Monday, April 20, 2015

Game of Thrones: Season 5 Episode 2 - The House of Black and White

Welcome back everyone!  It's time for another helping of Game of Thrones discussion.  We continued most storylines from episode 1 while adding in a couple more with Arya and the Dorne plots.  A lot of the episode seemed to center around leadership and the consequences of decisions made as leaders.     And just for the record, we continue distance ourselves even more so from the books with certain plots.  But nothing I've seen so far has been a bad decision or change.  And the theme of the books remains intact.  It makes sense that they'd want to stick with the characters already established.  I remember reading A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons and getting to these chapters with NEW centric characters and just looking forward to getting back to the characters I wanted to read about.  That's basically what the show is doing.  Continuing those character stories and weaving in plots from the other storylines to the characters we know where necessary.

Speaking of the books, I'll continue to discuss differences to the book as they occur on the show but not before.  If it's questionable I'll be as vague as possible (That applies this week).  And of course, we will maintain our "SPOILER WARNINGS" in the comments.  If you want to talk about the book make sure it's clear at the start of your comment!

With that, let's dive in!

EW Recap/Interview Links:
Discussion Points
  • We finally get some Arya in this episode!  I think I mentioned it last week, but it seems like they always save her storyline for episode 2 of every season.  But, it was worth the wait.  
  • Ayra showed her coin from Jaqen H'ghar to gain passage to Braavos and The House of Black and White and the Braavosi honored the unwritten agreement to take her there.  The entrance to Braavos was spectacular as always.  Biggest takeaway was Arya's comment of "no fear" and I'm sure she wasn't referring to those unfortunate 90s t-shirts that we all wore. 
  • When she got to the house and knocked, "NO ONE" answered the door (like that?).  He said no one by that name is there and Arya has anywhere else to go but here.  Arya didn't give up though.  She sat outside the house and ranted her names which is down to 4 now.  Cersei, Walder Frey, The Mountain and Meryn Trant. You gotta think she's going to get to x off at least one of these people by the end, right?   My money is on Cersei.  But, I could see her taking out all of them too! Whatever it is, at this point, it might be different than whatever the book does!
  • EW's James Hibberd made a comparison to the Fight Club initiation which is a pretty good one.  They'd come out and tell the recruits to go home but they continued to stay.  Arya stayed through night and day and rain.   Though, eventually she gave up and threw her coin into one of the Braavosi canals.  
  • We see her later doing what she's done in the past to stay alive: killing pigeons.  Though, some thug-like kids observer her and Needle and feel like they have easy prey ahead of them.  Arya didn't give them an inch.  Honestly, I would've liked to see her take them all on because she probably could've!  But, alas, that is not the way of the Faceless Man!  And she has been observed by NO ONE!  The kid thugs saw NO ONE as well and ran away.  He gave Arya her coin back.  
  • He brings her back to the House of Black and White and Arya asks why the kids were scared.   The faceless man changes his face to the appearance of none other than Jaqen H'ghar!!! Arya states how he lied to her about him not being there.  Obi-Wan said "What I told you was true from a certain point of view".  Whoops...Jaqen said there is no Jaqen.  He is no one what a girl is about to become!!   YES!!!
  • So excited for Arya's storyline.  She is going to become a trained assassin! But, now I'm even more excited with Jaqen being there.  Now, is it truly Jaqen?  Does it matter?  This is where I need to compare to books but I'll be vague.  In book 4, A Feast for Crows, the prologue speaks of a character with facial features resembling the last time Arya saw Jaqen (after he changed hs face).  That character is in a different town in Westeros and runs into ANOTHER character on a totally different story.  Arya does go to the House of Black and White and trains with NO ONE.  But she does not run into Jaqen.  Now, with this being television and with the showrunners wanting the story to contract rather than expand this makes complete sense that he would actually be there to train Arya.  Why introduce a brand new character for Arya to train with?  They had good chemistry and people love that character.  Plus, there's a very strong chance that the other storyline I refer to is out of play.  I'm sure the bookies will discuss further in the comments.  

  • We are so far off the map with this story that I have no idea where they're going with it!  But, it sure is exciting.  That tease of Brienne and Pod running into Sansa and Littlefinger last week was much more than a tease we learned.  They actually DID encounter each other.  Podrick observed them at a tavern and gave Brienne the heads up.  
  • Poor Brienne, she can't catch a break with these Stark girls.  She found them both and neither of them want her help!  Though, they were both in a situation where they found themselves aligning with the enemy they know rather than not know.  There's a chance Sansa was just trying to save Brienne.  
  • But Littlefinger did his work to make Brienne look like a fool.  She couldn't protect Renly or Catelyn Stark.  And how did Renly die?  By a shadow that appeared to have the face of Stannis Baratheon.  Ohhh boy.  Littlefinger also speaks to being Sansa's uncle after marrying her Aunt Lysa.  
  • Sansa also spoke to Brienne bowing before King Joffrey at the wedding.  That was pretty weak Sansa!  Everyone bows to the king!  Again, she might have been trying to protect Brienne. 
  • Anyway, Littlefinger asked Brienne to stay, but it was clear he was going to have her killed later when they weren't in public.  Brienne made a break for it.  Pod did his job and found another horse and they were off for a crazy chase scene.  Long story short, Pod couldn't control his horse, almost got killed and Brienne saved him.  
  • Podrick makes the comment that neither of the Stark girls want her help, so why not just call her oath fulfilled?  Brienne doesn't trust Littlefinger, so her plan is to follow them.  
  • At this point in the books, Brienne never makes contact with EITHER of the Stark girls and her journey takes a different turn.  At this point, at least, it doesn't look like the show is interested in following that storyline either.   So, we'll all just wait and see together where they go with this!  

King's Landing (and wherever Bronn is)
  • Cersei shows Jaime a message she's received from Dorne.  It's a snake with a lion necklace in its fangs.  It's a threat against Myrcella, their daughter.  The Martells are not thrilled with what happened to Oberyn Martell or his sister Elia, wife of Aegon Targaryan back during Robert Baratheon's war against the Mad King.  This, combined with the prophecy of all of her children ending up in shrouds has Cersei fearing for her daughter's safety.  She also speaks of Margaery as a whore who has her paws wrapped up in Tommen.  (to steak her Queenhood...also part of the prophecy, though we think it really speaks to Dany)  
  • Jaime offers to go get their daughter.  Lots is spoken about how Jaime has failed as a father which is why their kids are the way they are.  Yeah Cersei, that's it I'm sure!  Anyway, Jaime said he will not go with an army but will not go alone either.  He will take their daughter back.  
  • We ship off to some beach where we see Bronn living a boring life awaiting to marry his fair bride and to live in a castle.  Of course, the castle won't be theirs because of the mean older sister.  Not sure if he was speaking of karma as in he'd kill the sister to get the castle or not, but it wouldn't be a stretch for him!   Anyway, Jaime was there to get him out of this boring existence with a promise of a better bride and castle in the end.  Loved the woman's reaction to Jaime being there and getting all hot and bothered. 
  • Once again, we are converging storylines here!  Myrcella's pending doom was certainly a part of the books, but Jaime does not go to retrieve her.  He gets sent into the Riverlands on some other assignment.  And his sword training continues on the journey with the silent Ser Illyn Payne (who beheaded Ned Stark) not Bronn.  It made for some great one way conversations, but this new team and journey makes for a much more interesting prospect.  Jaime and Bronn in Dorne?  That has "WIN" written all over it. 
  • Back in King's Landing we are treated to Cersei's first small council meeting.  Cersei's running of the capital was my favorite part of A Feast for Crows.  She is certifiably crazy in the books.  I'm sure the show will tone that down, but we already are witnessing some awful decisions she is making as a leader.  First, she is lying about Tommen wanting her to call the shots until he comes of age.  He has put the Tyrell patriarch (who comes off as a buffoon) in the Master of Coin slot of the council.   Qyburn, excommunicated maester, is master of war.  (we just witnessed him asking Cersei for a dwarf's head because it'll be helpful in his experimentations. He's also experimenting on The Mountain's almost lifeless body too, as we witnessed last season.)   
  • Then there is Kevan Lannister, Tywin's brother.  He is not buying into Cersei's sham of a government one bit.  She asked him to be Master of War, but he did not accept.  He said he'd be willing to serve when Tommen himself requests it.  He feels Tommen should be sitting in the meetings and learning.  But, he sees this only as an attempt for Cersei to control everything.  And he's absolutely right.   In the book, Cersei was a little more seemingly desperate after her father's death, and I believe she asked Kevan to stick around and be the Hand of the King.  But, his reaction is very similar.  
  • Back to the dwarf head.  Cersei has put a price on Tyrion's head, and we see that dwarves are getting beheaded left and right and brought to the capital so the beheader can earn his Lordship.  It was a great punchline to Tyrion's proposed question in the immediate preceding scene asking if Cersei is going to kill ALL of the dwarves.  

  • We join Prince Doran and Ellaria Sand in the Water gardens of Dorne.  Ellaria is observing Myrcella happily talking to boys and is getting increasingly angry.  She is furious with Oberyn being killed.  Doran is upset about his brother's death, but not ready to go to war over it.  He lost in a trial by combat.  Ellaria still wants revenge and has the Sand Snakes behind her.  The snakes are Oberyn's bastard daughters who we will meet soon enough.   Doran exclaimed that while he rules they will not mutilate little children.   Ellaria asks how long his rule will actually be.   This seemingly came off as a threat.  Not sure how much the show will explore Doran's health.  He was seated, but the book goes into detail that he has a really bad case of gout.  Hopefully, that isn't considered a life altering spoiler! 
  • In the books, there is a character called Arianne Martell who does a lot of this arguing with Prince Doran.  I believe she was his daughter.  I liked that character, but this does make things less confusing.  We already knew Ellaria from last season, so why not have her take on a lot of Arianne's material?    

The Road to Volantis
  • More great banter between Varys and Tyrion.  Not much plot forwarding.  They're enroute to Volantis (if you recall, Talisa was from there.  The show's made up character for Robb Stark's wife.)  Volantis is ON THE WAY to Mereen.  
  • Lots was spoken about being stuck in boxes.  Tyrion continues to drink and wants to go outside and walk.  But, as we discussed, there is a price on his head.  
  • Varys spoke of Tyrion's strength/intelligence in ruling.  He also speaks to how they are men BEHIND the rulers.  People follow leaders, but they aren't content in their roles of being trapped in boxes.  They need to contribute.  Tyrion is still beyond listening to reason.  He spoke to how Shae wanted them to leave King's Landing, but he wouldn't because he enjoyed the game too much.  So maybe there's promise of him turning his head back into the game. 
  • There was a great line about Tyrion saying Cersei should've offered her **** as a reward for Tyrion's head.  He said "her best part for mine".   Classic Tyrion!  
  • Any scene between these 2 is great, but it was really just to remind us where they're headed.  

Castle Black
  • Shireen is teaching Gilly to read now!   Sam is doing Lord Commander research and learned that there was a young Lord Commander before.  (a seemingly throwaway line if you don't know what's coming up)  
  • Gilly had some playful comments about Sam not being a good teacher.  Shireen spoke about her Grey Scale and how she was cured but her face is forever scarred.  Gilly spoke of her sisters that died from it.  They became animals, and Craster eventually had to have them hanged.  
  • Meanwhile Stannis is scolding Jon Snow for showing Mance mercy.  It was a lesson in leadership and how people will not fear him and then won't follow him.  Long story short, Stannis spoke to how Alliser is probably going to become Lord Commander of the Night's Watch which would make Jon's life a living hell.   He offered Jon what he always wanted.  Kneel before him and he would make Jon, John Stark lord of Winterfell and help him reclaim The North.   (those Northerners are reluctant folk who only answer to Starks!) 
  • Jon does turn down the proposal because he is a man of honor like his father.  He will honor his oath to the Night's watch.  
  • The nominees for 998th Commander of the Night's Watch commence.  (kind of makes you think there will be 2 more before the end of the book and TV series, right?)   Alliser Thorne's nomination comes from Janos Slynt.  Some other dude is nominated.  And right before the voting begins Sam gives a very inspiring speech about Jon Snow.  He's the man you follow.  He led the assault for vengeance for Ser Jorah Mormont.  He went North to deal with Mance.  He killed the leader of the Thenns.  He took over when Alliser was hurt in battle.   He also got in a slam on Janos Slynt for hiding with Gilly and soiling himself.  Way to go Sam!  
  • Alliser retored to Jon's nomination, but he actually did it in an honest and admirable way.  He actually admitted to some of Jon's credentials, but still feared Jon's leadership.  He asked what Jon would've done with Mance if Stannis didn't show up.  It's a good question! 
  • The vote came down to a tie between Jon and Alliser.  Master Aemon put in the winning vote for Jon Snow!  And finally, they wrapped up the loose thread from Jon's book 3 story!   All hail the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch! 

  • Daario, Grey Worm and a bunch of unsullied try to hunt down the Sons of the Harpees.  Daario is able to find one where the unsullied failed. He spoke about how the unsullied forget about fear which makes them not think like someone afraid.  He found one of the sons hiding in a wall.  
  • We sit in on Dany's small council meeting deciding what to do with this harpy.  There is a former Meereen Slave on her council.  He was one of the ones supporting Dany's attempt to free the city last season.  I forget his name, and it's of no importance!  He wanted this harpy killed.  Barristan was for a fair trial.   We also see that Hizdar lo what's his face is also on Dany's small council.  She has the city well represented.
  • Barristan speaks in private with Dany about her father The Mad King.  He served under him and watched him slowly get greedy with power until he was burning people alive with wildfire while laughing.  It started with giving people the justice he thought they deserved.  It made him feel powerful and right.  Dany agreed to not execute anyone without a fair trial.  
  • But former slave dude was impatient, and killed the harpy  leaving a sign that says "KILL THE MASTERS" written in blood by the body. 
  • Dany's hands are tied and this crime cannot go unpunished.  She sentences the former slave to death and does it in public where the former masters and former slaves are yelling and screaming at each other.  The former slaves beg for Mercy.  And you keep thinking Dany might give in.  But she has to show strength and stick to the laws.  They yell for their Mhysa....Daario does eventually slice the former slave's throat and silence falls across the crowd.  Then it turned to HISSING at Dany.  She lost their love just like that.   And then stones started getting thrown and the former masters and former slaves revolted against each other.  The unsullied shielded Dany's escape.  
  • It's not looking like Dany's heading West any time soon does it?  She continues to make matters worse in Meereen. 
  • In the meantime, something different from the books did happen (honestly, I couldn't tell you if the above happened or not.  But the concept is the same. Dany is losing control as she rules.).   But Drogon showed up!!  He was just chillin all large and in charge on top of the pyramid where the Harpy once stood.  Dany was relieved to see him.  He is clearly her favorite of the 3 dragons and the most unruly (though granted, they're all pretty unruly).  She reached out to pet her son, and I swore for a second he was going to engulf her in flames (which she can take...she's all fireproof and stuff).   But no, he flies away to maybe be seen again some day in the future! 
Yikes, that's a lot of material to cover!  I may have to start shortening these things, it's taking too long to write up.  Though, I enjoy doing it so we'll see how long I can keep it up.  Let's dive into the comments!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 


Anonymous said...

Again, Thanks.
Wow, did I see the Brienne stuff very differently than you. For one Littlefinger only said what is obviously true that just doesn't happen to support her. She failed at protecting those she swore to protect, for whatever reason. I think she got so insulted that she wouldn't stay with them, not that she was afraid of being killed. I don't think she has since enough to be afraid--lol. And I certainly don't think Sansa was trying to save Brienne--seriously everyone knows Brienne hasn't lost a fight yet. Arya wasn't either and I think both sister's reactios are meant to be similar. Brienne is certainly correct to not trust Littlefinger, but he has proven to be protective of Sansa. And of course, Brienne endangers Sansa by yelling out her name for all to hear.

I wonder who LF is engaged to?? Great line by Sansa on dark ladies and dark words or something like that.

YES, YES, YES--the 998th Lord Commander and 2 more to go. That was my thought too!!!! Let's not forget that moving forward!! I'm thinking the 1000th might be when winter breaks but just guessing.

I bet Bronn doesn't get that better wife that Jamie promises.

I'm getting a little tired of the Tyrion in a funk theme and him feeling all sorry for himself. He was just recently going to be killed. It's like he's ungrateful.

LOL on Dany's hands being tied. She's the queen and can do what she wants, nobody's holding a gun to her head. "The laws the law" is only true because she says it is and she's the one who decided to not kill the harpy son and take it to trial. I viewed her poor decisions(both of them) as necessary for the story to go into the direction of her either needing help to rule(like Tyrion) or to show her inability to be a good ruler. Now she faces a scene similar to that of Rhaegar where the people dont' like her. It's in times like these that bad decisions can doom you.


Mike V. said...

BRIENNE STUFF - Wasn't necessarily how I saw it. I read James Hibberd's recap and it was kinda how he saw it plus with his interview with Christie that helped. lol I totally agree both sisters reactions are intentionally similar and i referred to that. Brienne was yelling Sansa's name because there could be northerners who would align themselves with Brienne to save Sansa. (at least that's how Hibberd saw it too and saw it as a GOOD move) There are still Stark loyalists in the Riverlands. But you have to admit...that was a huge chase to kill Brienne if Littlefinger had no intentions of killing her.

Forgot about the LF engagement thing. No idea. Probably a Frey or something. lol I really have no idea where they're going with this story. Sansa's line about dark words...we definitely heard it before. She said her mother used to say it right?

I remember thinking that with the 998 when I read the books. Yeah...i figured 1000 would probably be at the end of the series if they even follow through with it.

I think we should even question if Bronn survives this trip to Dorne! lol At this point, I think all bets are off on who survives. (except for some obvious characters that can't be killed off just yet)

Welcome to A Dance With Dragons with Tyrion. If anything, the show has toned down his funk from the books. At least he's still getting in his jokes. All he did was whine about Tysha in the books....and they eliminated that from his conflict with Jaime and the end of last season. I can see why they did it. It would've been confusing to the TV only audience...and at least he wouldnt continue complaining about it this season! The dude just killed his lover and father....cut him some slack! He at least acknowledged he had a head for the game to Varys. He'll bounce back.

I think Barristan put the fear of becoming too powerful into Dany. She wanted to abide the law. But she will learn she can't please anyone. But yes, this seems to obviously be going in the direction where Tyrion can help advise her. Wrong name there with Rhaegar...that was Aerys the Mad King (which I think I even referred to as Aegon in the recap now that I think about it). Rhaegar was Dany's brother who was promised to Cersei but who was supposedly in love with someone else and started a war over it.

Dany's story is pretty much on track with how it was in the books. Lots of bad decisions (or unpopular decisions), trying to be fair and just, Tyrion enroute.....the people getting unruly. Sure, she might be in a situation that Aerys was in but she isn't mad with power like her father was (yet).

Anonymous said...

LOL on the Brienne stuff. Just read the EW recap(Hibberd is kind of pompous, don't you think?) I make it a rule to not ready anyone's recap but yours before I comment. Too many opinions to distract from how I saw the episode. I want to post on how I saw the episode, not how I was SUPPOSED to have seen the ep. Rule #whatever--if you have to explain a scene (ie like Glendowyne did) then you probably didn't do a good job with it--writing, directing, whatever. If she had lost some fights prior, then her being concerned, etc would have made some sense. But she's easily beaten 6, so what's another 4 really.

Did you really get that Sansa was trying to protect Brienne???

Let me just say,about the Northman in taverns and how that explanation of Brienne yelling out Sansa's name was just utter BS. Please recall how a smart, capable woman did this a few seasons ago--Catelyn Stark!! She went by the banners or emblems displayed on the various people in the tavern and obtained their support as she KNEW who they were tied to. Brienne just BLINDLY yelled out Sansa's name not knowing if a bounty hunter was there. If I were Sansa, I wouldn't want this raving idiot around me--Brienne--putting me in danger. She may be unbeatable with a sword, but has the cunning and/or brains of pawn--lol.

LOL on Dany can't please anyone. Yea, she's kind of like Brienne on the brains front--lol.

Thanks for straightening me out with Aerys.

OH NO, Peter and a Frey girl. I can't imagine how that will go over with everyone knowing that he's traveling with Sansa STARK!!! Again, thanks to Brienne--lol. I'll be watching for this in future episodes now to see if the show runners drop the ball on this.

BTW, I agree with Hibberd on Pod riding a horse. I mean even if he didn't originally by this time he should be good at it. I've ridden horses for years, it's not hard at all.

It's kind of amazing to me the same director can get some things in one ep so great and some things just horribly wrong. If it weren't for Arya in Bravos, this ep would very low on my GoT episode scale-lol. If I hadn't already known that JOn was going to be elected, that scene would have been better for me.


MJ said...

You know nothing Jon Snow ! How did he not take the name Snow that Stannis offered ?? I want him as Lord of Winterfel. So Rickon can actually come home one day. Sansa can go back to the north and marry well. Arya can get her revenges and then come home and be the North's Brienne - or Queen Dany's Head Guard ! Bran might even visit once in a while. LOL Lord - I am such a chick on some things !

Glad you stated that there having been a young Lord Commander previously was something - I don't even remember him saying it really.

Great shot of Drogon landing on the building. Could totally care less about all the rest of Dany's issues with kill the killer or have a fair trial. Hissing crowd was pretty creepy though.

Can't remember - who Meryn Trant? Noted that The Hound was no longer on the list. And what is the translation to the response to Valor Margolis (sp?) All men must die - but can't remember the response's meaning. Agree - the whole I am no one and you have to learn to be no one was weird. Those boys on the street sure were afraid of the guy from the House of Black and White - whatever the religous cult calls themselves. You are right - she does always seem to be in the 2nd one as opposed to the 1st - but then they spend a really good amount of time on her so it's good.

I know it worked out in the first ep that Brienne announced she was looking for the Stark girls - but I don't think Brienne should have been so public about announcing who Sansa was. EW recap hypothasized that Sansa saying no was protecting Brienne but I didn't see it that way. And since when does Pod not know how to ride and they only have 1 horse ? Didn't they have 2 horses last season and were both riding ?

Loved the necklace on the Viper statue ! Didn't realize Myrcella was betrothed to any of the Martells though - thought she was just living there under their protection. Cersei seriousy chided Jamie for not being a father ? Really ? LOL But was happy to see Jamie taking Bronn with him. Ellaria might not like it but Doran is right - Oberon was not murdered. Kevan Lannister should be careful - I can totally see Cersei having him killed !

MJ said...

I thought there was plenty 'right' with this episode.

What was not agreeable was some professional reviewers and the actors take on things. I read Hibberd early this am before even getting to Mike's recap and already had typed my comments about his assumptions before even reding the comments here. Kinda funny.

I felt it dumb for Brienne to blurt out Sansa's name as well - but I think she did it cause she had luck last week mentioning Stark to Hand Pie - or whatever his name is. LOL Also - I think she was just damn excited after being so down about the whole thing earlier on.

I liked the scene - just not others perspectives of the scene.

Not having read the books I was never aware that Jon becomes Lord Commander - so didn't like that.

Mike V. said...

Hibberd - I just think he's funny. He's very similar to me (probably better) at infusing comedy into his recaps. lol I didn't get pompous from it. I should say that I did have a slightly different opinion of the Littlefinger/Brienne scene before I read his recap. I wondered why she just ran off like that. So you're right...i let other opinions educate me. Still...Brienne was largely outnumbered in that setting, so I think she was right to be concerned. Granted, I wouldn't have just approached Sansa like that knowing it would be dangerous. There had to be a better setting to try it.

As for Sansa trying to protect Brienne....I dunno. I really think Sansa is doing the whole "Devil you know" thing. She may not like Littlefinger, but she at least knows what she wants. (literally, she said that last season...and D&D even stated that in a commentary after the ep) She may not want harm to come to Brienne, but she probably doesn't really care to go with her either.

You'll get no arguments from me on the tavern thing. She is in high demand, and she's even changed her appearance to try and go unobserved (though Podrick of all people recognized her lol). General consensus is this scene was a mess. I listened to a podcast about the setting was in a jovial tavern where people were generally having a good time. Yet, war has torn the country apart and most taverns have been run down. It just didn't add up.

No problem with Aerys. I had to straighten myself out too! (and still didn't fix the recap lol)

I have no doubt that there will be no repercussions for Brienne yelling Sansa out!

Yeah his commentary on Pod and the horse was pretty much right on. They've turned him into a buffoon but in seasons 2, 3 they had him as Tyrion's loyal servant who saved him in the battle of blackwater. Very strange.

Arya was definitely the highlight, but she definitely is for me. I loved the stuff at the Wall. I got chills with Sam's speech. It was really well done. But no, far from the best GoT episode.

Mike V. said...

LOL on Jon Snow. I remember wanting him to take the offer when reading the books too. But, he's a loyal dude and he's the HERO! Plus, there are other things at play that might pull him out of the Night's Watch eventually (should popular theories be true). I have to guess that if the Starks ever end up back at Winterfell, RICKON will be the lord of Winterfell. It's probably his whole reason for existing. lol

Sam did a throwaway line when reading his book about the Lord Commander. Apparently it was a Stark of 8 years old. Gilly referred incorrectly to him as Ostrich Stark. lol

You're pretty much on par with the rest of the Ice and Fire community with not caring about Dany's political dealings in Meereen. You may recall me referring to the Meereenese Knot (Tyrion referred to in in season 3 as a sexual position). It's what GRRM called his whole Dany problem in books 4 and 5. It's why he had to split the story into 2 books. He couldn't figure out how to get Dany OUT of Meereen. Too many moving parts. At least, that was his excuse for why it took 10 years to write both books. We're coming up on 4 or 5 years between books 5 and 6 now too. He's just slow! lol Actually part of his resolution was to get people to come TO Dany instead of her going to them. Hence, we finally start seeing that with Tyrion. Other characters that were in the book will probably not be in play in the show. (Ironborn - definitely nixed, and others I shouldn't mention for now)

Funny I almost explained why each person was on Arya's list. Meryn Trant supposedly killed Syrrio Forel (arya's dancing master from Braavos). But, we didn't see him die in the books or the we don't know. Meryn also did a lot of slapping of Sansa on the king's order. Tyrion yelled at him in public before because of it. The Hound is not on the list, but Arya left him for dead and assumes he's dead. I really can't speak to if the show considers him dead or not. And I can't speak to if the book considers him dead or not. All I can say is...there are theories. And maybe I can clarify those theories depending on what happens this season.

Myrcella - oh no Tryion definitely pitched 3 marriage proposals to find out who was Cersei's rat on the small council. He pitched a marriage to someone in Dorne to Pycelle, and that's why she's there. (I remember specifically the marriage to Theon as a proposal for Varys and I think Robin of the Vale for Littlefinger)

In case you were curious, last week when I said I wanted to mention book differences for Jaime's story....I told Richard Jaime would be going to Dorne (which was in EW)....but also that the speculation was that he'd take Bronn with him. :-) Now you're caught up!

Interesting speculation on Kevan Lannister. It's not a spoiler for me to say either because I have no idea what the show will do!

Mike V. said...

@MJ - Good thoughts on Brienne's frame of mind, but I should clarify maybe you watched Brienne talking to Hot Pie last week, but it was last season! :-)

As for Jon becoming Lord Commander, the events happen much more quickly in the books and it seems like the right thing to do. I really thought he was lord commander BEFORE he was offered the Stark thing, but I could be wrong. Basically, Jon leaves Ygritte injured but then starts getting Castle Black ready for war IMMEDIATELY, not a whole season later. And then after the battle, Sam campaigns for Jon to be lord commander. It's not just a speech, he actually rallys the troops I think. I thought the whole pitch for Winterfell happened after. I'm going to have to look that up.

But that always seemed Jon's trajectory...maybe not so soon in his career though. (hence why Sam was researching young lord commanders) Doesn't mean you have to like it though!

Anonymous said...

To me Kevan Lanister leaving with Cersei making a mess of things in some ways doesn't make sense. He sure seemed like he could get things straightened out. So, I wonder why he didn't go to Tommen, except of course we need the storyline--lol. With Jamie gone and a bunch of "loyal yes men" all that she has to work with, I think Cersei's in trouble. She has some crazy ideas that left unchecked could backfire. Qyburn bothers me wanting heads and things.

The 998th Lord Commander and the thought on ending with the 1000th of course means Jon won't be Lord Commander at the end of the series. We need to research how one can be alive and not the Lord Commander.

I think we'll see red head wildling guy take charge of the free men before too long.

I've been thinking that for the show Tyrion may end up bringing Jorah back into the leadership.

I'm starting to smile more at the idea of a Petyr,Frey, Stark mash up for the engagement--lol


Anonymous said...

One smart thing Cersei did was to make Tyrell, Master of Coin. Since the Lanister's are broke and need Tyrell money. Kevan would know this too.


Mike V. said...

Yep, I think Tormund (red head) Giant's Bane will probably be the guy they promote to Wildling leader/representative. He has a sort of bond with Jon and he's had much more screen time than Mance. Jon made reference to that this week that they need someone that can speak for the wildlings.

So you're saying from a Book vs. Show perspective you can't buy Kevan's reasoning in the show? I guess I can see that. Yeah, why wouldn't you just try to get to Tommen like Margaery does? I guess it's limitations in minutes per episode to give that whole backstory. But yes...Cersei surrounding herself by this council is just entertainment at its finest waiting to happen. I hope it comes across the way I enjoyed reading it. lol I know a lot of people hated A feast for Crows (basically because it wasn't A Storm Of Swords part 2)...but I loved getting inside Cersei's head. You usually would read a character perspective and gain some insight on why they are the way they are...but when you read Cersei's chapters (first time in AFFC), they're just flat out crazy! She was still a villain even in her own chapters. lol

Yeah...exactly on the 998 vs. 1000. Granted, you never know if by the end of the series the wall may come tumbling down. Maybe there will be no need for a Night's Watch???

I threw that Frey thing in there as a joke! But I guess it's always a possibility. lol Maybe with the Lannister house crumbling Littlefinger will be able to pick up the pieces. But I can't imagine Sansa stomaching meeting Walder Frey.

Yeah...Tyrell comes off as a buffoon/yes man...but making him Master of Coin does seem to make sense.

******BOOK STUFF*****

Careful there Richard, your book knowledge might be creeping in with J and T! But I would put good money on Varys and Tyrion running into a certain recent outcast. (though I would've preferred him showing up in Braavos first...not sure if the timing and geography will make sense or not)

Anonymous said...

Exactly, the character portrayal on TV is really strong and sound along with getting just right what Cersei is doing. And he kept asking what Tommen wants and says, etc. So to me it was a minor hole that Kevan didn't just go and ask.

NO NIghts Watch--wow, you're on a roll with ideas. I never thought of that one. I did on the 998 going to 1000, but not the concept of no nights watch. Of course the need for a 1000th is not there if you don't have a nights watch.

I was actually just playing things out with J and T from a strictly show perspective. It helped to do a rewatch and have recent events in mind--lol.


MJ said...

LOL on last Season with Hot Pie. I watched some of the final eps before the premier. Oops.

Mike V. said...

Kevan - I think some of those quotes are pretty much paraphrased from the book though. I could be wrong (regarding wanting Tommen to be present and ask him himself. It was more of not approving of Cersei controlling things) But I get your point!

In the book they talked a lot about that horn that would tear the whole wall down. Kind of like Checkov's(sp) gun theory. If you mention it, it's probably going to happen! lol Granted, it was never brought up in the show.

Yeah I know you were...but that kind of speculation might noe be crossing everyone's mind yet!! :) Book readers carry a tough burden. lol When they speculate it carries a little more risk in meaning! lol

MJ said...

Rickon - you are right about his existance so far ! LOL Exactly my thoughts on why Hound not on list any more - we didn't see him die but he was dying. Don't know the fate of the Mountain yet either. Remember - he wouldn't be the same after Qyburns treatment.

Anonymous said...

Rickon--I think him becoming Lord of Winterfel is the most likely candidate. For one reason, GRRM seems to like to see the young ones grow and take over.

I hate it, but I think the Hound is done for GoT TV. I think he was left alive, just for him to suffer compared to the prior eps where suffering was shortened. This continuation of suffering being allowed by Arya was to show how much she has changed and how cruel she could be. Even to someone who had treated her pretty well, given his lack of resources. I could see Arya doing this tO Joffrey, but to do this to the Hound was particularly cruel and heartless.


Mike V. said...

The Mountain - Oh don't worry, I don't forget. But it's good you remember! :-)

Interesting point on Arya's list, it was much shorter than it used to be. Sure some people died or are assumed dead but "The red woman" was on there previously too. I wonder if that means they're cutting the Gendry storyline. (Granted...I can't say that Gendry was in the books any more to this point but I assumed he would return at some point)

I think the point of making her list shorter makes the names stand out a bit more...there are 4...and there is a chance Arya could actually kill SOMEONE or SOMEONES on this list.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great catch, no red woman on Arya's list. I actually was looking forward to that one.


Anonymous said...

What if the marriage proposal Littlefinger was talking about was for Sansa!!!!!


Mike V. said...

I did consider Sansa. lol But since he's her who knows?? Here's a thought

*****BOOK STUFF****************

Remember the whole Jeyne Poole storyline in the books where the Boltons claimed she was Arya Stark and Ramsay married her? Maybe they're planning to actually swap in Sansa to this storyline? But then he actually WOULD be marrying a Stark. But maybe because she's married to Tyrion she'll have to be ARYA stark???

I don't know how this works unless Littlefinger betrays her and sells her to the Boltons. Then Theon would have to break her out....and that catches us up to real time in GRRM's saga.

Anonymous said...


Yes, that's what I saying, that he has set it up for Sansa to marry someone! I originally thought he was headed to the Tulley's which kind of makes more sense in that he could get them more easily as an ally with Sansa. But, what a big plot twist this would be.

Your thought of Ramsay is perfect. From one monster to another goes Sansa. And we haven't had any monsters so far this season. Tyrion and Sansa never consummated their marriage(like Margery). And this marriage or proposed marriage would be a reason as to why they made the Theon character such a big deal.

Now that Ramsay is a legit heir to the entire North, I don't know that this is a 100% betrayal by Petyr. Certainly wouldn't be abnormal overall. Look at Catelyn, Cersei, Margery, etc--it's what happens to most royal ladies--they get married off as a means to an end. Petyr has charge over Robin so that gives him some sway.

The above seems more speculation than spoilers. None of it is based on the books--lol.


Mike V. said...


Yeah but it's BASED on events in the books....just with a twist. :) The more I think about it the more it really makes sense for that to be what it is. Even that comment in the North about the North only being loyal to STARKS is telling about where it's going. I just can't see Sansa being okay with this arrangement considering the Bolton's were involved in the death of her mother and brother...but alas...from one monster to another. Could be more interesting if they have Brienne run into we know Stannis was marching to Winterfell in the snow when we last see him in ADWD.

Anonymous said...


I use ?s because I think I figured out the Sansa/Ramsay thing with just the show to go on. But that's OK.

I totally expect Brienne to meet up with Stannis somehow or in that area fighting the Boltons. Again, the 2 storylines I absolutely hate are Theon and Brienne. They have been put in there for a reason and a big time showdown at Winterfell kind of makes sense given Brienne's oath to the Starks and Theon's perverse torture.

I expect that Dark Sansa is really unknown at this point about what she will do and this could definitely go beyond the books in timeline/scope/story/etc. I'm expecting that Theon and/or Brienne will at some point rescue her from getting married or rescue her after the marriage. BUT, Sansa saw how Margery dealt with Joffrey and I think she learned a lot and will use that education. As you point out the North will follow the Starks and Roose knows this and so for him this marriage would be AWESOME! He would not allow Ramsay to harm her since they need her. I just don't think Sansa and Ramsay will stay married, if they get married. And it could be as simple as Brienne kills Ramsay during a battle without Sansa's wanting her to????

I've been wondering if the fight with the north(night walkers) will occur after Dany(or whichever Targeryen) conquers and unifies Westeros. It seems to me that some consolidation of power will occur before the big fight with the night walkers. But maybe that big battle/war will cause an alliance to develop vs after a "conquest". Kind of like what's happening with Stannis.

PS, I've been thinking about JS and yes this is from the book stuff. With the 998th going to 1000 thing and him being stabbed multiple times by multiple people I don't think he lives as is. Certainly he won't come back as Lord Commander. But, maybe he comes back as something else???? Lots of options there, including a normal human--lol. Don't forget Melisandre as well as the night walkers and other things.


Mike V. said...


First of's WHITE WALKERS! First time I thought it was a mistake, then you kept saying it!lol

2nd of all...a lot of what you're suggesting makes a whole lot of sense. Dark Sansa definitely is a wildcard...and she might be totally on board with 1-upping the Boltons and will even marry to get what she wants. I never really thought about Westeros being conquered/unified before the walkers show up. I just assumed by the time Dany ever got over here, there would be a crisis for her to help with and unify the people....and somehow she'd be working with Jon Snow to get it done. Granted, being GRRM nothing ever really happens as expected....but now we're talking show vs. books and how much they'll diverge in the end.

The JS stuff....yeah the stabbing certainly has left a lot up in the air...that could be the end of his reign either way. Mellisandre has never raised anyone from the dead but she certainly was curious to how Thoros did it (in the the books they never met). There are all of those prophecies too. Interesting you mentioned White WALKERS in the same thought as JS...surely you don't think he'll become a wight do you? lol

Anonymous said...

OMG, brain fart--lol I kept writing night and new it was White--lol.


That's right the Brother Hood raising the dead, etc. Lots of JS options including becoming a wright. Which would be awful.

Yea, Dany unifying the people with the dragons is the most logical obvious choice at this point. But one reason I like GRRM is he doesn't do obvious.

Which is why I'm discounting Dany as the defacto winner--:) That scene of her reaching for the iron throne but not able to touch it or choosing to not touch it in the snow keeps popping up in my mind.

Now all we've got to do is figure out what happens in Dorne and then we'll have most of S5 figured out--LOL.


Mike V. said...

Agreed GRRM does not do obvious. Yeah...I've never assumed Dany will be sitting on the throne in the end. We just don't know. Good point about the TV prophecy she saw.

I figured the Dorne stuff would play out sort of like it does in the books. Just with Jaime involved. Doesn't myrcella (also recast) lose an ear?? lol I don't even remember half the stuff that happens. I'm sure it'll be entertaining though!

Mike V. said...

TV vs Books column: