lack of character development and more about Sansa's character development (hopefully). I assume that Old Sansa would have just taken this abuse over and over, whereas New Sansa is going to get revenge sooner or later. Hell, maybe she'll pull a Daenerys and turn out really badass (remember her first interactions with Drogo?) or something. If she just reverts into punching bag mode, then the whole scene is gratuitous and pointless. We didn't need another "look ma i'm evil" moment, dude already flays people for fun, that's more or less a 10 on the evilometer.

Hell, I'd accept a Theon redemption arc at this point. Just...anything but more pointless sadism.

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#236 Edited by deactivated-587815b1c9354 (371 posts) -

I don't even know what this show is anymore you guys. That might be part of the fun, but it's been decidedly low quality as of late.

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#237 Posted by MrWakka (322 posts) -

Well this season has shown that when given the freedom to move beyond Martin's work, this show has no clue. Maybe they will surprise me but the sand snakes were about the lamest introductions to their prowess I could imagine, and the off the rails changes to what is going on in the north has been boring. I am tired of Ramsay, they have shoved him and Theon/Reek with largely pointless side stories of sadism down the audiences throat to the point I just want it over with. And I won't cheer like when I read the death of Joffrey, it will instead be a sigh of relief I won't have to see him and his pointless brutality anymore. He is evil, we get it.

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#238 Posted by vocalcannibal (407 posts) -

I admit I was a little bit drunk while I watched last night, but hoo boy even I thought this episode was a mess. Stop Using Rape As a Device to Develop Characters 2015. That's my platform. I was talking to a friend afterward and basically my feelings are that it was clearly meant to be a super significant moment for Theon (and how nice is that, to have a character's rape be conveyed as traumatic for the bystander), and there had better be some KICKASS payoff because then at least this is just 'gross' of the writers than 'ultra gross'.

I'm just glad they left out the 'fluffing' for now. Hopefully it never happens.

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#239 Posted by Hunter5024 (6706 posts) -

I liked the trial scene, the sparrows are very well realized, they come across super threatening, Tommen also came across really weak. With Arya it still feels like they're just killing time but when she lied about The Hound it made me happy, and it seems like they're going to start moving things along now. A couple neat character moments with Tyrion and Mormont. Cock Merchants. Really aside from the Sand Snakes stuff, and the ending, I thought this episode was alright. But fuck. The Sand Snakes stuff and the ending are fucking terrible. Responses to this season seem pretty negative in this thread, which I definitely agree with. I really hoped that hindsight and planning would give them the ability to improve upon the material in books 4 and 5, but overall I think they've made it worse. I wonder if non book readers are as down on the show as everybody else this season.

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#240 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -
@someguyjohnson said:

Ramsey isn't there to be a multidimensional character, Ramsey's there to make you feel for Theon; he's new Joffrey. They're going over the top to make you hate him in the similar ways and for the same reasons.

Joffrey had something to his character. He was kind of a little psycho himself but he was given all this power and manipulated by so many forces that they kind of made him what he was. He was given the throne, but everyone wanted to control it, and so, to me, he was trying to make and impact and prove himself and his power however he could, in super misguided ways obviously.

Ramsay is two dimensional on a show where every other character is three dimensional (not everyone, but I feel like they honestly try with the others and maybe just don't have the time to develop them). He feels like a cartoon character dropped into this interesting world. He has almost no relations to other characters (some are developing now, but they are "OH FUCK THIS GUYS CRAZY AND HE'S TORTURING ME"). And he gets so much screen time!

I would love to see a break down of percentage of characters on screen or something. I bet he is one of the top characters in the last season or two and there is nothing interesting about his character, it hasn't developed, no depth is shown, etc.

@fredchuckdave said:

@artisanbreads: Ramsay is just a shitty character in general, not an interesting villain or anything; the show couldn't make him somehow redeemable from the source material.

Joffrey was great by comparison, very well acted and interesting; even humorous in his own way. Being a dick works if you're the king, doesn't really work if you're just some random douchebag.

Pretty well put. Like I say above, Joffrey was kind of a little psycho but to me there are a lot of interesting factors to him in his relation to the other characters. His father who was really trying to rule, Jamie and Cersei trying to find their place and as his parents, Sansa's position as a spurned match, etc. Also, I find child kings super interesting, the fact that it would happen and how that could go. He was basically a little brat, but with so much power, the consequences are dire for everyone else.

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#241 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

Also if anyone cares where I'm coming from: never read any of the books. I've wanted to, but got so far into the show I just stuck with that. I am disappointed in the show right now as a show and not because of any expectations or deviations from source material or anything. It's just a poorly done TV show in this last episodes and in several arcs/characters this season.

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#242 Posted by Grixxel (921 posts) -

Besides the sections with Bronn and Jaime, this show has gotten boring as fuck. Oh well.

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#243 Posted by BabyChooChoo (7092 posts) -

That whole Sand Snake bit fucking sucked. Not because they were getting beat or whatever, but raher the choreography and editing was outstandingly atrocious. My god. They cut away at nearly every single hit, dagger girl and spear girl were fighting like it was a low-budget highschool play, Jamie and Bronn looked like they trying not to hurt a bunch of girls who were fighting in a highschool play, and whip girl was sorta just there not really dong shit.

As for the whole Ramsey thing, I dunno. On one hand, like...I get "it." The show needs blatant antagonists and whatnot, but my god. He's so flat compared to about every single other character. I felt like Sansa was starting to become an interesting character, but she's right back to fucking square one which is essentially "the whipping girl of Westeros." My money is on her lighting the candle and people coming to save her and kill the Boltons and blahblahbalh, but I don't even fucking care at this point if I'm being honest. She and Ramsay are just so not interesting in comparison to everything else in the show.

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#244 Edited by cLoudForest (102 posts) -

The Sansa end scene is proving to be pretty controversial among fans and I have some fairly conflicted thoughts about it. I agree with @vocalcannibal on the fact of making Theon's "suffering" the focus being very uncomfortable (it reminded me of a similarly controversial scene in A Clockwork Orange). It does makes me wonder if there were practical reasons for wanting to cut away from the act itself to avoid Sophie Turner having to appear in a more explicitly sexually violent scene, so maybe they were trying to communicate the horror of the situation by focusing on Theon's reaction whilst protecting a young actress from having to appear in something more exploitative (many of the actors on the show have no-nudity clauses in their contracts and I can especially understand why they would want to avoid Sophie Turner being on screen for a rape scene). Whatever their intentions, the way the scene plays out is still problematic, I think.

One of the reasons I think that people are going to take a dim view of the scene is the perception that the show "has form" when it comes to the depiction of sexual violence. The botched scene in the sept between Jamie and Cersei in season 4 is a case in point, but you can go right back to Dany's wedding night (which deviates from the books but which I don't remember being commented on at the time particularly) for how they've been perceived as wanting to force rape into the narrative for "shock" purposes.

That being said, the wider issue is what they've done with Sansa's storyline by merging it with that of another character that's not in the show (Jayne Poole). Given what we know about Ramsey, it was inevitable that the wedding night was going to be horrific for Sansa, so it really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's being watching the show. Anyone with an issue with sexual violence being depicted in fiction full-stop must have as much of a problem with the novels as with the show since it shouldn't matter which character that is subjected to it. The issue with Sansa in particular, however, is that in respect of the story and the character progression they've been building her up as steadily moving from being a passive victim to supposedly being more of an active player in events and this scene just puts her right back to where she was several seasons ago. So my take on the scene is that it is a consequence of the show's writers having written themselves into a corner. Once they chose to have Littlefinger deliver Sansa to the Boltons as Ramsey's bride, what follows is inevitable and undermines the arc they've supposed to have been setting up for the character. No doubt we're going to have her be rescued by Brienne with help from Theon, I suppose, further making Sansa just a piece to be moved around the board by the actions of others. Shame.

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#245 Edited by Ghostiet (5832 posts) -

@vocalcannibal said:

I admit I was a little bit drunk while I watched last night, but hoo boy even I thought this episode was a mess. Stop Using Rape As a Device to Develop Characters 2015. That's my platform.

I agree with that platform. Although at this point it's more like "a device to stop developing characters".

My problem with the entire scene with Sansa is that it's the same sort of yanking the audience's (and characters') chain that was killing Oberyn. Sansa has been moving forward in the game, gaining confidence she never had and a knack for how to play people - her handling of Myranda was masterful, because she managed to shut her down while in a very vulnerable spot (which, by the way, nicely works when you compare her with Cersei; once again, just like during the Battle of Blackwater and when Baelish was in a pickle, Sansa was at her best when in danger, unlike Joffrey's mum, who falls apart when faced with more powerful people like Tywin or the armies fucking up the city, as I bet the High Sparrow situation will quickly prove) - becoming a much stronger character. So obviously she has to be raped, because she's the only Stark still engaged in politics.

Same fucking thing with Theon. We see that he's been slowly shedding the Reek persona, he manages to reaffirm himself as Theon Greyjoy for a while, all clearly foreshadowing that he'll finally avenge himself and save Sansa when shit hits the fan. But no, it turns out it was all there to make the rape scene even more tragic.

Considering how Jon has been steadily growing from the show's most boring character into Curly "Disregard Wenches, Acquire Respect, Behead Smartasses" McFuckyou, I half expect him to appear in the next episode impaled on a giant's greasy penis.

Like, I get it. This sort of subversion of expectations is effective and gives those scenes a bigger emotional punch, but that only works so many times - it was starting to get old with Oberyn and now it's definitely ancient. It's going to bite them in the ass in the long term, because while the good guys' grief and problems is a result of their shitty choices and the outcomes are predictable, but entirely logical and coming after episodes upon episodes of build up, the bad guys are really in no fucking danger so far. They need to start capitalizing on the potential dangers to them, because karma has to catch up with them, but it has to do it naturally. If they just cap Ramsay's ass next season out of nowhere, it's not payoff - it's a shitty anti-climax, especially compared to stuff like Robb's demise, which you could clearly see happening midway through Season 2.

Another thing that irks me is that the showrunners have been straying from the books, but I don't think they know why they're doing it. Sansa gains little from being in different circumstances in the plot if she's going to hit the same beats as her counterpart in the books did. Ellaria turning heel is not going to work if she's going to be a total idiot about it. Don't cocktease the viewers with Varys accompanying Tyrion if the only thing it accomplishes is him getting an exit stage left out of the Sparrow plot.

I mean, the fact that they stray from the books shittily was evident even in the previous season. Jaime and Cersei's jolly reunion fuck under Joffrey's corpse made sense in the circumstances of the book, where that was the very moment Jaime returned to King's Landing; in the show, it serves no purpose, as it has little lasting impact on Cersei or Jaime, and Jaime's sympathetic side has been more visible since the pilot, so there's no sense for him to have a random dog-kicking moment for the sake of shock value. More importantly, the writers' cold feet in regards to going off the script immensely hurt Shae's character arc. The HBO Shae is not remotely similar to the Shae of the books, which makes her betrayal of Tyrion and fucking around with Tywin a complete ass pull. Come the fuck on. Give us a scene where Cersei or Tywin threaten her life. Hell, kill her off and have some random prostitute (hey, Ros could work perfectly and have a truly tragic, effective ending to her arc, if they didn't decide to kill her off for no reason, especially since that outcome was expected by people ever since Cersei fucked up and had her kidnapped to threaten Tyrion in season 2) falsely testify. Don't do this shit where you write a character differently from the books and then return to the source material, even if it directly contradicts what you have written.

By the way, OH MY GOD is the Dorne story shit. The Sand Snakes can't act for shit, everyone is acting like an idiot (Tell me, what is Jaime and Bronn's plan for getting Myrcella out of that place? And while you're at it, tell me what's Ellaria's plan, straight up?), it's going to most likely lead nowhere, etc. Hell, that fight scene was even poorly edited together. Jesus Christ, it's like Daenerys in season 2 all over again.

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#246 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

@ghostiet said:

By the way, OH MY GOD is the Dorne story shit. The Sand Snakes can't act for shit, everyone is acting like an idiot (tell me, what is Jaime and Bronn's plan for getting Myrcella out of that place? \

I mean they just waltzed in the front door because they had turbans on so I guess they just put a turban on Myrcella and waltz back out.

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#247 Posted by shinluis (518 posts) -

Shit's fucked

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#248 Posted by planetfunksquad (1545 posts) -

Sansa is taken under Littlefingers wing, becomes more confident, shuts down Myranda. They're gonna have her use her new found confidence to manipulate Ramsey and stay out of danger right? Maybe she'll make him think she's as much of a monster as he is, maybe have Myranda killed for being a little snake. Maybe Reek is gonna remember who he is, help her in some way.

Oh, wait, no. Rape scene. Thanks GoT. Shock value >>>>>>>>> character development. Coolcoolcool.

Even if they let her get her grand revenge after this, I'm not sure if it'll be worth it. Bad episode.

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#249 Posted by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

Man, this episode was... weird. You had some of the best and worst scenes of the season.

The whole Sparrows arc feels really refreshing for King's Landing. For seemingly the first time we have a threatening force that is not motivated by power/family spite and is totally fucking unpredictible. The whole trial scene was one of the best in the season.

Cock merchants were awesome.

But the rest... oh man.

The Dorne arc is one of the worst things that has happened to the show. The Snakes are just annoying brats with sticks, they have no depth whatsoever. And what the fuck was it about two white guys dressed in turbans just waltzing into the fucking royal gardens with the intent on kidnapping the princess? Seriously, what did the plan to do with her? Just take her to a ship and leave? And how the fuck did the Snakes intend to take Marcella? Were there really no guards in the garden that would, you know, see after the princess at all times?

And Winterfell... oh boy. It's just bad. The writers of the show expect us to just suddenly start caring about the relationship between Theon and Sansa? Didn't they, like, barely know each other since Theon was raised to be a warrior and she a housewife? Didn't Sansa and Arya barely see their brothers aside from family gatherings/dinners because they were constantly being taught by their septa how to sew and cook and shit? So these two characters that just know each other by acquaintance meet after a long time and just because of that we are supposed to somehow root for them reuniting or something? And what is up with Sansa being raped by the most sadistic guy on the show and the directors instead wanting the viewers to focus on suffering of Theon? Like, what?

A lot of question marks, yes. I'm disappointed.

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#250 Posted by Jayzilla (2707 posts) -

The Sansa end scene is proving to be pretty controversial among fans and I have some fairly conflicted thoughts about it. I agree with @vocalcannibal on the fact of making Theon's "suffering" the focus being very uncomfortable (it reminded me of a similarly controversial scene in A Clockwork Orange). It does makes me wonder if there were practical reasons for wanting to cut away from the act itself to avoid Sophie Turner having to appear in a more explicitly sexually violent scene, so maybe they were trying to communicate the horror of the situation by focusing on Theon's reaction whilst protecting a young actress from having to appear in something more exploitative (many of the actors on the show have no-nudity clauses in their contracts and I can especially understand why they would want to avoid Sophie Turner being on screen for a rape scene). Whatever their intentions, the way the scene plays out is still problematic, I think.

One of the reasons I think that people are going to take a dim view of the scene is the perception that the show "has form" when it comes to the depiction of sexual violence. The botched scene in the sept between Jamie and Cersei in season 4 is a case in point, but you can go right back to Dany's wedding night (which deviates from the books but which I don't remember being commented on at the time particularly) for how they've been perceived as wanting to force rape into the narrative for "shock" purposes.

That being said, the wider issue is what they've done with Sansa's storyline by merging it with that of another character that's not in the show (Jayne Poole). Given what we know about Ramsey, it was inevitable that the wedding night was going to be horrific for Sansa, so it really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's being watching the show. Anyone with an issue with sexual violence being depicted in fiction full-stop must have as much of a problem with the novels as with the show since it shouldn't matter which character that is subjected to it. The issue with Sansa in particular, however, is that in respect of the story and the character progression they've been building her up as steadily moving from being a passive victim to supposedly being more of an active player in events and this scene just puts her right back to where she was several seasons ago. So my take on the scene is that it is a consequence of the show's writers having written themselves into a corner. Once they chose to have Littlefinger deliver Sansa to the Boltons as Ramsey's bride, what follows is inevitable and undermines the arc they've supposed to have been setting up for the character. No doubt we're going to have her be rescued by Brienne with help from Theon, I suppose, further making Sansa just a piece to be moved around the board by the actions of others. Shame.

^ I agree with all of this.I've read the books so I thought the way they handled the scene was less graphic than what happened to Jeyne Poole. That being said, your impression of what that scene does to what they built Sansa up for is a great point.

The Sand Snakes scenes have been the worst of any scenes thus far in the show. Full stop.