And so our watch is ended … for this year


James K

James is a government policy analyst, and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His interests including wargaming, computer gaming (especially RPGs and strategy games), Dungeons & Dragons and scepticism. No part of any of his posts or comments should be construed as the position of any part of the New Zealand government, or indeed any agency he may be associated with.

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    What do you think about the changes from the book James? The final episode deviated really heavily from the books. The Hound meeting Brienne? Didn’t happen. Removing the Tysha plotline? Somewhat defensible to my mind but that then leaves us wondering why the Fish Tyrion went zipping up into that tower? Was he hoping to retrieve a stash of porn he left hidden under the mattress of the bed of the Hand?Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      I haven’t seen the shows, but having read the first three books, I’m dubious about removing the Tysha plot line. There’s a lot driving Tyrion, and that’s one of the two main things driving his anger at his father (the other being the knowledge that dad doesn’t view him as a true Lannister). To me, it seems pretty central to his character.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        I tend to agree James. The show makers *spoiler* mention Tysha and what happened to her but they completely leave out the Jamie reveal of it being a lie and that Tysha was actually not a hired prostitute. They tried to amp up the Tyrion Shae relationship more than the books did but I don’t think it filled the gap and it left a hanging question into why Tyrion chose to go up into the Tower to confront his Father when he was escaping.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Well, at least now Tyrion knows where whores go (to Tywin’s bedchamber).

        Shae’s characterization was kinda weird in the show. I wish they had done a little more work to show what ‘flipped’ her so thoroughly – I mean, it really seemed like she loved Tyrion, and I GUESS I could buy her being vindictive enough after their bad parting to want him dead – but how’d she get taken off the ship, and how long has she been with Tywin, and what was she promised by him?

        It just seemed like at the end they reduced her to what the Tywins of the world would have always said she was, loyal only to self and money, when before she’d been presented differently (if a little stubborn and naive to believe that she could ever be safe in King’s Landing).Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        I think it was more like: “You’re caught, we can do whatever we want with you. Here’s carrot, and here’s stick.” (Possibly including a “We won’t Kill Tyrion” in there).

        Shae’s upset, wanting to get back at Tyrion (she certainly didn’t need to humiliate him), but… yeah, not enough to kill him.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        GRRM also knows where whores go…
        [Seriously, any trolling he gets based on him
        overusing taglines is TOTALLY deserved.]Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Possibly including a “We won’t Kill Tyrion” in there….Shae’s upset, wanting to get back at Tyrion (she certainly didn’t need to humiliate him), but… yeah, not enough to kill him.

        This would work, except she went for a knife and called for guards when she saw Tyrion. Which suggests she was A-OK with his death.

        It was just a weird twist for that character. Not saying it couldn’t work, but it just seemed like too much happened offscreen to explain it.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        when your former lover shows up with a crossbow — when he’s supposed to be rotting in a cell, I think it’s fair to call for guards and grab a knife.

        Shae’s not littlefinger, not everything she does needs to be thought through completely.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        IIRC, he grabbed the crossbow after. She didn’t even hesitate.

        I just think the show generally does such a good job of giving even its most despicable characters some depth, it just seems a shame to rob one of it.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Also, I’m not convinced Littlefinger has a plan (beyond squirting around Westeros on a trail of his own viscous slime on a quest to obtain every accent in the Seven Kingdoms.)Report

      • Avatar North says:

        The really really big problem with Shae is the bag of diamonds scene. If she were simply a Scheming money obsessed woman she would have taken the gems and fled. Tyrion was married at that point, any clever woman would have recognized the writing on the wall.
        If Shae got taken off the ship and extorted that’s well and good but A) we would need to have seen a scene to explain this and B) it’s unrealistic that as soon as she saw Tyrion she’d have dived for a knife. The internal logic of that whole plotline is kindof borked now.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @north – exactly. I can certainly see Shae realizing that the only *true* currency of this world is actual currency (not love, or loyalty, or etc.) and deciding to flip, but we’d have needed to see more.

        It surprises none of us that Sansa is finally coming to that same realization, because we’ve seen what Sansa has been through.Report

    • Avatar James K says:


      I thought Brienne vs. The Hound was brilliant, Brienne needs more time fighting on screen. As for Tysha, I’m less bothered. I thought Tyrion obsessing over the “where do whores go?” line stupid. Tywin wasn’t posing a riddle, it was his way of saying “I don’t know and I don’t care”. My concerns with this development are two-fold, 1 – Shae characterisation comes off as a little inconsistent now, 2 – Jaime will have less call for reflection now.

      The deviation that really puzzled me was a complete lack of Lady Stoneheart.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Methinks there were casting issues. As in a certain actor was unavailable, so they skipped it altogether.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        I had assumed that they were saving Lady Stoneheart for next season.

        I’m okay with Tysha being removed but riddle me this James: With the Tysha plot line being removed then why the fish did Tyrion interrupt his escape to go up poking around in the Hand’s tower?Report

  2. Avatar Glyph says:

    OK, this particular AVClub GoT item didn’t interest me all that much on its own but YMMV:

    However, as is often the case over there, the comments can be worthwhile.

    I nearly spit my coffee out over this exchange:

    Rollo Tomassi -> beema • 15 hours ago

    I would imagine that in medieval times it wouldn’t be uncommon for a royal wedding to eat up nearly all of a kingdom’s yearly budget. I’m sure there were kings/princes still paying off their wedding expenses years later.

    Of course, it helps when you can unilaterally order your own debts forgiven, expel the Jews, burn the Templars, nationalize the churches and seize all of that property.

    Ugly Truth Rollo -> Tomassi • 15 hours ago

    I went to Medieval Times and tried to expel all the Jews. I very nearly got arrested and I didn’t even get to finish the chicken wings.

    Excitable Misunderstood Genius – > Ugly Truth • 15 hours ago

    I imagine any Jews at Medieval Times would be praying to Yahweh that they get expelled. Hell, if I found myself at Medieval Times I’d contemplate converting just as a way out.

    Everything about that middle comment is comedy gold, from the concept of singlehandedly attempting an anachronistic pogrom at a cheesy themed restaurant, to the juxtaposition of faux-serious consequences (“arrested”) with snooty indignance (“very nearly”) and failure/disappointment (“didn’t even get to finish”); plus the inherently funny words “chicken wings” as the icing. But the preceding and succeeding comments are no slouches either.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    this is a ‘crummy commercial’, but it’s pretty darn good.

    (i am not compensated in any way by Procter & Gamble for linking to that)Report

  4. Avatar Michael M. says:

    I’m partial to Funny or Die’s Gay of Thrones, which scored an appearance by GRRM himself for it’s Season 4 finale. (What else is GRRM going to do while he’s not writing?) The actor who plays Theon also showed up for a guest spot back in one of the season 3 recaps. Mainly, though, I just like Jonathan’s pet names — Christina Aguilera (Daenerys), Blonde Cher (Cersei), Dogg the Bounty Hunter & baby Kristen Stewart (The Hound & Arya), Red Riding Hood Stevie Nicks (Melisandre), etc. — and his plot recaps.Report