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Thread: Game of Thrones with SPOILERS

  1. #191
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    It sure did.
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  2. #192
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    The entire final season was just... terribly written. In this information age where so many of us write as a hobby, we, the audience, tend to demand a much higher level of writing than television writers could get away with back in the 1980s, yet we see so many old-school writers who don't even try to be consistent with the original source material, and still use the 80/20 rule to assume their audience is completely moronic... and in this case, it definitely shows.

    Having not read the books, I can only point out the inconsistency between the previous seasons and the final season... and there are many. It was quite clear that Arya, the fan favorite, was going to go around murderating all of her family's endings... starting with feeding that old man his own children in a previous season, and ending with brutally murderating Circe in a very creative manner. Instead, the only kill she gets this entire season is far outside her original role... Jon Snow was supposed to be the one to kill the Night King, using his magical unobtainium steel sword, as it was foreshadowed so many times in previous seasons. But having a creature of ice survive the full force of flame wyvern breath at point blank is just... terrible, terrible writing. If an obsidian dagger can kill it, then napalm breath that can somehow magically tear down castle walls would simply disintegrate the thing.

    After seeing the ending to the Night King arc, I noted that pretty much everyone in all of the northern and foreign armies had been killed in battle, leaving them without any sort of manpower to face the Targaryens down at King's Landing. But suddenly, with the Unsullied having suffered some 80% casualties and the Dothraki having suffered 100% casualties, the entire freaking armies of both of them somehow magically respawn in order to lay siege to King's Landing, which makes no freaking sense. The ballistae shoot down a flame wyvern (they're not dragons, as dragons have four legs, period), and tear through ships with more power than cannons (there's a reason cannon replaced ballistae... ballistae are simply not that powerful), but the following episode they take a lesson in Storm Trooper marksmanship and miss every shot.

    Then of course, there's the episode where this magically respawned army lays waste to King's Landing, with Danny acting completely out of character. It has been shown in previous episodes that she can win the hearts and love of just about everyone, like Jon Snow but moreso, and she already did so with the pirate girl. Somehow, her charisma score is now divided by three, with everyone hating her instead of loving her this season, except for those who had come to love her in previous seasons.

    It was quite clear from ALL of the foreshadowing that Jon Snow and Daenarys were supposed to marry and rule over the seven kingdoms together. She even dumped her previous sex toy with the explanation of "Once I get to Westeros, I'll need to get married," yet such marriage concepts are completely forgotten this season, despite having no better prospect than "This dude is loved in the North, marrying him would unite and solidify your rule over Winterfell and peace with the Wildlings, and by the way, you're in love with him too." Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if his identity as her nephew isn't revealed until AFTER they're married... but the Targaryens always viewed incest as wincest, so it would be completely within the character of their household.

    Other ridiculous aspects include the way Arya is turned into a Mary Sue with plot armor and the ability to magically spawn a white horse (and to think she used to be one of my favorites...), Sansa claiming that getting raped made her stronger, and the utter lunacy of having a democracy suggested to a feudal culture... no one would ever think to let peasants vote, and the closest they'd get would be a Venetian style trade republic... which only worked for a city-state rather than a kingdom. The elective monarchy wouldn't work at all for a government like the Seven Kingdoms... once Sansa claims independence for Winterfell, other kingdoms would follow suit, especially Dorn and the Iron Islands, who were shown as far more fiercely independent than Winterfell ever was. Seven kingdoms would quickly become four, and another war of unification would follow shortly after... just as happened in China every single time the land was divided. The only long-lasting example of an elective monarchy was the Holy Roman Empire... in which the Emperor had basically zero power most of the time, and the tiny fiefdoms bickered, killed each other and repeatedly seized each other's castles, and gave rise to numerous robber knights.

    Oh and then at the very end, in accordance to the tradition of magically respawning soldiers and horses, the Wall itself magically respawns in the final scene. Just... terrible writing. Absolutely terrible.

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  3. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
    I like Sansa. I liked her throughout the series. It was nice to see a female character that survived this world when she wasn't street smart, trained to be a killer or had killer dragons with her. She went through a whole bunch of shit and I'm really happy that she got to where she is now.
    I agree - I like the message that it’s equally valid for women to wield power in a traditionally “feminine” way (Sansa, Catelyn, Cersei as the evil flipside), or a traditionally “masculine” way (Brienne, Arya), or a mixture of both (Dany).

    The showrunners of course didn’t do a perfect job of this - most notably, the only sympathetic “feminine” trait they tended to emphasise was motherhood (Catelyn is more deferring to Ned and Robb than in the books, and all of her decisions tend to be made through the lens of motherhood...Karsi was made female because they thought only a female character would be sympathetic and convincing when talking about losing children and wanting to save others...whenever they want Cersei or a minor female character to look sympathetic, they have them talk about their children etc) but they at least kept the basic message.

    Likewise I feel like Sansa’s character was mishandled at a lot of points, but you can see the basic idea:

    Season 1 (corresponding to book 1) she’s a naive little girl and is punished for it by more ruthless characters.

    Season 2 to 4 (book 2 / 3) she’s surviving but still being used as a pawn, although she does get some small victories that are purely hers (she persuades Joffrey to spare Ser Dontos, she befriends the Hound who nearly helped her escape). She wins these victories by her traits of quick thinking and empathy. They did throw in a few aggravating scenes where she still acts like naive season 1 Sansa, but in general the progression is there.

    Season 5 (book 4) she’s learning the game from Littlefinger, while still displaying her empathy (she’s the only one who can reason with Sweetrobin). At the end she outplays Littlefinger by revealing who she is to the Vale lords, claiming their support and taking control of her own destiny.

    Season 6 (no book equivalent)...the ball gets dropped. Seemingly unsure what to do with Sansa next, they recycle a book plot and shoehorn her into marrying Ramsey - not only does this make little sense within the story, it also forces them to wind Sansa back to her “pawn” phase of trusting Littlefinger and repeat last season’s character arc. While Ramsey’s end was well deserved (and about a season overdue…), Sansa’s ability to read and persuade people takes a backseat to her more “badass” ability to be ruthless. Her victories are also less unambiguously her own (she needs Littlefinger to get the Vale army that should have been hers last season). And, it goes without saying, D&D should not have chosen rape as a vehicle for character growth - or rather as a key to unlock “strength”. Just...don’t do that.

    Season 7 (no book equivalent) shows her as leader material - managing the castle etc - although it gets ham-fisted at points (forced conflict between the Starks, repeating “I am the Lady of Winterfell” ad nauseum) and she takes a bit of a backseat compared to Jon.

    By season 8 she’s looking out for the whole North. I do think it’s a shame they didn’t show her leadership for anything other than conflict with Dany (in episode 3 she could have been giving orders like Lyanna was, and / or looking after people in the crypts instead of just telling Tyrion that they need to accept their impotence). But if you squint you can at least see the outline of the character arc GRRM gave to the showrunners: pawn → player → queen in the north, all through traditionally “feminine” strengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
    The series started with the Starks. It threw them through all kinds of shit and (those that survived) have evolved and are now successful and happy
    Yep - although one of GoT’s most famous lines is “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention”, at its heart it’s a show about playing with and deconstructing fantasy tropes. While sometimes this leads to bad outcomes or evil characters winning, I wouldn’t say it’s a show that’s explicitly out to crush people’s naive notions of hope. People can still get happy and satisfying endings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holeypaladin View Post
    It was quite clear that Arya, the fan favorite, was going to go around murderating all of her family's endings... starting with feeding that old man his own children in a previous season, and ending with brutally murderating Circe in a very creative manner. Instead, the only kill she gets this entire season is far outside her original role…
    The showrunners fucked things up for themselves here. Arya was always going to have to choose between being “Arya Stark” and “No One” - a member of a pack or a lone wolf, a human or a cold, merciless killer. GRRM evidently told them that in the end it would be the former, but by playing up her “badass assassin” credentials all the way into season 7, they made it more difficult to go back the other way.

    Season 7 kind of resolved the issue, with the Stark girls standing together after the forced conflict and Littlefinger’s season-overdue death, but then they muddied the waters again in season 8 by having Arya go off to complete her list without her family, only to reject vengeance for a second time at the last moment.

    Revenge is an incredibly cathartic thing, which is why a character consciously choosing to let it go is so significant. They could have made a pretty powerful statement about family and revenge with Arya in season 8, and it wouldn’t have needed her to become a pacifist either - she could still have joined her family in taking down Cersei, but for a bigger reason than her List. Either way, I feel like Arya’s choice deserved more focus, even within the constraints of a shortened season.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holeypaladin View Post
    After seeing the ending to the Night King arc, I noted that pretty much everyone in all of the northern and foreign armies had been killed in battle, leaving them without any sort of manpower to face the Targaryens down at King's Landing. But suddenly, with the Unsullied having suffered some 80% casualties and the Dothraki having suffered 100% casualties, the entire freaking armies of both of them somehow magically respawn in order to lay siege to King's Landing, which makes no freaking sense.
    Scottie pitched a rather good explanation for this, which was that Dany had some of her forces elsewhere (holding down castles, guarding the road north in case of a betrayal by Cersei etc). I don’t normally like writing the showrunners’ story for them to excuse lazy plotting, but in this case they could have closed the plot hole with just a single line of dialogue in the map table scene - instead of saying “we’ve only got half our forces left”, they should have said something like “we’ve recalled the southern garrisons for the march on King’s Landing, but we still have barely half the men we had before”.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holeypaladin View Post
    Then of course, there's the episode where this magically respawned army lays waste to King's Landing, with Danny acting completely out of character. It has been shown in previous episodes that she can win the hearts and love of just about everyone, like Jon Snow but moreso, and she already did so with the pirate girl. Somehow, her charisma score is now divided by three, with everyone hating her instead of loving her this season, except for those who had come to love her in previous seasons.
    Again, you can see the outline that GRRM gave them if you squint: she tries to be the mhysa, it’s too hard, she embraces “fire and blood” instead and becomes increasingly focused on her prophesised destiny instead of the people caught in the crossfire. She’s clearly never meant to be “the mad queen” (that was supposed to be Cersei) so much as “the well-intentioned extremist queen”.

    We can see her budding destiny obsession addressed (albeit somewhat shallowly) in season 7 - hence “bend the knee” ad nauseum - so her tension with the Northmen and lack of decent PR efforts compared to previous seasons do make a degree of sense, but D&D really wrote themselves into a corner trying to play her final descent into villainy as a twist rather than a tragic progression. A few scenes with Dany herself rather than Tyrion and Varys simply talking about her might have helped, as would...literally any framing of the King’s Landing massacre except a one-sided victory followed by an obvious surrender followed by unprovoked genocide.

    And I still think they could have presented Dany with the bones of a King’s Landing child to show how her mindset has changed since the last time she was confronted with the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holeypaladin View Post
    It was quite clear from ALL of the foreshadowing that Jon Snow and Daenarys were supposed to marry and rule over the seven kingdoms together.
    Well, see above for my take on Dany being supposed to end up where she did (albeit not by such a rushed route), but I do feel that Jon was destined for more.

    Part of it is the showrunners’ fault, since they explicitly said it just “felt right” to have Arya rather than Jon (or indeed a team of characters) vanquish the Night King - a sentiment I can believe when these guys are also on record as saying that “themes are for 8th grade book reports”. The other part is...also the showrunners’ fault, since the writing of the conflict between Dany and Jon is forced mostly through Varys fretting about incest (I’m unclear on what Westeros actually thinks of this, because people are clearly disgusted by Cersei and Jaime, and may have felt the same about the old Targaryens if they’d dared to speak out, but after deposing Cersei Dany would have essentially been able to say “deal with it” the same way her predecessors did) rather than through Jon and Dany themselves.

    Which is a shame, because a marriage which would be real for Dany but merely political for Jon (he clearly can’t get past the mental block once he knows Dany is his aunt) would have brought back his perennial conflict of love (in this case a lack thereof) vs duty. I would have liked the last few episodes to get inside Jon’s head more and show Kit Harrington acting rather than merely emoting - the kind of non-verbal scenes that D&D love but most of the filmmaking community call out as hollow “oscar bait” when they’re not paired with strong character building.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holeypaladin View Post
    the utter lunacy of having a democracy suggested to a feudal culture... no one would ever think to let peasants vote, and the closest they'd get would be a Venetian style trade republic... which only worked for a city-state rather than a kingdom.
    Actually, the concept of a “house of commons” goes back a lot further than you might think. It didn’t surprise me that the lords laughed at the idea, though I was a little disappointed that they simply moved on afterwards (Dany’s remaining followers might have had some input). On the other hand, I have also heard the theory that the takeaway message is supposed to be “elites fear democracy” rather than “that’s too idealistic for Westeros, silly” - but again that might be giving D&D too much credit.
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  4. #194
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    Without getting involved in a political debate involving the pros and cons of Democracy... elites have every right to fear a democratic system, as merchants, nobles, and everyone with money and power according to the old system will always be in the 49%, rather than the 51% that, as Thomas Jefferson said, has the ability to strip the rights from the other 49%.

    The evolution of the English parliament is an interesting point, actually. It started when King John, the second worst monarch in English history, signed the Magna Carta, which was the first step in turning England from an absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy. I could see the council of lords proposing something similar to a Magna Carta after seeing how tyrannical the absolute monarchy of the seven kingdoms was... but suggesting democracy is like going from A to Z and skipping all the steps between (with Magna Carta being step B, House of Lords being C, and House of Commons being D or E).

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  5. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holeypaladin View Post
    Oh and then at the very end, in accordance to the tradition of magically respawning soldiers and horses, the Wall itself magically respawns in the final scene. Just... terrible writing. Absolutely terrible.
    You do realize that the wall runs the length of the continent and the section of it that was destroyed was no where near Castle Black right? The dragon didn't destroy the whole wall only a section (one near eastwatch-by-the-sea i believe.) In fact if you watch the opening sequence again you can see the wall standing on either side of the hole in it.
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  6. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holeypaladin View Post
    I could see the council of lords proposing something similar to a Magna Carta after seeing how tyrannical the absolute monarchy of the seven kingdoms was... but suggesting democracy is like going from A to Z and skipping all the steps between (with Magna Carta being step B, House of Lords being C, and House of Commons being D or E).
    Well, there wasn’t really a lords / commons division in these early proto-parliaments; the Oxford Parliament of 1258 was just 15 barons, but the one in 1265 contained ordinary knights and city representatives also.

    Westeros doesn’t map exactly to any particular period of feudal Europe, though regional lords can evidently already exercise quite a large degree of autonomy, as well as influence over the regency (via the Small Council etc). While we don’t get to see Sam explain what he means by “everyone” - and it’s possible that he was being literal, ala the Lord Commander elections in the Watch (which, true, wouldn’t really be workable in such a big country where people are used to their leaders simply being instead of picking them) - something like a senate or great council wouldn’t be totally beyond imagining. Particularly after the populist Sparrows and Dany’s followers have left their mark on the country, and the last four or five monarchs in a row have been overwhelmingly crap. A head of state elected by the great lords is probably the least they could do at this point.

    Though, still - the need to wrap up the story aside - god knows why everyone picked Bran (especially the ones who don’t know who he is) or why Dorne and the Iron Islands didn’t petition for their own independence too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dnafein View Post
    You do realize that the wall runs the length of the continent and the section of it that was destroyed was no where near Castle Black right? The dragon didn't destroy the whole wall only a section (one near eastwatch-by-the-sea i believe.) In fact if you watch the opening sequence again you can see the wall standing on either side of the hole in it.
    Yep - although there’s still two relevant issues:

    1) The Watch’s original mission of “guarding the realms of men” from wildlings and White Walkers is now defunct, since they have peace with the former and have apparently destroyed the latter. Granted some wildlings might still be inclined to raid across into the North, but that was supposed to be the point of the (forgotten by the show) agreement to let them settle and farm the Gift. Then again, the final scene shows a plant growing amid the snow, so perhaps North of the Wall is going to be a lot more habitable now the Walkers’ influence is gone.

    That said, Jon’s exile to the now-defunct Watch could be read as simply a legal loophole (hell, the Watch is staffed mostly by Wildlings at this point) and he’s now free to head off with Tormund and co, as the last scene shows. He’s probably welcome back in Winterfell too from time to time (as Benjen Stark was), especially since the North is self-governing now anyway.

    2) If the Watch are to continue to man the Wall against...something, it’ll take considerably more manpower and resources now that there’s a gaping hole near Eastwatch. I’m not sure if they even have the capability in the modern age to rebuilt the Wall totally; nevermind the anti-Walker spells that were apparently woven into it.
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  7. #197
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    Just read a full synopsis of the last episode off a fan site and watched the Preston Jacobs review on youtube. I wont comment on the whole thing but honestly Bran as king and the reason given for it makes zero sense. He may have the power of seeing things and worging things but at no point has he ever been a leader or even trained to be one. He even turned down the lordship of Winterfel saying he was no longer capable of being a lord.

    Were I still watching my own preferred ending would've be for Dany to win having not gone bloodthirsty and insane which is the ending I wanted for most of the show. Then either she keeps the throne or gives all 7 kingdoms independence and goes back to Essos. Failing that my second choice to end up ruler would have been Tyrion.
    Last edited by Crazywolf; 05-24-2019 at 08:17 PM.
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