The Westeros Watch Part Twenty-Three

Jimmy is moving through Game of Thrones and seeing, well, the Sand Snakes and Dorne, and well, fans of the show know all about that.  He and Tom have some things to say about the season five episodes “Kill the Boy” and “Unbowed. Unbent. Unbroken.”

tomk:  So, the Sand Snakes are so formidable they can be evenly matched by Bronn and a one-handed Jaime, but then easily captured. Sounds about right to me…

jimmy:  That’s easily explained, Tom. It’s called the “plot”.

tomk:  Yeah, well, they don’t seem like much of a threat with plots like this. This is why the Dorne plotline bothered people.

jimmy:  Because they got captured so easily?

tomk:  The whole thing comes across as a waste of time.

Martin’s Dorne plot brings in new players into the Game of Thrones, and shows Prince Doran has a calculating mind that everyone underestimates because he can’t really walk very well.

This one shows the Sand Snakes…looking pissed and getting captured.

Pictured: the Sand Snakes looking pissed after being captured.

jimmy:  Game of Thrones is pretty dense with characters, especially the first few seasons, so I can understand their reluctance to introduce as many characters as Martin does.

tomk:  Speaking as a book reader on this one: adding Dorne and Iron Islands plotlines (back to the Greyjoys in season six) did have me a bit concerned that the whole thing was getting too big. But the show goes somewhat in the opposite direction which makes the Dorne plotline a bit weak on TV.

Point is, for the TV show, fan consensus seems to be the Dorne plot line is a whole lot of nothing.

jimmy:  I’ll reserve judgement until it plays out.

As noted, the Jaime/Bronn pairing is fun though.

tomk:  And I totally agree that they are a fun pair, but, well, you can draw your own conclusions. There may not have been much need to even include the Dorne plot. It’s not like it’s the only sizable change made to the story, like, say, what happens to Loras and Margaery.

jimmy:  They didn’t both get arrested?

tomk:  Margaery does. Loras isn’t even in King’s Landing.

See, the books say there is at least one more Tyrell, an older brother at Highgarden, so Loras joins the King’s Guard. As a result, he’s sent to lead the siege on Dragonstone after Stannis leaves and the handful of guys still holding the place are apparently too much for the royal army. Loras is successful but badly injured in the process.

Margaery, on the other hand, is (falsely) accused of adultery by another member of the Kings Guard loyal to Cersei.

jimmy:  Well…that’s a little different.

tomk:  A little. I think the show does fine with this plotline in the long run.

But the point should be the Faith Militant doesn’t mess around.

jimmy:  I get that. Margaery’s arrest also accentuated Tommen’s uselessness as I mentioned after Loras’ arrest.

tomk:  Another change from the book. Tommen is still a kid there. He mostly hangs around the castle playing with his cats. He’s a sweet little boy that Cersei thinks is too soft since Martin started giving her chapters.

jimmy:  What I don’t quite get/like about this storyline is the treatment of Loras. Why is he singled out for being homersexual? They even have his lover RIGHT THERE testifying against him, and he comes and goes as he pleases.

tomk:  Um, the other guy asked the Church for forgiveness and the strength to be better? Or Loras forced him using his higher social standing?

Or the High Sparrow is kind of a hypocrite who wants to make the mighty squirm and doesn’t care so much about being fair?

jimmy:  That’s my guess.

tomk:  Well, Lady Olenna is back in town. The Queen of Thorns don’t mess around.

She gives everyone grief.

jimmy:  She’s awesome, there’s no doubt.

tomk:  She’s at that age where she really doesn’t care what anybody thinks of her.

jimmy:  You think she cared at a younger age?

tomk:  She had to pretend, probably. Like Margaery does.

jimmy:  That’s how I would have answered as well.

tomk:  But her husband is dead. Her children are grown. Her grandchidren are grown. She’s just an old lady who isn’t really answerable to anyone at this point, so why not speak her mind?

Hmmm, we seem to be on the same page for a lot of this discussion. Next thing you know, you’ll be telling me how much you hate Forking Ramsay after that wedding night with Sansa.

jimmy:  What? No, I love that guy now!

tomk:  Ah.

I guess everyone has their limits. Or you have some sort of viewer version of Stockholm Syndrome.

jimmy:  I’m kidding. Of course I forking hate him.

tomk:  Oh good.

But big surprise he does that sort of thing.

jimmy:  Sansa and Reek had a hell of a wedding night.

tomk:  I am starting to think you were right about how the writers feel about Sophie Turner.

jimmy:  Right?!?

And whoever plays Theon. He REALLY pissed someone off.

tomk:  Except Theon’s story comes from Martin’s books. This whole “awful wedding night” thing happens to a completely different character in A Dance with Dragons.

jimmy:  Yeah, you mentioned previously that Sansa material from the books was pretty much used up by this point. Seems like having Sansa in this position would have a more dramatic affect than some random book character though.

tomk:  Which I agree with as the most likely reasoning. We could ask whether or not Sansa has suffered enough, though.

jimmy:  That’s fair.

tomk:  She had a potentially awesome moment of telling off Ramsay’s awful girlfriend, in a manner that if it were the old Sansa we probably wouldn’t have liked, but then the wedding night happens and she seems to be back to being helpless again.

jimmy:  I’m not sure about helpless, but understanding that she has to suffer this…for now. If this was back in the Joffrey days, I would agree more with helpless. The bath scene was great and has shown Sansa’s growth as a character.

tomk:  And yet it also reminded me of season one Sansa in a way. She’s back in Winterfell where she should be safe…

jimmy:  Ironically, after trying so hard to get away from Winterfell in that first season.

tomk:  Well, she isn’t happy to be back in many respects. The Boltons in charge makes the place seem to gloomy. Her best hope right now is a guy she thinks killed her younger brothers with severe PTSD and the manliest woman in Westeros being able to see a candle from the next town over.

jimmy:  Not good odds for her right now.

tomk:  Who else can she count on? Littlefinger?

jimmy:  That’s for sure.

tomk:  I wonder if Sansa will make a note of this next time she sees that slimeball…

jimmy:  She needs to start a list like her sister.

tomk:  Do you think hers would be longer?

jimmy:  I don’t think so. Especially with Joffrey already dead.

tomk:  But the nature of the list would be different. Few of the names on Arya’s list did anything to her directly…just her loved ones.

jimmy:  That’s very true.

And Arya seems much more capable of handling the list on her own. Sansa…not so much.

tomk:  Well, up to a point. Is The Waif on Arya’s list yet?

I mean, she’s obviously on yours.

jimmy:  Heh. She’s not list worthy yet for Arya I don’t think.

tomk:  Arya likes people with names on her list.

jimmy:  Like The Hound.

tomk:  He has a name. “Waif” is just a vague description.

jimmy:  Well, if you ask her nicely she’ll tell you all about herself.

tomk:  Maybe.

It’s a game involving something other than thrones.

jimmy:  Faces. Though really, it is more a game of lies.

tomk:  Lies? Huh. Maybe it does involve thrones…

jimmy:  heh

But we finally get to see the secret of the faces.

tomk:  But you probably still hate the Waif.

jimmy:  Of course. Who doesn’t?

Even her step-mom tried to poison her.

tomk:  Jaqen?

jimmy:  He hates her; he’s just good at hiding it.

tomk:  He’s no stoic Canadian. Even they can only hold it in for so long.

jimmy:  Even Canadians can only stand so much. Arya’s persistence appears ready to pay off though. She can’t become “no one” but is ready to become “someone else”. Convincing a child to drink poison will do that.

tomk:  You make the whole experience sound sordid.

jimmy:  Well, it is a mercy, but it’s still dark. And still a test of Arya’s ability to lie.

tomk:  She passed that one. On to step two of being Faceless.

jimmy:  Wearing other people’s faces. That’s gotta smell.

tomk:  There’s (probably) more to it than that.

jimmy:  Probably.

tomk:  Not everything is so straightforward. Jon has to go above the Wall, check on a Wildling town.

jimmy:  Half the Watch (or more) will not be happy about that.

tomk:  Jon had to make a correct but unpopular decision. And he got Tormund onboard.

jimmy:  You can understand why it is unpopular though. Even for the Watch members that aren’t stuck in the past (or at least married to the “norms”) like Thorne, they still just fought these people and lost a lot of good friends.

tomk:  Dolorous Edd said as much, and he’s seen White Walkers.

jimmy:  Exactly.

tomk:  But Stannis loaned Jon some ships. That can’t go horribly wrong.

jimmy:  Nothing ever goes horribly wrong on Game of Thrones.

tomk:  That’s why Ned Stark defeated cowardly Joffrey and started stocking up on dragonglass weapons back in season one.

jimmy:  Well, at least in the book he wanted to make a pilgrimage to Dragonstone to talk to Stannis.

Jimmy made a book reference…

tomk:  Hooray for Jimmy!

jimmy:  Now, to actually finish the book…

tomk:  You must be so close, too.

jimmy:  Getting there. Have been sidetracked of late and I am an obscenely slow reader.

But back to Jon, he knows what he needs to do even if it will turn the Watch against him. They may be thanking him when the army of the dead shows up.

tomk:  He better hope so. He had to kill the boy. Like that one episode title says.

jimmy:  That made me think of the book too actually. Just because in the book Jon really is a boy, and here the Stark “boys” were already men from the start. Jon, Robb and Theon anyway.

tomk:  Well, all the kids are older on the show. At least Sansa almost hit puberty before she left Winterfell.

jimmy:  Yeah. But we get Master Aemon’s point.

tomk:  It is a society that would force people to grow up sooner.

jimmy:  And generally die sooner too.

tomk:  Only for people we like.

jimmy:  That does tends to be the case. Though the ones we hate seem to eventually get theirs.

tomk:  Forking Ramsay…

jimmy:  Do we hate that guy? I forget. Oh right. We forking do.

So I think that mostly leaves us with Dany and her BBQ loving dragons.

tomk:  Well, there was the one other dragon that got spotted, but Dany is…reopening the fighting pits. Sheesh.

jimmy:  And marrying the reopening’s biggest champion.

tomk:  That should shut people up for a while. Theoretically

jimmy:  If freeing them from slavery never shut them up, I doubt this will.

tomk:  Yes, it was the fault of the slaves that the Sons of the Harpy showed up. Way to blame the victim, Jimmy.

jimmy:  Sheesh. Fine. Let them fight each other to the death then.

tomk:  It creates jobs.

jimmy:  It definitely creates openings.

tomk:  Hey, not every fighting pit job involves fighting. Someone has to hose the arena down afterwards and there’s always t-shirt sales.

jimmy:  They’re always overpriced.

tomk:  The front few rows also always get wet.

jimmy:  People pay good money to be in the Splash Zone.

tomk:  Yeah, well, they certainly get splashed. They’d probably love a Faith Militant trial.

jimmy:  Not as fun as the Splash Zone, nor a Jaime/Bronn team up…we have Jorah and Tyrion’s Excellent Adventure.

tomk:  And why Valeria is a terrible vacation spot.

jimmy:  Jorah needs to find Stannis’s doctors.

tomk:  He’s busy finding out why slavery sucks.

jimmy:  Yeah, it hasn’t been a fun trip.

tomk:  Side note: like Sansa marrying Ramsay, Jorah getting the dragonscale after a fight with the stone men happened to a different character in the book. Once again, it was a character who hasn’t really appeared on the show.

jimmy:  Did the whole kidnapping of Tyrion happen?

tomk:  Yes. Jorah kidnaps him and they get caught by slavers. But that was after passing through Valeria.

jimmy:  You read all the books prior to the show starting?

tomk:  I read the first three before their respective seasons aired and then just moved on to the other two eventually.

jimmy:  How do you feel when they make changes like this? Does it bother you? Do you think it is for the better? Or are you indifferent?

tomk:  I judge changes made by whether or not they work within the context of the medium. Dorne on the show doesn’t work. Dany’s long lost nephew is fine in print but the show isn’t missing anything by excluding him.

jimmy:  And I would guess the changes to Sansa and Jorah’s story offer a more emotional impact to the viewer.

tomk:  They do carry more significance, especially for Sansa.

jimmy:  Anything we haven’t touched on? Stannis is on his way to raise hell at Winterfell. Hell at Winterfell…that sounds like a WWE Pay-Per-View.

tomk:  It’s a trip for the whole family!

But Tyrion saw a dragon. That sure shut him up.

jimmy:  It’s takes something really special to accomplish that.

tomk:  Like topless whores.

jimmy:  That seems to make him talk more…the wine helps too…

tomk:  Watson is the exert there. We should perhaps move on. Jon’s expedition awaits.

jimmy:  Jon’s heading north. Stannis is heading south. Jorah and Tyrion are heading into trouble.

tomk:  And Sansa is headed for a world of pain.

jimmy:  Forking Ramsay…

And so our Watch continues.  Be back soon as Tom and Jimmy discuss the episodes “The Gift” and “Hardhome”.

tomk74

Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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