I’ve had enough of the news this week, haven’t you?  We need a distraction.  I know!  How about we discuss a show centered around political conspiracies, foreign intrigue, and nepotism?

Truth be told, I don’t watch the show, per se, and won’t be watching the Season Premiere tonight.  Instead, I watch YouTube compilations of scenes from the show that focus on the characters and storylines I’m most interested in.  Yes, I know, my attention span i

It’s funny because I didn’t like the show when I gave it a try a few years ago, mostly because the narrative style of jumping the story from character to character and taking several episodes to connect anything to anything drove me nuts.  I couldn’t get into it.

My sister thought I was wrong, so she bought me the books. Once I read them, I found that I liked the story and the world, but was annoyed that the books use the exact same narrative style as the show.  Frequently, I would find myself skipping ahead several chapters to find out what happened after a previous chapter detailing events involving a particular character left off.  When I was satisfied, I’d go back and read the less engaging stuff I skipped.

I was perfectly content to not watch the show at all, but as you know GRRM isn’t in a big hurry to finish the novels.  I pretty much had no choice but to get up to speed on the show’s divergences and follow along the best I could.  Can’t say I have any desire to watch the show from the beginning even now though.

So which storylines and characters are most interesting to me, you may ask?  The Lannisters and everything closely related to them, particularly events around King’s Landing.  With Cersei, Joffrey, and Tywin they have the best and most hateable villains along with the lovable Tyrion and very complex Jaime (my favorite character).  Their stories are those that I was most closely following.  Of course, the show now has Tyrion with Dany so I’m forced to keep up with her (I think she’s dull so go on and strike me down with your hatred).

Anyway, let’s talk about it. Any predictions, hopes, or  expectations for this season?

Feel free to drop spoilers after the episode airs.

25 comments

  1. It’s funny because I didn’t like the show when I gave it a try a few years ago, mostly because the narrative style of jumping the story from character to character and taking several episodes to connect anything to anything drove me nuts. I couldn’t get into it.

    Once I read them, I found that I liked the story and the world, but was annoyed that the books use the exact same narrative style as the show. Frequently, I would find myself skipping ahead several chapters to find out what happened after a previous chapter detailing events involving a particular character left off. When I was satisfied, I’d go back and read the less engaging stuff I skipped.

    It is quite literally a thousand pages rather than a few episodes to tie things together. I got so sick of waiting for the actual war in the north to start, and for Dragons to come, I stopped reading the books half-way through A Storm of Crows.

    The other habit he has, which has now become almost a running gag, is he kills off likable characters. Repeatedly. He will write someone in such a way as to make you think they are key to the story, and make you want to start rooting for them, only to abruptly kill them off. It happens multiple times, and drove me nuts.

    I’m done with the books, and I’ll never watch the show.

  2. Yeah the mortality rate of main characters is too frustrating for a lot of people to bear. My advice to any new follower of the books or show is to pick a favorite faction or family, not character.

  3. I don’t watch the show that much either although I’m still upset about Hodor…Jon Snow is kind of a hapless character IMO; he’s willing to fight but largely unable (or unwilling) to lead. The assassin girl is actually the most competent character in that at least she’s got her priorities and is sticking to them.

    It would be great karma if the little guy wound up running Westeros. Also The Strain premiers tonight.

  4. Read all the books before the show came out. What I particularly like a was how close to the first novel the 1st season was…

  5. Tyrion? Yeah, if things in Westeros ever turned out okay, he’d be the winner. Definitely be a great king.

  6. Tywin was one of the few people in the show who was really competent at his job (though a shitty parent). Ruthless but knew how to keep the peace.

    It’s noteworthy that things only got out of hand when people didn’t listen to him. The Mad King shit on him and then his own children and grandson turned out to be complete fuckups and touched off a civil war.

  7. That was a terrific premiere. Arya. Good God.

    Now, Euron Greyjoy promised Cersei a gift. He’s a shitty, arrogant, back-stabbing piece of crap. Even with his fleet. So, whatever he brings to woo her, it’s going to be big.

    My guess is that it’s going to be a person — a major character. That’s the only thing that’s going to blow Cersei’s mind *and* allow GRRM another major head mounted on his wall. So, here are my guesses as to that person:

    1) Tyrion. Is there a bigger prize in Cersei’s eyes? It would be damn near impossible for Euron to nab the Hand of the Queen from under her nose. But that would make him look all the more suitable as a husband. I don’t want this to happen but, sadly, I think Tyrion is eventually going to be expendable as the circle tightens towards the series finale. This might be his time.

    2) Olenna Tyrell. She has been a nemesis to Cersei since her first appearance. She gets away with saying whatever she wants because Cersei has been hoping to use her resources. She suffers the insults in hopes of furthering her cause. But after being rebuffed repeatedly, that patience may be exhausted. Cersei always evens the score. Olenna will not survive to see the end of this show. While she also travels with Daenerys, she will be an easier target.

    3) Ellaria Sand. This would be the weakest choice. She’s a throwaway character that may hold some vengeance prize for Cersei but doesn’t really hold any sentimental value for the audience (which would make her death very un-GRRM like). Again, she travels with Daenerys but the same point stands — to woo Cersei, Eulon needs to do something extraordinary to prove that his arrogance is well deserved.

    Am I wrong? Got any better ideas or any other people to add to the list?

  8. I predict Euron’s gift will be a dragon. Not sure which one, but he’ll use the dragon horn and snatch one of Dany’s dragons. That’s really the Lannister’s only way of equalizing things.

  9. I lied, by the way. I did end up staying up late and watching this episode. It was indeed fantastic.

    Some of my impressions:

    1. If Arya is simply going to kill every remaining bad guy, it’s going to be anti-climactic. Good that the Frey’s all died horribly, but that’s not the right end for Cersei. It HAS to be one of her brothers who kills her.

    2. I wonder what Arya’s time spent with the soldiers will amount to. Is she going to mellow out or was that just sort of a one-off thing?

    3. Sansa is still an idiot and makes Joffrey seem reasonable in retrospect for popping her in the mouth. Jon won’t do it and nobody else will either with Brienne around, but damn.

    4. Funniest comment I read on Euron is that he looks like he ought to be running a craft brewery. Apt.

    5. I have no idea what to expect from Littlefinger expect betrayal. Questions are who he’ll betray, who he’ll align with, and when he’ll do it. He’s not getting Sansa, so he’s not going to have much incentive to keep playing on Team Stark.

  10. 1) You’re right. And I have faith that it won’t be that simple. But she’s definitely not done collecting scalps.
    2) Sarah was incensed afterwards thinking that the entire scene existed just to shoehorn Ed Sheeran into an episode. I told her to be patient since the musical cameos have tended to be used within the context of bigger things and have not, in and of themselves, been gratuitous. I expect that there will be something that comes of that meeting.
    4) Try an Iron Islands Apple Fratricider. Available at the finest pubs in Westeros!
    5) Littlefinger has already been the most frustrating character to predict. I like that. I have ZERO idea what he’s doing because every time I think he’s lost, I realize that he’s just made a lateral move to position a future victory. He’s smarter than me.

  11. That’s a good guess regarding the dragon. I’m going to remember to give you credit if it comes to pass.

  12. I’m also betting that Bran wargs one of the other dragons, so all three sides will have one. Dragon Fight!

  13. Oh, and I forgot the Hound. THAT was touching. Very interesting that he’s been allowed to complete his character arc in the show. He’s likely dead in the books.

  14. Not sure if you followed up on the backstory with the dead father/daughter in that house but there is one. I hadn’t remembered. But it makes that portion all the more poignant.

  15. Somewhere, there’s a brewery startup looking for a clever beverage name creator. I’m chocolate looking for my peanut butter. I’m sure riches await.

  16. Yes, I did. It was major feelz.

    My observation is that it’s fascinating how the Hound has always been regarded as a monster or animal for his entire life, but has found his humanity even as his brother the Mountain has completely lost his humanity and become an actual, literal monster.

    It’s a great contrast that totally doesn’t exist in the books. If I remember correctly, the Mountain just dies in the books from Olberynn’s poison and the Hound dies after Arya leaves him.

    I wonder if they’re setting up a final showdown with the Hound and the Mountain. Personally, I’d most like to see a Hound/Sansa reunion or a Hound/Arya one rather than that. The Mountain should get raped and then eaten by a dragon….very…very….slowly…. up from the legs.

  17. I think you’re right about the Hound and the Mountain, which is a probably just going to be a letdown. The Mountain seems to have superhuman strength now. Unless there’s some Lord of Light deus ex machina bs, the Hound wouldn’t stand a chance.

  18. If you do capitalize from this venture, make sure you stay faithful to the spirit of GoT by taking 5 or 6 years to release each new variety. Oh, and then cancel the most popular varieties without warning when they get a following.

  19. Jon Snow is showing the kind of humility and even handedness in leadership that gets one killed in this universe, but I did shed a little tear of joy when abdicated the sins of the fathers from the children of his backstabbers, restored their claims to land and made them swear allegiance to the north again. They’re on their own footing now which is fair.

    The white walkers are going to be the undoing of almost any attempts at allegiance in the north. I have no idea what they represent in the universe now except a Tyler Durden type of natural anarchy to the peace. They move, they kill, they have no remorse and no goal.

    The hound has a heart and Arya turned out to be the bloodthirsty killer of her namesake, which is not surprising. She’s going to keep picking off people and building a coalition while the hound seems to have found a higher calling battling the white walkers.

    The Lannisters, the most blatant reference to Machiavellian rulers in the show are only interested in themselves. I see their power as diminishing, because they are increasingly doubling down on retaining the diminished power they have. Each new ally they woo is less trustworthy than the last. The prize delivered to the queen will be the midget Lannister who also, by proxy is going to draw the dragon queen into direct conflict with what is left of their kingdom, which will be usurped by the targarians.

  20. Jon probably does suffer from the same Lawful Stupid condition as his “dad”. I’m not sure who Jon needs to worry more about though: Sansa or Littlefinger.

    The Lannisters are finished. They’re broke, they’ve lost their best allies, they’ve lost all of their most capable politicians (Tywin, Tyrion, and Kevan), Cersei isn’t having any more sons, and they’ve left the kingdom in a shambles.

    They can’t win. Even if they beat Dany and Jon, they have no future.

    However, they need to remain a threat for a bit longer. Only way to do that is for them to get a dragon. They won’t go down quietly either. Cersei still has a lot of wildfire around town and has proven she’ll use it.

    Only hope for King’s Landing is that the Kingslayer becomes the Queenslayer. When she abandons him for Euron, he just might.

  21. After digesting the library part of the show I’m convinced that the white walkers are a free army to whomever can figure out how make them subjects. Fat boy found something crucial last episode and it’s lining up that the fox is in. The north has dwindling numbers and is going to a longer period of suffering before ultimately coming out on top. The south has weather on their side right now, but at dome point Jon snow will figure out how to make the walkers his subjects and turn them loose on the south.

    Sansa is damaged goods but she’s creating a ying yang dynamic to jon’s leadership. I think she exists, at this point, to manage littlefinger and keep his coalition in the mix.

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