A tale well told

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24 Responses

  1. Avatar Kim says:

    ** Standard disclaimer: There may be a conflict of interest, if so, I may be unaware of it. Read at your own risk, my biases and opinions are my own.Report

  2. Avatar North says:

    No disagreement here. The finale yesterday evening was quite something, they went wingdings off the track laid out by the books. Tysha was exercised from the plot; Brienne and the Hound WTF?!?!Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to North says:

      @north – So without spoiling anything else from the books, which way is Arya headed – north as she’d originally requested, or over to Braavos? It wasn’t clear to me if giving the coin and speaking the words to the captain compels him to accede to her original request, or just compels him to take her to Braavos.

      Also, I’m guessing the Hound doesn’t die (but don’t tell me otherwise, if I’m wrong). Martin seems to have too much affection for his most visibly-scarred characters, and generally if you don’t see someone die they aren’t dead. Still, that was a brutal fight, on a show known for them.

      Also – WTH! The Six-Million-Gold-Dragon Man (AKA FrankenMountain)?!

      That won’t be good for anybody.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph says:

        @glyph
        Non-spoiler consensus seems to indicate Arya heading for Braavos.

        Martin’s pet is clearly Tyrion. GRRM can’t have Tyrion sit still (when he does stay in KL for Season 3, people come to him), because Tyrion is such a wonderful observer of mankind. I place no bets other than at the series’ end, Tyrion is still kicking.

        We’ve had Dragons, Zombies, Fiery Visions, Shadow Monsters, why not Dr. Frankenstein himself?Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Glyph says:

        Martin’s pet is clearly Tyrion

        You’ve seen Martin, right?

        I think Tyrion *is* Martin, or the version of Martin that Martin thinks would exist in this world.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Glyph says:

        Glyph, without spoiling I can tell you that Arya is indeed headed to Braavos. The only other hint I’ll give you is that you consider who Arya got the coin from, what circumstances led to her being given the coin and then considering those things consider what this kind of coin and that kind of phrase would mean to a Barrvosi. If you consider those things together her destination becomes almost obvious.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

        I remain convinced that Tyrion is at least partly GRRM’s take on Miles Vorkosigan.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph says:

        Patrick,
        Tyrion is who Martin wishes he could be. All the keen words slicing through illusions like a knife.
        King Robert is who Martin would be in Westeros, and the show writers picked up on that, and expanded it a good bit.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I think you need to be more specific.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Burt Likko says:

      He saw the woman he loved literally in bed with man who was trying to orchestrate his demise. (and who had moralized incessantly against such liaisons)

      The better question is jul qvq glevba tb hc gb gur unaqf punzore.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Kolohe says:

        Well in the show I suppose the presumption is that he was most likely planning to off his old man anyhow or at least tell him off. In the books of course which the show very massively deviated from *rot’d spoiler*

        Wnzvr, va gur unyyjnlf whfg nsgre eryrnfvat Glevba, pbasrffrq gung Glfun, gur jbzna Glevba unq zneevrq va uvf lbhgu naq yngre orra gbyq jnf n juber ratvarrerq nf n cenax ol Wnzvr jnf va npghnyvgl gur trahvar guvat naq gung Gljva unq pbzcryyrq Wnzvr gb yvr nf n zrnaf bs jerpxvat gur eryngvbafuvc hggreyl. Glevba jnf hggreyl qrinfgngrq, erpnyy gung guvf (ur abj xabjf vaabprag) jbzna jnf tnat encrq ol uvf Snguref fbyqvref juvyr ur (ure uhfonaq) unq jngpurq naq gura cnegnxra naq jnf gura frag jvgu n ont bs zbarl njnl. Va gur obbxf Glevba jnf cebcryyrq ol furre juvgr ubg shel hc gb gur gbjre gb gel naq qvfpbire sebz uvf Sngure jurer Glfun unq orra frag nsgre ure ubeevsvp encr. Gljva’f qvfzvffvir “Jurerire juberf tb” jnf jung cebzcgrq Glevba’f xvyyvat uvz.

        Now the show having Tyrion kill Tywin over Tysha is a huge step down from that and an extremely marked departure from the book since Tyrion spends about a novel and a half essentially wallowing out of comission over the secret that the show appears to have excised. Frankly I cannot imagine Tyrion being able to muster similar woe over Shae. The woman betrayed him and then went for a knife when she saw him. Murdering her was by no means right but it is considerably more self justifiable. Perhaps this means Tyrion will not wallow as he did in the books which would probably be a good thing. When you think of it on a meta level you could excise that entire plot element relatively easily and have Tyrion do pretty much everything he does in the books. So while I’m shocked by the revision I’m not outraged about it.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kolohe says:

        Gljva arire fnvq abg gb fyrrc jvgu n juber; ur fnvq qba’g snyy va ybir jvgu bar, zneel bar, or fra pbafbegvat jvgu bar. Gung ur’q gnxr uvf cyrnfher jvgu Funr jnf whfg na vafhyg.

        Ohg lrnu, jung jnf ur ubcvat gb nppbzcyvfu tbvat gurer va gur svefg cynpr?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

        Va gur obbx Gljva sbeovqf Glevba gb frr nal zber juberf, naq fnlf ur’yy xvyy gur arkg bar, juvpu vf jul ur unf gb uvqr Funr. Juvpu znxrf uvz n ulcbpevgr sbe gnxvat hc jvgu ure, naq pregnvayl sbe oevatvat ure vagb gur Unaq’f gbjre. Jnfa’g gung va gur GI frevrf gbb?Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Kolohe says:

        Burt
        Va gur obbxf Glevba jrag hc vagb gur gbjre va n entr gb gel naq rkgenpg sebz uvf sngure vasbezngvba ba jurer Glfun unq tbar. V nqzvg gung erzbivat gur Glfun ryrzrag qbrf yrnir Glevbaf ernfbaf sbe tbvat hc vagb gur Gbjre bs gur Unaq dhvgr nzovtbhf. Glfun znqr gur ernfba sbe uvf nfprag va gur obbxf boivbhf ohg gur fubj nccrnef gb unir rkpvfrq Glfun lrg frag uvz hc vagb gur Gbjre nalubj jvgubhg nal nccnerag ernfba gb tb gurer.Report

  3. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Hmm, give Kimmie time and room, and she writes a damn good post. I find my self nodding in agreement with her analysis.Report

  4. Avatar Zac says:

    This post reminds me of part of an essay written last year after “The Rains of Castamere” aired:

    “I have a long-brewing theory that Martin is the world’s most cynical romantic. I’ve never yet read a Martin novel or story that ended in utter despair for any character who hadn’t thoroughly earned it—and I’ve read him extensively, from his 1977 debut novel, Dying Of The Light, to his many short-story collections and the entire Song Of Ice And Fire series. His work has always embraced bleakness, loneliness, and hardship, with tough-minded people muddling through traumas that perpetually threaten to break them. His protagonists rarely get exactly what they want; often, they can consider themselves lucky if they become wise enough to realize they wanted the wrong thing. His characters often make hard, ugly choices to survive, but those choices make them stronger and fiercer, and more capable of protecting themselves from the hatefulness of the predatory worlds they live in.

    Martin’s cynical side can be overpowering: Characters who start his stories with naïve faith in honor, loyalty, or love—especially their own one-sided, demanding love, as opposed to a mutual bond—are commonly punished for their beliefs. But his romantic side holds just as steady, with the most steadfast and worthy characters prevailing. As I put it in that Gateways, “For a man whose writing is so often ruthless and uncompromising, he has a hell of a sentimental streak when it comes to questions of injustice, honor, nobility, personal dignity against long odds, and wrongs that need to be righted at any cost.”

    I’ve said this over and over when writing about Martin’s work. What he does better than any author I’ve ever encountered—what defines his writing for me—is his masterful skill at exploiting the tension between the desire for justice and the availability of that justice. But that doesn’t mean there is no justice, just that it’s always hard-won and thoroughly earned. Robb and Catelyn’s grotesque ends complicate the search for justice considerably, and move it far into the future. But it doesn’t make the quest impossible. It just means it’ll be that much sweeter and that much more satisfying when it finally arrives.”

    Tasha Robinson (http://www.avclub.com/article/why-igame-of-thronesi-red-wedding-packs-such-an-em-98566)Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Zac says:

      The romantic elements of Ice and Fire seem so frail compared to events that overwhelm them: Ned and Catelyn Stark, Jaime and Cercei Lannister, Sam Tarly and Gilly, Tyrion and Tysha, Robb Stark and Talisa, Tyrion and Shae, Jon Snow and Ygritte, Danerys and Khal Drogo. Many examples of reciprocated love, nearly all of which get crushed in one way or another by the cruel events of bloody history.Report

  5. Avatar Roger says:

    Awesome post, Kim.

    I just got back from my annual camping on the beach family vacation and caught up on the last two episodes last night. I love this show. I will probably keep my HBO subscription just to get it.Report

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