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Wednesday, May 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (May 2019)

Milch is here to watch, not interfere. He was a notorious micromanager during Deadwood’s original run, ordering reshoots if he didn’t like the way a scene was playing and dictating new dialogue from the sidelines for the cast to repeat. McShane has spoken of top-to-bottom rewrites being handed to actors just before the cameras rolled, the pages still hot from the copier.

This time, Milch is entrusting the day-to-day execution to his collaborators, among them the director Daniel Minahan, a series veteran, and his co–executive producer Regina Corrado, who started out as a writer on the series in 2005.

But his serenity is also the by-product of a greater urge to let go and accept what life has in store, even if it’s not what he asked for.

It’s here that we come to the matter of David Milch’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: May 01, 2019 at 05:48 AM | 969 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   301. . Posted: May 13, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5841545)
If you like Tom Wolfe, you'll like Bonfire of the Vanities.


Loved it when it first came out. Just reread it maybe three months ago after 25 years or so. It didn't age that well. I'm still working through the degree to which that is because the NYC he chronicled so well and so accurately has changed so much. I think people underestimate what a massive and unexpected thing the huge drop in violent crime between then and now really is. Culturally and socially and perception-wise, it just changes everything. I was pretty young when I read it for the first time, too, and have now actually lived in NYC for almost 20 years, so I'm sure that's also part of it.
   302. Zonk Has Two Faces, Both Laughing Posted: May 13, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5841560)
Also, did Euron's Iron Fleet seem a little small? I suppose there is a limit to the number of ships that can be supported at one port, but it just seemed a bit underwhelming.


I'm operating under the assumption that some of the Iron Fleet must have been captured and converted into new Unsullied and Dothraki... because those two things suddenly turned in Voyager shuttlecraft this episode.
   303. flournoy Posted: May 13, 2019 at 01:46 PM (#5841564)
If she had even made a hot-headed statement to Tyrion or Jon beforehand to the effect that maybe they deserved such a fate for that reason, it would have been at least a flimsy justification. To my knowledge, she didn't.


She did, actually, in last night's episode. I forget the exact wording of it. Tyrion argued that she couldn't reasonably blame the people of Kings Landing for not revolting on Cersei in favor of Daenerys, and Daenerys didn't seem to agree. From her perspective, everyone she's ever trusted has betrayed her (or died, or both). And now the common people don't want her either. And she's not the rightful heir to the throne anyway, and I think deep down, she knows that Jon is a better leader than she is (and that infuriates her). So she went nuclear, and acted like a spoiled child, which has always been in-character for her.


I think something like seeing Jon celebrated as a liberator would have been the right visual.


I can buy that - that definitely would help set her off. I don't think the people of Kings Landing wanted to be liberated by Jon either, though, so I don't know if that would have been logically consistent.
   304. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: May 13, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5841567)
I'm operating under the assumption that some of the Iron Fleet must have been captured and converted into new Unsullied and Dothraki... because those two things suddenly turned in Voyager shuttlecraft this episode.


The number of ships seemed consistent with the size of the fleet that ambushed Dany in the last episode (i.e. not that large).
   305. Davo Posted: May 13, 2019 at 03:09 PM (#5841610)
It of course won’t be good, but I’m hopeful GOT cam stuck the landing on Sunday.

Of course I’m fully prepared for it to end with the lesson “See? The problem thus whole time is we kept putting Bad People on the throne, the solution was to put a Good Person there!” and no one will learn anything.
   306. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 13, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5841616)
She did, actually, in last night's episode. I forget the exact wording of it. Tyrion argued that she couldn't reasonably blame the people of Kings Landing for not revolting on Cersei in favor of Daenerys, and Daenerys didn't seem to agree.
I'll have to watch again, but that's not how I remember it. I remember her response being something more like "Cersei is using your mercy against you" -- which is certainly correct, but it's also decidedly not "these people deserve fiery death."

Besides which, Cersei using human shields, and Dany having to decide whether to pay that any mind in accomplishing her goal, becomes a completely different matter *when Dany has already won and Cersei is surrendering*. If the civvies were all mixed up with the actual soldiers and the soldiers were still fighting back against her army and she lit the city up to make sure she won, or if in that moment after the bells tolled she simply had Drogon torch just the Red Keep, the reaction from fans would have been very different.

   307. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 13, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5841618)
Episode 4 -- Scorpions on Iron Fleet takes out a dragon, no problem, and Drogon has to flee
Episode 5 -- Scorpions fairly useless as Drogon takes out Iron Fleet and Kings Landing.
Apparently in GRRM's background book it is said that in ye olde days the people of Dorne killed one of Aegon's dragons with a lucky scorpion bolt to the eye. The Dornish thought they had a useful tactic, until Aegon's other dragons tore much of Dorne apart, scorpions be damned.

This of course could've provided a way for the show to deal with the scorpion issue. In episode 4, Euron's ships fire a first volley at the dragons and score a single wildly improbable hit through Rhaegal's eye. Euron leaves the engagement thinking that they've hit on something, but at some point between then and the attack on King's Landing someone on Dragonstone delivers a throwaway line about the old story, and thus narrative consistency is achieved.
   308. flournoy Posted: May 13, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5841623)
I'll have to watch again, but that's not how I remember it.


From a script online, right before the part you remember:

TYRION: The people who live there, they're not your enemies. They're innocents, like the ones you liberated in Meereen.
DAENERYS: In Meereen, the slaves turned on the masters and liberated the city themselves the moment I arrived.
TYRION: They're afraid. Anyone who resists Cersei will see his family butchered. You can't expect them to be heroes.
DAENERYS: They're hostages.
TYRION: They are.
DAENERYS: In a tyrant's grip. Whose fault is that? Mine? What does it matter whose fault it is?


It's not that explicit, but she blames the citizens of Kings Landing for not supporting her and turning on Cersei the moment she arrives.
   309. Zonk Has Two Faces, Both Laughing Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5841625)
In the actual books, at least - Dorne's far better tactic to deal with Aegon was to simply abandon the cities and hide.... when the Targaryens installed loyalists, the rebels would just reappear and kill the new loyalists... and then rinse, repeat.

   310. flournoy Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5841631)
This of course could've provided a way for the show to deal with the scorpion issue. In episode 4, Euron's ships fire a first volley at the dragons and score a single wildly improbable hit through Rhaegal's eye. Euron leaves the engagement thinking that they've hit on something, but at some point between then and the attack on King's Landing someone on Dragonstone delivers a throwaway line about the old story, and thus narrative consistency is achieved.


I think we're meant to understand that because Rhaegal is injured (he's beat up from the battle and has tears in his wing membranes), his ability to dodge the bolts is greatly diminished. (Also, he and Viserion spent about a third of their lives chained up in a dungeon, so they probably aren't very adept.) Whether the battle tactics and such hit or missed for you, I'll let you be the judge. I'll admit that the tactics of the Winterfell battle were distractingly obtuse. I wasn't able to appreciate the coolness of the flaming sword charge, because I couldn't understand why the hell the Dothraki would be making that charge. Oh well.
   311. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:37 PM (#5841645)
It's not that explicit, but she blames the citizens of Kings Landing for not supporting her and turning on Cersei the moment she arrives.
Point taken. But this was still in the context of whether or not she needed to burn the city to actually conquer it, not just because she felt like it after she'd won. Again: *that's* the part I found objectionable, and in my opinion insufficiently supported by her previous actions as seen in the series.
   312. Davo Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5841654)
Daenerys has killed (or ordered the killing of, or acquiesced to the killing of) like a zillion people on this show. Outrage over the latest episode because “they were innocent civilians” is some straight-up shitlib bullshit.
   313. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5841659)
Daenerys has killed (or ordered the killing of, or acquiesced to the killing of) like a zillion people on this show. Outrage over the latest episode because “they were innocent civilians” is some straight-up shitlib bullshit.
Well, I guess ad hominem is a kind of argument.
   314. PepTech Posted: May 13, 2019 at 05:10 PM (#5841666)
I really would have liked some last trigger for Dany.
I believe that was when Jon didn't kiss her back. "Fear, then." She decided at that point.
   315. JAHV Posted: May 13, 2019 at 05:19 PM (#5841670)
My problem with the Danaerys turn wasn't that she snapped or even the extent of her destruction. I agree that the groundwork was laid for that.

But I was bothered by the fact that, once she finished destroying the scorpions, she didn't go straight for the Red Keep. We kept getting these shots of Cersei staring out at the dragon burning the city with absolutely nothing to stop Dany from turning Drogon straight to her. Yes, Dany went full Mad Queen mode, but Cersei was still her primary enemy. I think it would have made a lot more sense had she gone after Cersei first (maybe Cersei even survives to get her death with Jaime later) and then the bloodlust comes on her and she burninates the peasants and the thatched roof cottages. But ignoring Cersei standing there in the tower, watching the whole thing with no protection, made little sense to me.
   316. Davo Posted: May 13, 2019 at 05:31 PM (#5841675)
@cingraham
Girls named Khaleesi* in the United States:

2011: 28
2012: 147
2013: 243
2014: 369
2015: 341
2016: 373
2017: 467
2018: 560

RDF
   317. . Posted: May 13, 2019 at 05:35 PM (#5841680)
Danaerys's anti-slavery stance, which seemed relatively deeply felt and embedded and which I liked when it was going on and which took up the better part of a season, now seems piddly and fake in the wake of her incineration of thousands of innocent average people. She was never going to win wars without what we now call "collateral damage," naturally -- but still.
   318. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 13, 2019 at 05:45 PM (#5841686)
But I was bothered by the fact that, once she finished destroying the scorpions, she didn't go straight for the Red Keep. We kept getting these shots of Cersei staring out at the dragon burning the city with absolutely nothing to stop Dany from turning Drogon straight to her. Yes, Dany went full Mad Queen mode, but Cersei was still her primary enemy. I think it would have made a lot more sense had she gone after Cersei first (maybe Cersei even survives to get her death with Jaime later) and then the bloodlust comes on her and she burninates the peasants and the thatched roof cottages. But ignoring Cersei standing there in the tower, watching the whole thing with no protection, made little sense to me.
Honestly, it even looked like they shot it that way...you see her staring at the Red Keep, the anger comes over her, she starts flying at the Keep (I think you even see a shot of the dragon coming at the Keep), and then suddenly and confusingly it's strafing up and down the city streets for several minutes before you once again see it flying straight at the Keep.

It's almost like they decided in the editing room that it would seem even more absurd if she took out Cersei and then STILL murdered the populace. (And/or they realized that they needed to buy time for CleganeBowl.)

I need to rewatch to make sure I'm right, but I think you don't see another closeup shot of Dany herself, any expression or reaction at all, once she takes off with Drogon again after the bells toll. That seems odd enough to be significant, given how much they generally show her while riding.
   319. Davo Posted: May 13, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5841687)
315- As with the actions of most real-life war criminals, perhaps the cruelty was the point. Forcing Cersei to watch the destruction of her city and the slaughter of her people AND THEN killing her is much more sadistic than merely killing her first.
   320. JAHV Posted: May 13, 2019 at 07:30 PM (#5841716)
As with the actions of most real-life war criminals, perhaps the cruelty was the point. Forcing Cersei to watch the destruction of her city and the slaughter of her people AND THEN killing her is much more sadistic than merely killing her first.


Maybe. That thought did cross my mind. But then Dany isn't truly "mad" in the sense that she's just wantonly killing people in her uncontrollable rage. She's calculated enough to do something sadistic, even though she would know from Tyrion that Cersei doesn't really care about the peasants either.

Dany had indicated prior to this that she had no problem killing a lot of people, even innocent people, to accomplish her goals. But she always had the goal in mind. There was nothing in her past to indicate that she would go so mad as to completely lose sight of her primary purpose (killing Cersei in order to sit on the throne) in favor of mass murder.

It was fine. It just bothered me while it was going on. If she was going to fly into a rage and start burning things, I figured she might as well start with Cersei's smug face.
   321. JAHV Posted: May 13, 2019 at 07:34 PM (#5841718)
I need to rewatch to make sure I'm right, but I think you don't see another closeup shot of Dany herself, any expression or reaction at all, once she takes off with Drogon again after the bells toll. That seems odd enough to be significant, given how much they generally show her while riding.


That's what I remember as well. We never got a look at Dany in the throes of her madness. While the acting on the show has been pretty good, Emilia Clarke has been rather unimpressive to me at times. She never had any chemistry with Kit Harrington, for example. I wonder if she simply couldn't pull off the expression that they wanted in order to make that shot work.
   322. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: May 13, 2019 at 07:45 PM (#5841721)
She never had any chemistry with Kit Harrington


I once had an actor friend of mine describe working with another actor as "like trying to play a game of tennis with a ball machine".

In this case, I wonder if it isn't like watching two ball machines trying to play tennis together ...
   323. Davo Posted: May 13, 2019 at 08:35 PM (#5841734)
@CandiceAiston
I’m so ####### mad right now. Game of Thrones has been a waste of my life.

@CandiceAiston
Women ultimately can’t be trusted. Let me find out the writers are Trump supporters. Or Bernie supporters. Ok.

@CandiceAiston
I’m literally crying right now because a decade of my life has been wasted on a show ultimately guided by the white male viewpoint.
   324. . Posted: May 13, 2019 at 08:39 PM (#5841735)
315- As with the actions of most real-life war criminals, perhaps the cruelty was the point. Forcing Cersei to watch the destruction of her city and the slaughter of her people AND THEN killing her is much more sadistic than merely killing her first.


I've always kind of interpreted the series as a measure of what humans would be like with no governing moral or ethical code of any kind, save for a rather primitive familial tribalism and the strained and stunted loyalties attendant thereto. (*) From that perspective, her actions being part of the script and the story make sense. There's nothing there other than the will to power and sex.

(*) Yeah, they took a kinda sorta stab at religion, but even that wound up merely driving a father to have his daughter publicly burned alive in sacrifice to win the gods over to his side for an odds-way-against quest for earthly power.
   325. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 13, 2019 at 09:41 PM (#5841749)
I wonder if she simply couldn't pull off the expression that they wanted in order to make that shot work.
I think it far more likely the writers had no actual idea what that look should be, because the whole thing was a means to a needed end, rather than thought through.
   326. chisoxcollector Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:53 AM (#5841773)
That was probably my least favorite episode of GoT to date. I have a flight that happens to coincide with the airing of the series finale, and will end up having to watch the episode alone in a hotel room, rather than at home, in my theater, with the wife. Initially, I was pretty upset about this. The last 3 episodes have been so bad that I basically don’t care any more. Hell, I almost don’t want to watch it at all.
   327. Davo Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:57 AM (#5841774)
315- This essay in the LA Review of Books titled “Daenerys Was Right!” makes a lot of great points, but gets at your question directly:

Benioff and Weiss have an explanation, and it’s that she suddenly breaks on the battlefield. “I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was going to do what she did,” one of them says; “she makes the decision to make this personal” when she’s sitting on the dragon, on the wall, and “sees the Red Keep.” She goes mad, in other words, and murders millions of innocents on a sudden explosion of fury; like her father, the Mad King—whose leftover wildfire she ignites—she burns King’s Landing.

I’m going to proceed as if all the things that Benioff and Weiss say in the post-episode featurette are stupid and wrong, however. For one thing, she doesn’t make it personal. After all, if the sight of the Red Keep suddenly causes her to fly into a rage—”in that moment on the walls of King’s Landing, when she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her”—then why does she immediately start torching the city instead of the Red Keep? Why does she elect to decide to burn multitudes who never did much of anything to her, who she’s never known? Why, instead of only killing the bad queen and the bad queen’s officers—and hoping everyone else decides to love her—does she instead demonstrate that she is completely, totally, and unstoppably terrifying, someone so vengeful and destructive (and maybe even crazy) that you really don’t want to even think about coming close to considering getting anywhere near her bad side?

Oops, I answered my own question! I think Daenerys is not only rational, but absolutely right.
   328. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 02:27 AM (#5841779)
Not sure that the take quoted in #327 is dead on.

From the previous episode:

DAENERYS: Speaking to Cersei will not prevent a slaughter. But perhaps it's good the people see that Daenerys Stormborn made every effort to avoid bloodshed, and Cersei Lannister refused. They should know whom to blame when the sky falls down upon them.


She's always had a lust for burning down cities. She threatened to burn down Qarth. She threatened to burn down Astapor. She threatened to burn down Yunkai. She threatened to burn down Meereen. She had already threatened to burn down Kings Landing. Then she went to treat with Cersei, Cersei executed Missandei, and Daenerys decided then and there that she was finally going to do what she's always wanted to do.

So they attack, and Cersei's armies have the audacity to surrender before she could burn the whole city down! Oh no, they don't get away that easy. Her allies were wiped out, Tyrion failed her and betrayed her, Jon betrayed her, Varys betrayed her, Jorah died, Viserion died, Rhaegal died, Missandei died, Sansa hates her, everyone in Westeros hates her and loves her nephew, who is actually the rightful heir. And now she's been cheated out of her opportunity to set Kings Landing ablaze! Nope, not gonna happen, look what Cersei made me do to all of you ungrateful peasants! She burns them all down out of spite.
   329. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 07:37 AM (#5841786)
"Fake" should be stricken from the language for the next 100 years, given the perverted usage it ultimately has now.

It's annoying to take a generally supportive and positive view of this episode - I'm almost entirely in line with flournoy, if perhaps barely a few clicks shy - when I have to deal with being on the same side as the Trump-logic Armond Whites and 'DARTH VADER IS THE HERO's of the thread.


EDIT: Regarding being a few clicks shy of flournoy - I don't think this: "everyone in Westeros hates her" has been shown as accurate. (Well, prior to this episode, that is.)
   330. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 07:46 AM (#5841787)
I’m going to proceed as if all the things that Benioff and Weiss say in the post-episode featurette are stupid and wrong, however.


This is so absolutely true. These little peeks behind the scenes are totally bewildering to me. They keep smugly explaining their worst storytelling decisions. Beyond that, the whole setup is strange - why would they peel back the veil on the narrative immediately after it is shown? It makes the experience of the episode worse by demystifying what just happened. Even if they were knocking these episodes out of the park, I don't want to hear "We felt it would be appropriate for Jon to blah blah blah."

I noticed one awful and characteristic error on last night's edition - they talked about how perfect it was for the Hound to end his own life by fire. That would have made sense, but the writers must have imagined it, because it didn't happen at all.
   331. . Posted: May 14, 2019 at 07:49 AM (#5841788)
Her character was never constructed to rule by strictly fear or to gain adherents through strictly fear.(*) Unless something changed to make her that way -- and it really didn't -- her current state doesn't ring true.

(*) At one point she actually had conscience pangs about her dragons -- the greatest military weapons in Westeros -- because they killed a peasant's goats.
   332. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 07:54 AM (#5841790)
It's annoying to take a generally supportive and positive view of this episode - I'm almost entirely in line with flournoy, if perhaps barely a few clicks shy


This is where I am actually. I didn't mind the episode. I wish that Dany's turn was more subtle. I agree that the groundwork had been laid for this, but to go from "I will sacrifice half my army and possibly my ambitions for the good of mankind" one day to "literally Hitler" the next seemed a bit too much - I think the episode would have been stronger if she went a little nuts, and her armies went a little nuts, but we didn't close the episode with the conviction that she was in fact unambiguously evil. (Of course, with only one episode to resolve everything now, I get that they can't be too subtle)

There was a lot I liked about it. I liked that some beloved characters finally died. I liked that not only did the Unsullied and Dothraki gleefully participated in the slaughter of innocents, but that even the Northmen were happy to rape and pillage. That's realistic. I liked that there were shaggy dog stories within - Tyrion's plan to help Cersei fizzled into nothing, Arya's hunt fizzled into nothing, Arya's attempt to help that daughter accomplished nothing.
   333. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 07:56 AM (#5841791)
Beyond that, the whole setup is strange - why would they peel back the veil on the narrative immediately after it is shown? It makes the experience of the episode worse by demystifying what just happened.

There was also an interesting article begging the Russos to STFU about all their Endgame decisions and thoughts, which was ruining the enjoyment for fans of the franchise. I mean, each pair has been working on these insanely popular franchises for a decade. I can't necessarily begrudge them (or those above them) for wanting to take a victory lap; but it unfortunately has unintentionally highlighted a lot of what people have DISLIKED about those franchises. On a meta/artist level, it's kind of fascinating, actually.

(And honestly, I've never enjoyed this sort of thing anyhow, so I'd already been indifferent to all of that, and haven't paid attention.)


they talked about how perfect it was for the Hound to end his own life by fire. That would have made sense, but the writers must have imagined it, because it didn't happen at all.

That's not entirely fair, PF - he tackled his brother into an inferno. Sure, the fall would have killed them, but that's a bit of a Nieporentian criticism, I think.
   334. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 08:00 AM (#5841792)
I agree with you on most things, but not all of these -


Tyrion's plan to help Cersei fizzled into nothing

I thought it was pretty clear his main plan was to be WITH Cersei at the end, help or not, which he absolutely succeeded in. I mean, trying to survive is an instinct, but he simply wanted to be with her.


Arya's attempt to help that daughter accomplished nothing.

Showed character. I mean, I like that her expected arc didn't happen. That's what everyone had complained about with previous episodes prior, "OMG, it's all so rote now, where's the surprises", well, her getting Cersei would have been BORING and expected. No matter who got Cersei, her dying horribly in an act of revenge would have been boring and expected. I love that the episode subverted those dominant expectations.

(EDIT: I also grok that the argument against is "unexpected surprises doesn't mean good writing by default", I just disagree that's what happened here as far as the judgement of the writing.)

EDIT 2: I misread that you LIKED these bits. Dur, I'm dumb. But I still disagree about the Jaime thing. ;-)

   335. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 14, 2019 at 08:36 AM (#5841794)
I can't necessarily begrudge them (or those above them) for wanting to take a victory lap; but it unfortunately has unintentionally highlighted a lot of what people have DISLIKED about those franchises. On a meta/artist level, it's kind of fascinating, actually.


Yes. See also: J.K. Rowling adding to the 'Potterverse' lore and fans not enjoying the result. It's an interesting part of the increasing sense of ownership fans feel of the properties, to the extent that the creators are deemed to understand the characters and plot less well than the obsessive consumers.

I wonder if it's partly fallout from the 'connected universe' concept - once intellectual properties span tie-in books, video games, toys, and what-not, everyone feels like they are contributing to building the suspension of disbelief, and the originators are no longer trusted to manage or interpret their own creations. Roddenberry and Lucas are obviously good examples, and Martin too. Do creators regress to the mean?
   336. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 08:52 AM (#5841795)
That's not entirely fair, PF - he tackled his brother into an inferno. Sure, the fall would have killed them, but that's a bit of a Nieporentian criticism, I think.


Really? The fire played absolutely no role in the CleganeBowl or in the Hound's decisionmaking. He didn't decide "we'll burn to death together." He decided "we'll fall off this tower together."

I thought it was pretty clear his main plan was to be WITH Cersei at the end, help or not, which he absolutely succeeded in. I mean, trying to survive is an instinct, but he simply wanted to be with her.


That was Jaime's plan, not Tyrion's. I agree that Jaime achieved his meagre objective, or at least one of his possible objectives, as I don't know if he had a specific plan when he leaves Winterfell. Tyrion's plan was a pathetic and unlikely last gasp effort to prevent the war which was actually mostly informed by his love for his brother (and possibly even his sister) rather than by good tactics - it didn't work, and there was a moment where it looked like it might backfire spectacularly by actually saving Cersei's life after the surrender - but then it didn't end up doing that either. In the end, it accomplished nothing, good or bad, except probably guarantee his own death.

I mean, I like that her expected arc didn't happen


Exactly. Her entire character arc led up to this moment, when it comes she was just like \"#### it, not worth it." And meanwhile, a comparatively minor character (the Hound) fulfills his dramatic destiny, which I also liked.
   337. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 14, 2019 at 08:55 AM (#5841796)
I can't necessarily begrudge them (or those above them) for wanting to take a victory lap; but it unfortunately has unintentionally highlighted a lot of what people have DISLIKED about those franchises. On a meta/artist level, it's kind of fascinating, actually.
This is one way that the old DVD model was superior to the theatrical/streaming model. You'd still get the victory lap, but it was on the DVD commentary and featurettes, and appeared 8 months after the movie's initial appearance.
   338. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 14, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5841800)
Exactly. Her entire character arc led up to this moment, when it comes she was just like \"#### it, not worth it." And meanwhile, a comparatively minor character (the Hound) fulfills his dramatic destiny, which I also liked.
I was fine with this, too. Arya's been mostly single-minded but not immune to being rational (if she were entirely irrational the Hound wouldn't have been alive to point this out to her).

Also, this arguably preserves some tension about who actually kills Dany (if in fact that's what happens). They can't have Arya kill *everybody* important.
   339. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 09:17 AM (#5841801)
I just feel like Dany's turn could have been more compelling. They laid the groundwork for it, but didn't really leverage that groundwork. We know this because this episode (and the "scenes from the last episode" thing) stressed the natural insanity of her family, rather than her innate cruelty or ambition. As #327 shows, the writers basically saw it as a psychotic break - that she snaps, that she goes mad - but as #327 and flournoy's responses show, that's actually a poor reading of the character. I would have made the battle less lopsided so that the slaughter of innocents was borderline collateral damage, borderline justifiable, fog of war and all that. Less genocidey, but still troubling enough to rip apart the alliance with the North and make Tyrion turn. We could have had a complex character put in an impossible situation making a poor decision based on her tragic flaws. But they put her in a simple situation, and her motivation felt like "she crazy now."
   340. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5841805)
EDIT: Regarding being a few clicks shy of flournoy - I don't think this: "everyone in Westeros hates her" has been shown as accurate. (Well, prior to this episode, that is.)


I don't think we disagree at all. That sentence was meant to be written from her perspective, rather than mine. I think that she thinks everyone hates her, or at the very least that nobody loves her.

In a lot of ways, it's similar to part of Jaime's story. Everyone thought of him as the Kingslayer, an oathbreaker, a man without honor, etc. So ultimately he wound up just embracing it, and he became what everyone thought of him as, even if that wasn't his initial intent.
   341. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 09:37 AM (#5841807)
PF, #334 was a larger cavalcade of stupid than even I realized. I misread everything. Sorry about that.

I actually think the overplayed direction of Tyrion's pleas and plans made Dany's turn LESS surprising.
   342. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5841809)
I just feel like Dany's turn could have been more compelling. They laid the groundwork for it, but didn't really leverage that groundwork.

I mostly agree with this, but imagining for a moment how it WOULD happen, wouldn't it just seem expected if more work was done towards it? I kinda feel like you'd see it a mile away if there was more, longer leverage.
   343. . Posted: May 14, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5841813)
A couple ways the turn could plausibly happen would be: (1) necessity; or (2) some obviously life-altering trauma. The cool thing about these shows is that they're so ambitious and well-crafted that they get people talking about characters and themes and plots the way they do and they give a lot of fodder to varying interpretations ... but the idea that Daenerys Targaryen's fate and destiny was ultimately mapped out from birth in her genes? Hmmmm. She sure seemed a lot more like an uber-competent leader who might actually move the needle of human progress forward ever-so-slightly. She'd certainly not flinch from using fear and power to ultimately prevail -- no uber-competent leader would -- but only tactically.

And not only is it a bit of a strange character arc; it's a bit of a strange theme for the writers and producers to have ultimately prevail. Destiny is genes? Leaves a bit of an empty feel.

But I do like what seems to be the movement afoot in the culture to somehow explain and redeem her. Late 2010s culture does dystopia extremely well and it wouldn't if there weren't some ultimately strong humanist sentiment within it.
   344. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 09:58 AM (#5841815)
I mean,
When my dragons are grown we will take back what was stolen from me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground.
and
I will take what is mine through fire and blood.
are pretty clear.

Whether it's good storytelling not to do a better job showing the movement in that direction is a valid debate, but think too many people are just taking it as a given as opposed to legitimate discussion. I feel I would have grown bored if the madness was more expected.
   345. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5841816)
I mostly agree with this, but imagining for a moment how it WOULD happen, wouldn't it just seem expected if more work was done towards it? I kinda feel like you'd see it a mile away if there was more, longer leverage.


I think it's just a matter of perspective. The dominant tone of my reading of Daenerys' character since the middle of Season 2 is "entitled, pretentious #####," and I've been viewing her story as a sort of "villain origin story" ever since. So I've been waiting for this moment for a while, and it matched my expectations exactly.

I'm sure that a different reading of Daenerys' character would lend itself to different expectations, and maybe these recent events would seem unearned.

EDIT: And you just snuck in a post quoting the very moments that turned her into the entitled, pretentious ##### in my mind. Nice!
   346. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5841819)
I was thinking about how I would have ended this show.

Taking it back a few episodes...

1. Bran explains that he is the primary target of the Night King.
2. Dany demands to evacuate Bran south and bring the zombie battle to King's Landing, because #### Cersei.
3. There's still a battle at Winterfell, and lots of beloved characters bite it. But the Night King is off after Bran.
4. Bran is secreted into the walls of Kings Landing.
5. All armies converge at KL!
6. Dany repeatedly shows more interest in battle vs Cersei than battle vs Night King.
7. Night King got hella zombies now. ####, maybe he even makes a known character into a White Walker. Can he do that?
8. Cersei is on the defensive, offers no help to Dany or Jon.
9. Dany conspires to allow zombies to overrun Kings Landing, in hopes that she will be hailed as hero, using Night King as a pawn.
10. Jon and Dany break up re: this strategy. Jon concentrates his attack on zombie army.
11. That last dire wolf does something interesting, because it seems like that was fated.
12. Zombie attack gets out of hand.
13. Bran ultimately needs to warg the dragon that Dany is riding atop, in order to stop Night King, who is not immune to dragon fire. Dany and Night King both die.
14. Cersei apparently remains ruler of the smoldering city. Long live the queen.
15. Emboldened Cersei demands Tyrion's head.
16. The Mountain will execute, but is thwarted by suddenly appearing Hound.
17. Jaime crippled by indecision.
18. Arya murders Cersei, and is murdered by Jaime.
19. Jon Snow is outed as rightful king, but abdicates.
20. Hotpie ascends to throne.

I dunno, the ending needs some work, but originally I was really hoping for a confusing Zombies vs North vs Dany vs Lannisters battle.
   347. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5841820)
Lassus, I just think her turn should have been more subtle. I think she was a believably complex and conflicted character. At one moment she was swearing death and destruction, at another she was crying about two innocent goats. I didn't want her ending to involve her fully committing to either her good side or her evil side. I wanted her to stay complex and conflicted.
   348. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5841826)
originally I was really hoping for a confusing Zombies vs North vs Dany vs Lannisters battle.


That's what I thought it might be, and I didn't like that at all. I figured that the Night King might kill and wight-ify Cersei and her forces. I'm glad they didn't do any of that - I think it would have distracted from the real conflict, which is what we just saw last episode. Daenerys' destructive rampage doesn't mean much if everything has already been destroyed by the White Walkers.

I didn't want her ending to involve her fully committing to either her good side or her evil side. I wanted her to stay complex and conflicted.


Hey, there still might be some time for that. She might feel very conflicted about what she did and what she has become in the finale.
   349. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5841827)
I think it would have distracted from the real conflict, which is what we just saw last episode.


Funny, lots of people have the opposite view. I don't have an opinion on what the "real" conflict was, I just wish that the story wasn't moving sequentially from one discrete conflict to another, just because I think it would be more fun that way. That the zombie threat is just totally gone, poof, seems a little wrong.

Hey, there still might be some time for that. She might feel very conflicted about what she did and what she has become in the finale.


True. I don't know how they'll end it, and I'm pleased about that.
   350. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5841829)
Funny, lots of people have the opposite view.


I can only assume those folks weren't familiar with any of the interviews George Martin gave. (Which is fine, of course.) He's pretty clear about his view on conflict and the nature of good and evil. There was never a chance that this story wrapped up with a fight between the dashing, valiant good guys and the evil, inhuman, unfeeling monsters.

Everything Martin has said has telegraphed that the "end villain" would be a sympathetic character, and one who wasn't always regarded as a villain. That rules out the Night King and Cersei.
   351. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5841831)
Agreed. But in my version, the inhuman monsters do not inspire the humans to band together for a righteous battle, they just make everything confusing and crazy.
   352. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5841832)
That's fair. I prefer the way they did it, but I'm sure your version could work.
   353. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:43 AM (#5841834)
The more I think about it, the more I liked the episode. I don't think Dany's descent to madness was handled particularly well, but I can buy that it was inevitable. The episode was otherwise blessedly free of the stupid little heroic moments that marked most of this season - this was a return to the Thrones that I fell in love with, a world of moral ambiguity and unconventional narrative.
   354. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5841838)
I'm 100% convinced that the key point in the last episode is going to be Drogon's unwillingness to roast Jon, possibly after executing Tyrion, which will be the "true heir" moment. I think after that Grey Worm runs Jon through, then Drogon kills GW, with Dany as collateral damage as she tries to save her last friend.

If Dany executes Gendry at some point before that (maybe for not taking up arms against Jon?), then the outcome of the game of thrones would be that every single person with a remotely good claim to the throne is dead. That seems appropriate.

(Most of my predictions have been wrong.)

   355. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5841841)
Shouldn't Jon be roast-proof as a Targaryean? That seems like it should feature in the plot somehow.
   356. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:05 AM (#5841844)
I'm 100% convinced that the key point in the last episode is going to be Drogon's unwillingness to roast Jon
Ah but will that be Drogon's unwillingness, or Bran's? Warging has been laying fairly low lately, surely there is a key moment of that for Bran in the finale? (Though I suppose that's more likely to be Ghost, with Jon sending him away being a feint.)

which will be the "true heir" moment.
I assumed that would become clear only when he successfully wields Mjolnir.
   357. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5841846)
Drogon's unwillingness to roast Jon


This would be good, so would a roast-proof Jon.

But it kind of seems like Bran and Ghost are just done in this story, doesn't it?
   358. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5841849)
I think an awesome close to final scene is Dany making a big show of an execution of Jon, with a huge crowd gathered, and she says Dracarys! and the flame hits Jon and he just walks straight forward towards her and everyone in the kingdom realizes he's the true heir. Boom! Done! Roll credits.
   359. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5841850)
I think dragon fire is different from regular fire, right? And Jon burned his hand in season one. GRRM is on record saying that Targaryens aren't inherently immune to fire. So I assume that Jon at least isn't Asbestos Boy.
   360. JAHV Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5841851)
The more I think about it, the more I liked the episode. I don't think Dany's descent to madness was handled particularly well, but I can buy that it was inevitable. The episode was otherwise blessedly free of the stupid little heroic moments that marked most of this season - this was a return to the Thrones that I fell in love with, a world of moral ambiguity and unconventional narrative.


A couple days later, this is about where I am. I still can't get over how distracting it was that Dany didn't go straight for Cersei when she had the opportunity, but the episode was intense and left us with just about the right number of questions to answer.
   361. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:22 AM (#5841852)
I think an awesome close to final scene is Dany making a big show of an execution of Jon, with a huge crowd gathered, and she says Dracarys! and the flame hits Jon and he just walks straight forward towards her and everyone in the kingdom realizes he's the true heir. Boom! Done! Roll credits.

I don't really want Jon to win the throne, but I do like the Boom! Done! Roll credits style ending. This would be an exciting way to deliver a 'Jon wins' ending.
   362. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5841853)
I think an awesome close to final scene is Dany making a big show of an execution of Jon, with a huge crowd gathered, and she says Dracarys! and the flame hits Jon and he...
...roasts, and the oil from his hair spreads to Dany, who goes up in a huge conflagration. Then the camera pans up and we see that Hot Pie has suspended an enormous pan over the dragon pit and he is browning that butter over the fire. When the Unsullied taste his brown bread they elevate Hot Pie to the throne, and HP makes Drogon the center of an industrial scale kitchen that feeds those little wolf cakes to everyone in King's Landing, and the last shot is of Arya enjoying a delicious snack. Boom! Done! Roll credits.

EDIT: Then the credits, then a little scene of Sam having his first wolf cake, then patting his belly and saying, "I'm going to enjoy this reign!" while Gilly smacks herself in the forehead and the sad trombone sound plays.
   363. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5841862)
I do wonder if maybe Drogon dies somewhere mid-episode, and the BOOM pre-credits shot is someone making a small combustion engine, or gun.
   364. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5841863)
I'd prefer it if the last episode ends with most of the main cast dying or disappearing, Drogon flies off into the distance to become legend worshipped by a secret society, and the camera pans down to two drunk Lannister guardsmen walking the street named Sam Vimes and Fred Colon debating whether it ever even existed.
   365. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5841865)
I'd prefer it if the last episode ends with most of the main cast dying or disappearing, Drogon flies off into the distance

I've considered this too, but that's still a hell of a lot of main people to die.
   366. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5841866)
the BOOM pre-credits shot is someone making a small combustion engine, or gun.


Shed a tear for poor Qyburn, who was both the Isaac Newton and the Victor Frankenstein of Westeros. I actually enjoyed how unceremonious his death was, though.
   367. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5841867)
and the BOOM pre-credits shot is someone making a small combustion engine, or gun.

This was never an ending to a Planet of the Apes, but it seems like it should have been.
   368. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5841869)
Also, this arguably preserves some tension about who actually kills Dany (if in fact that's what happens). They can't have Arya kill *everybody* important.

I'm wondering if they're going to make a last use of her faces ability. Like a scene where Jon goes to Dany and they make up, but then he stabs her and we're all shocked, but then he pulls off his face and it's Arya.

Would have been good with Jorah or Melisande. Although I'm not sure how the faceless men deal with height and build differences.
   369. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5841870)
So, the whole Iron Fleet is torched, but Euron somehow survives and shows up exactly when Jamie is entering the secret door? This is the kind of writing that is "typical" TV show writing. It didn't exist while there were still source books, but it's been pretty prevalent since they left the books behind.
   370. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5841871)
This of course could've provided a way for the show to deal with the scorpion issue. In episode 4, Euron's ships fire a first volley at the dragons and score a single wildly improbable hit through Rhaegal's eye. Euron leaves the engagement thinking that they've hit on something, but at some point between then and the attack on King's Landing someone on Dragonstone delivers a throwaway line about the old story, and thus narrative consistency is achieved.

This would have been better. Or show a shower of bolts hitting both dragons and bouncing off. Then another volley and this time one goes through Rhaegal's eye and it kills him. Same result, Euron with his confidence thinks he's got the answer, but it really doesn't work.

Dany had some time to think about tactics (fly out of the sun; come in low at the castle so they have to depress, and then soar up and destroy them before they can elevate).

This is at least a logical explanation. Given some time to think about tactics, she comes up with something. Earlier, after Rhaegal's death she doesn't even realize what happened, so she flees. Then she thinks it over and realizes that she could have taken out the Iron Fleet. Although, ships don't move all that fast, and she probably could have flown away, caught her breath, then gone back and destroyed them in the earlier episode.
   371. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5841874)
So, the whole Iron Fleet is torched, but Euron somehow survives and shows up exactly when Jamie is entering the secret door?
But Euron sort of jumped at some water when the dragon fire was hitting his boat, just like Bronn and Jamie sort of jumped at some water when Drogon was about to incinerate Jamie's horse in season 7. If you see a dragon about to breathe fire, just jump at some offscreen water. You'll be fine.
   372. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5841875)
I haven't really every been a fan of Dany. From a pure character standpoint, she's always going on about being the rightful heir and forcing people to bend the knee.

From a plot perspective, it's been annoying for a while that she's always right. Combine this with Tyrion always being wrong, and she's been grating on me for a couple of seasons now.
   373. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5841876)
I agree, the Euron/Jamie fight was kind of stupid, and felt more like HBO than GRRM.
   374. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5841878)
How did that fight not involve any Cersei and/or child trash-talk from Euron? Or did I miss it?
   375. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:39 PM (#5841880)
To be fair, I think Dany's obsession with bending the knee was because, if they bent the knee, she wouldn't have to kill them.
   376. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5841881)
The Jaime/Euron fight had a little Cersei trash-talk, but no child trash-talk.

Yeah, it was silly. Ultimately kind of forgettable for me - Euron had to die somehow, so there it was. Next scene!
   377. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5841884)
To be fair, I think Dany's obsession with bending the knee was because, if they bent the knee, she wouldn't have to kill them.

Yeah, but specifically the scenes with Jon were about power. There's this existential threat to humanity and Jon wants to work together, but Dany won't unless he bends the knee. She doesn't even say "Well, let's work together on this until it's over then figure out the rest later."
   378. . Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5841887)
The "bend the knee" thing was cool and sensible and logical and in character when Stannis did it. There wasn't much need to keep going back to that template.
   379. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5841888)
Yeah, it was silly. Ultimately kind of forgettable for me - Euron had to die somehow, so there it was. Next scene!

Right. And if GRRM was writing it, Euron probably just burns with the ships. It's ultimate plot armor. The fleet dies, but the big bad of the ocean survives. And has to die in single combat. Martin understands the people don't always die heroically, but the writers don't.
   380. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5841889)
To be fair, I think Dany's obsession with bending the knee was because, if they bent the knee, she wouldn't have to kill them.


Well, and also because she craved being worshiped, adored, and obeyed. She views it as her destiny and her birthright to rule over everyone, simply because she's just special. And she loves the people... provided that those people love her and do exactly as she tells them. If not, then fire and blood.

It's why she burns the people of Kings Landing. They have the gall to not worship her. I mean, what's wrong with these people, all she's asking for is total and absolute obedience!
   381. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5841890)
Yeah, but specifically the scenes with Jon were about power. There's this existential threat to humanity and Jon wants to work together, but Dany won't unless he bends the knee. She doesn't even say "Well, let's work together on this until it's over then figure out the rest later."


Is this a problem? That's her character, that's who she is.
   382. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5841891)
Is this a problem? That's her character, that's who she is.

No, it's not a problem. I started by saying that I've never really liked her. Meaning, I never have wanted her to win the throne because she's not a likeable character.
   383. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5841894)
She views it as her destiny and her birthright to rule over everyone, simply because she's just special.

And others have encouraged her. Jorah adored her for no real apparent reason, except he was in love with her. The Second Sons just abandon their contract because Dario falls in love with her. The Dothraki set aside their fear of water to sail across the sea, just because she burns down their khals. Jon falls in love with her after, what, one or two meetings? It bugs me that "she's just special" is a given. But, it is her character as written. I get that.
   384. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5841895)
The Jaime/Euron fight had a little Cersei trash-talk, but no child trash-talk.
It's nigh inconceivable that Euron wouldn't do just that, but it would have ruined what the writers wanted for Jaime & Cersei's last moments, so it didn't happen.
   385. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5841901)
This is a good suggestion of how the last two episodes could have gone: Dany and the dragons could have been somewhere else when the IF took out the unsullied/northmen fleet. Missandei still gets captured and executed, the start to the battle goes pretty much the same, but Jon is on Rhaegal. After the two dragons roast all the scorpions and blast open the gates they settle down to watch the infantry entry the city, that's when a scorpion hidden on a rooftop is fired by Euron, lucky shot, goes through the eye, Dany see Rhaegal die, sees Jon fall and maybe die, and *then* she ####### snaps and roasts the city, with a few more previously hidden scorpions firing ineffectively from the rooftops. This gives her a more jarring snap to insanity AND reason to fire the city prior to attacking the Red Keep. It also sticks to canon, a lucky shot thru an eye can take a dragon out, not crazy pirate skill.
   386. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5841902)
There's a difference between things that I don't want to happen, and things that are bad writing.

I was hoping for actual Jamie redemption. He went to Winterfell in defiance of Cersei. He seemed to have changed. Then he goes back to Cersei. But in the back of my mind, I kept thinking of the valonquar prophesy (even though that's not in the show), and part of me expected the last Jamie/Cersei scene to be them actually escaping the Red Keep, but then Jamie killing her. Or at least him leading her down to a place that he knew they would both die, and then saying, "This is what we deserve". Instead, he just can't let go of her and tries to save her until the end. I don't like that, but it's not bad.

Having Tyrion be an idiot the last 2 seasons, while everyone still talks about how smart he is, is just bad. He's wrong every time. One of the great things about ASOIAF is that the smart characters are mostly right, but sometimes they're not. Sometimes their plans don't work. Sometimes they have bad luck. But Tyrion has become stupid, for no apparent reason. That's just bad writing.
   387. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5841903)
And others have encouraged her. [...] But, it is her character as written. I get that.


I'm with you completely here. Everyone else's regard for Daenerys has always bugged me, too. She's very pretty, of course, but that aside, it's hard for me to see what anyone else sees in her that would warrant such devotion. Jon's blind spot for her frustrated me. I think in the books, it seems that people are mostly drawn to her power (and dragons), and by extension, the power that they stand to gain by joining her, rather than her person. Some of this translated to the show (the Qarth stuff, the Dothraki), while some of those book storylines (Quentyn Martell, Young Griff, Victarion Greyjoy) were dropped from the show. (Rightly, in my opinion.)
   388. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5841905)
I'm usually suspicious of authors that mostly limit themselves to writing about their hometowns,

Better steer clear of Joyce and Proust.
   389. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5841907)
Toronto, well. It's basically northern NY. Right?


I prefer to think of New York as Southern Ontario.
   390. . Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5841909)
Jorah adored her for no real apparent reason


I don't know -- "She's hot and smart" seem like two pretty apparent reasons. You don't necessarily need, "And she can help me gain great power" to get there.

Having Tyrion be an idiot the last 2 seasons, while everyone still talks about how smart he is, is just bad.


That character arc failed, too, and it's rather inexplicable why they would have done that with one of the more interesting and compelling characters arguably in the history of drama. He kind of became an ineffectual bore. (One caveat to all of my remarks is that I haven't read the books.)
   391. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:41 PM (#5841916)
Everyone else's regard for Daenerys has always bugged me, too. She's very pretty, of course, but that aside, it's hard for me to see what anyone else sees in her that would warrant such devotion.


This never bothered me. We're talking about a world where birthright and surname mean everything. She's got that, she's got beauty, and she is a populist. The dragons alone are enough to make her a mind-blowing messianic figure.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go catch up on my Prince Archie coverage.
   392. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5841921)
[Tyrion's] character arc failed, too, and it's rather inexplicable why they would have done that with one of the more interesting and compelling characters arguably in the history of drama. He kind of became an ineffectual bore.


Co-sign. He used to be such a highlight. Incredibly charismatic and compelling character doing incredible things in incredible situations. I get that it's not easy to write material of that quality, but why did they need to make him into such a ponderous sap?
   393. Lassus Posted: May 14, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5841922)
There's a difference between things that I don't want to happen, and things that are bad writing.

The problem here is that when one uses "I" here - like you, me, or ANYONE does - their judgement of their own judgement... may be suspect.
   394. Davo Posted: May 14, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5841923)
This is my last day of paternity leave—I’m headed back to the office tomorrow.

I am off to see Amazing Grace, the Aretha Franklin concert documentary.
   395. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5841924)
The problem here is that when one uses "I" here - like you, me, or ANYONE does - their judgement of their own judgement... may be suspect.

I'm not sure what you mean by this.
   396. Srul Itza Posted: May 14, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5841930)
it's hard for me to see what anyone else sees in her that would warrant such devotion


She walked into a funeral pyre, and walked out with three baby dragons, when dragons were thought to be extinct.

Then she freed masses of slaves from three cities.

Then she walked out of a flaming temple, untouched by the fire that killed all the Khals.

So she had both magical cred in a superstitious world, and "breaker of chains" cred among all the freed slaves.

The devotion should not have been all that surprising, at least in Essos.

   397. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5841948)
You're right. I definitely oversold that point. I do see it, I just never shared it.
   398. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 14, 2019 at 03:46 PM (#5841958)
At least we are not going to end up with the stalest trope of all happening, true heir to the throne makes his (always his) way to his destiny.

What?
   399. flournoy Posted: May 14, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5841966)
Well, we might, or we might not. I think Jon will die in the finale, so I guess we'll see. I like Jon, so I'd be sad about that, but if they do it well, I'd be on board.

I'll take your word for it that it's a stale trope, but I'm not sure that I can think of a whole lot of instances of it. Lord of the Rings, I suppose.
   400. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5841973)
If the show ends with Jon on the throne, safe and with broad support, I'll be disappointed. But at least you can't say that the structure of this tale was typical or predictable or stale.
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