Recap round-up: “Blackwater”
By Ours is the Fury on in Press.

Here are some of the notable recaps and reviews of the ninth episode of Game of Thrones‘s second season:

Book Readers
Axechucker – TV Equals
Myles McNutt – Cultural Learnings
Rowan Kaiser – Press Play
James Hibberd – Entertainment Weekly
Jenna Busch – Zap2It
Todd VanDerWerff – A.V. Club
Sean T. Collins – Rolling Stone
James Poniewozik – Time
Laura Hudson – LA Times
Westeros.org

New Viewers
Alan Sepinwall – HitFix
Jenifer D. Braun – NJ Star-Ledger
Ryan McGee – A.V. Club
Christina Dowling – E!Online
Larry Williams – OtakuAssemble
John Kubicek – Buddy TV
Matt Richenthal – TV Fanatic
 
HBO also provides recap and “Inside the Episode” videos every week:


179 Comments

  1. Jambo
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Cool. Cool cool cool.

  2. That's Yo Garbage
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  3. Mike Chair
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Classic Larry Williams review.

    More ups than downs.

    Larry first thinks the Davos-and-Son scene didn’t play out, and I thought, no, Larry, there’s still one more episode and next season too. Then, Larry said it may be foreshadowing something to come after the battle, and I thought, yay, Larry, close enough!

    Larry said Cersie gets bonus points and kudos for getting liquored up while under siege, and I laughed.

    Larry said, “What’s the cousin’s name? Lancel?”
    And, I said “Yay, Larry!”

    “A fight is between two people or a small group of individuals. … A battle is with a large group of people fighting each other. That’s a battle.”
    – Larry Williams, Sage.

    Larry notes the absence of naval fighting. Interesting.

    LW on charging the gate: “Use the boats! … Have you n***as never seen Braveheart? … Yes, they used the boats.”

    Larry missed the Hound’s reason for disengaging, i.e. the fire. Shit.

    But, then Larry was surprised that Tywin got there on time. He wondered how close Harrenhal is to King’s Landing. Last week, they said Stannis’ fleet was only a few of days from King’s Landing. Very astute.

    LW: “Game Over. The Lannisters have teamed up with the Tyrells, that’s it.”

    “Tywin’s in the f**king house!”

    Then. Larry. Said. This.

    “I’ve got a feeling that now that Tywin is in Kings Landing, Tyrion is about to be tossed to the wayside.” And I said, “WHOA! CHECK OUT THE BIG BRAIN ON LARRY!”

    And that is why we who love Larry Williams love Larry Williams.

  4. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Ryan McGee … traitor to the cause. He is forthwith banned from WiC and the Brotherhood Without Previews.

    I find his criticism of the episode and the battle funny given that one of his favourite shows is Spartacus … who’s big battle episode was even more flawed and way less epic than GoTs.

    I think Ryan … as i stated last season …. is just a contrarian. Everyone likes a think, Ryan has to not like a thing and nit pick it to death. Everybody else thinks Spartacus is a bit of tits and ass and blood, silly but entertaining and Ryan wants to call it ground breaking TV.

  5. Alice
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Although I did really enjoy this episode, the McGee review at avclub makes a lot of good points. The battle was kind of confusing, and constantly cutting back to the castle made it hard to build momentum. McGee’s comparison to Balor is also incisive: as big as this event is, it doesn’t have as big an impact on as many characters as Ned’s death. If enough first time viewers feel the same unsatisfying disconnect between disparate storylines, it’s hard to see the series making it through a FoC and DwD mash-up.

  6. Balerion
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    HBo / B&W / GRRM made TV history

  7. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    He gave it a “B,” it’s not like he hated it. He had both positive and negative things to say about the episode. I don’t agree with much of what he says in his review, but I don’t think there is any reason to be all dramatic about it. (“… traitor to the cause. He is forthwith banned from WiC and the Brotherhood Without Previews.” Give me a break.)

  8. Derpstradamus
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Larry seems to think that Alexander the Great died doing what Stannis did (he didn’t) and that Robb has cannons.

  9. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Darth Valyria:
    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    He gave it a “B,” it’s not like he hated it. He had both positive and negative things to say about the episode. I don’t agree with much of what he says in his review, but I don’t think there is any reason to be all dramatic about it. (“… traitor to the cause. He is forthwith banned from WiC and the Brotherhood Without Previews.” Give me a break.)

    it is hyperbole .. you should look it up. it is also a callback to season one where Ryan and Ryan were on everybody’s shit list, it is supposed to be a bit ironic.

    anyway. i really just don’t like Ryan views/reviews very much. because they are very rarely ever consistent … within a single show/review and ESPECIALLY across shows. he blasts or nit picks one show for something and then ignores the exact same thing on another show. he is terribly, terribly inconsistent across his reviews (as an example you should have heard how far he bent over backwards to try and find good things to say about the abortion that was Camelot instead of just calling it out for the tragic farce that it was).

    and that is because he is mostly just a contrarian and is mostly trying to fit himself into a space as a review that the thinks makes him “unique” … i have a tip for Mr. Ryan … you are not a unique and special snowflake.

  10. LordStarkington
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Derpstradamus:
    Larry seems to think that Alexander the Great died doing what Stannis did (he didn’t) and that Robb has cannons.

    The cannons bit made me laugh. To be fair to Larry, Alexander the Great *did* suffer a really terrible wound in India by doing what Stannis did (he only had 3-4 guys with him).

    Grantland review (very positive): http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/50272/game-of-thrones-season-2-episode-9-blackwater

  11. Darren Mason
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Alice:
    Although I did really enjoy this episode, the McGee review at avclub makes a lot of good points. The battle was kind of confusing, and constantly cutting back to the castle made it hard to build momentum. McGee’s comparison to Balor is also incisive: as big as this event is, it doesn’t have as big an impact on as many characters as Ned’s death. If enough first time viewers feel the same unsatisfying disconnect between disparate storylines, it’s hard to see the series making it through a FoC and DwD mash-up.

    What was confusing about the battle? If you’d been paying attention to the last couple of episodes it all made perfect sense. You can’t really compare Balor and Blackwater they aren’t trying to accomplish the same thing. I’ve had some harsh criticism of this season but Blackwater is damn near perfect.

    FoC? what is this? Never heard of FoC.

  12. Shagga son of Dolf
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Once again, Larry’s review was soooo entertaining. Love the passion the guy brings!!!!! Was cracking up during the Cersei liquored up bit, and his excitement over a battle. Thanks, and keep it coming Larry!!!! The first review I check after every epsiode!

  13. Croccifixio
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Darth Valyria,

    well, i don’t mind if any reviewer give any episode of any tv series an F or another low rating but they have to have a good point. mcgee’s review may have good points if he didnt contradict himself a paragraph later. writing that putting an episode on one setting was a great choice then whining paragraphs after that he did not see arya and the others.

    also, he writes that the battle has no impact on any other story thread, COME ON. the episode ended WHEN the battle ended. couldnt he at the very least wait for the last episode before reacting. and how could a battle at the CAPITAL of the kingdoms in the middle of a big CIVIL WAR between FIVE KINGS could not have any impact?

    even if he graded the episode an “A” and still have those points and complaints, people will still criticize him for having those points.

    i for one don’t want to have a precedent here that “you don’t like our show, we will not post your reviews” kinda stand. everyone has opinions. BUT i won’t be reading anything from those kind of reviewers. at least i could take it from the guys from westeros that they worry sometimes if there will be a butterfly effect on the changes. like what GRRM said about the killing of maro.

  14. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    Didn’t realize you were being deliberately over the top, my apologies. Sometimes it’s hard to tell around here. :)

  15. Jorge
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Alice,

    I disagree that the blackwater battle doesn’t have as big an impact on character’s as Ned’s death, but why is that even relevant? Just because Ned died in episode nine last season, this season’s penultimate episode must also have a huge moment that impacts everybody?

    The Battle of Blackwater featured ostensibly thousands of more deaths than Ned’s beheading, but somehow still didn’t feel quite as seismic across the Westeros landscape

    This sentence of his is pretty laughable, considering the battle just ended this episode; Ned’s death wasn’t felt as a seismic event immediately after episode 9 ended either.

    Also, McGee is just a poor writer. ” don’t particularly serve well as anchors around which we can emotionally anchor ourselves” and ” Cersei nearly identifies Shae’s true identity” are sentences more worthy of a junior high school newspaper.

  16. daprosinik
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Alice,

    Have you seen the next episode to already know how it is going to affect the other characters?

  17. Mike Chair
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Derpstradamus: Larry seems to think that Alexander the Great died doing what Stannis did (he didn’t) and that Robb has cannons.

    Ha! Cannons. Funny that it’s the lack of one “n” canons that kills him, not the two “n” kind.

    Larry does have his moments, though.

  18. Strepsi
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I love the recap roundup!

    BTW, the typically sassy AfterElton.com recap is online with lots of love for drunk Cercei (who was the best part of the episode for me too):

    Down the hall, Cersei (Lena Headey) is taking audience with her Maester – and by “taking audience” I mean “getting wasted on red wine and ignoring him”.

    Seriously – Ce-Ce is turning into the Lucille Bluth of Westeros and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF IT.

    The Lucille Bluth of Westeros? That makes my morning.

  19. G_Lee
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Haha Larry…. cannons? Seriously? Love his reviews though. They determine if an episode was good or not-so-good ;)

  20. andrea
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Strepsi: Ce-Ce is turning into the Lucille Bluth of Westeros

    I was going to quote exactly the same paragraph of AfterElton but I´ll go with this one:
    “We then cut to the most awkward pajama party in Westerian history, hosted by our obliterated matriarch, Cersei Lannister. …” and “or the way she basically threatened murder and rape onto anyone at her party who wouldn’t play Jenga. Whatever it was, I applaud her every move”.

    It seems she didn´t understand the Hound´s fear (like LW):
    “… but The Hound is having something of a moment. I don’t know what’s going on with him, exactly, but for the first time the bloodshed and carnage is leaving him a bit “meh…”

  21. MRR
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Well, there were cannons in that painting in Pentos in the first episode…

    Larry is sometimes entertaining, but tends to ramble on without a solid understanding of what he’s discussing too often for my tastes. It’s interesting to see a very candid viewpoint from a non-reader, but sometimes it’s just tiresome (like last week’s discussion, prompted by being mis-informed by a friend of his that they were “dragging things out” in the show this season, about how the series needs to stand strong regardless of being an adaptation – the issue he had noticed was that GoT doesn’t work well as an episodic series, and that has little to do directly with its adaptation from and attempts to stay true to the books).

  22. Andy Gavin
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Hallelujah, they finally show us a real battle! And not just a little one, but a multi-staged “Helm’s Deep” style battle. Sure, it’s not like Helm’s deep level visuals, but it’s pretty damn great. My full episode review here.

  23. Shady_Grady
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this episode. I wasn’t crazy about previous episodes’ seeming humanizing of Cersei but Headey last night I thought nailed the vindictiveness and nastiness that is Cersei. The other minor changes didn’t bother me one bit. I only wish there was more than one episode left.

    http://www.theurbanpolitico.com/2012/05/hbo-game-of-thrones-recap-blackwater.html

    I like listening to Larry because of his enthusiasm, even when or especially when he gets things wrong. It’s a shame to have to wait a year for S3.

  24. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Alice:
    Although I did really enjoy this episode, the McGee review at avclub makes a lot of good points. The battle was kind of confusing, and constantly cutting back to the castle made it hard to build momentum. McGee’s comparison to Balor is also incisive: as big as this event is, it doesn’t have as big an impact on as many characters as Ned’s death. If enough first time viewers feel the same unsatisfying disconnect between disparate storylines, it’s hard to see the series making it through a FoC and DwD mash-up.

    The battle was confusing because battles are confusing. The costuming helped a little but the fact is in a battle of this type half the time you’re only going to barely be aware of who you’re swinging at. Their aim was to give us the “man-on-the-street” view, and it was appropriately confusing at times.

    And his point about Baelor is stupid, he seems to be confusing the personal feeling viewers developed about Ned to the impact his death would have on the kingdoms. To suggest that a battle that almost completely took out the main contender for the throne and resulted in an alliance between the two richest and most powerful families in Westeros doesn’t have as big an impact on characters as Ned’s death is ridiculous. Yes that affected the family we most care about, the Starks, on a personal level, but the effects of this are far more wide-reaching.

    That reviewer really did seem to have his mind made up that he was going to be a contrarian, and went looking for reasons to back up that stance.

  25. KG
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Ok here’s my statement to the world:

    The next person who uses the word “agency” in any sort of review, personal or professional, should be drawn and quartered.

    God almighty, folks; the English language is massive and all-encompassing. Using whatever the current buzzword happens to be over and over again doesn’t make you look intelligent; it makes you look like you’ve never heard of a thesaurus.

  26. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    MRR,

    Tends to ramble? I stopped watching those early this season because all he does is ramble. I don’t understand his appeal.

  27. death to lannisters
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    KG: God almighty, folks; the English language is massive and all-encompassing. Using whatever the current buzzword happens to be over and over again doesn’t make you look intelligent; it makes you look like you’ve never heard of a thesaurus.

    I so feel the same way about the use of the word “epic” in this thread! It bores and irritates the shit out of me.

  28. KG
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    death to lannisters,

    Poor us :(((((

  29. James
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    Ugh..

  30. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    death to lannisters: I so feel the same way about the use of the word “epic” in this thread!It bores and irritates the shit out of me.

    Epic criticism, way to exercise your agency.

  31. stanvosftw
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    omg oitf, you REALLY have to post the afterelton review in the main roll. They provide the most entertaining review – EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.

  32. KG
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    GET THE ROPES! … and some sleepy housecats. I want this quartering to take a while!

  33. Blourd
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    KG:
    The next person who uses the word “agency” in any sort of review, personal or professional, should be drawn and quartered.

    God almighty, folks; the English language is massive and all-encompassing. Using whatever the current buzzword happens to be over and over again doesn’t make you look intelligent; it makes you look like you’ve never heard of a thesaurus.

    You know, you might think a little more, next time, about the optics of your commentary. Just saying. ;^)

  34. KG
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Blourd,

    Oh, I’m sorry. Did I take away your personal agency?

  35. Wastrel
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    Agency has been a word for several centuries now. What word do you decree that the world should suddenly replace it with?

  36. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    This GRRM guy did such a good job with the screenplay, he should consider writing a short story, or even a novel one day. I’d like to see what he comes up with.

  37. Laura Stone
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Just mentioning that this recap of mine doesn’t use the words agency OR epic. I do say “f*ck” a lot, though.

    Also: kablooey. Just mentioning, in case anyone’s averse to the K word.

  38. WompWomp
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    death to lannisters: I so feel the same way about the use of the word “epic” in this thread!It bores and irritates the shit out of me.

    That’s basically how I felt when Archer used it in Season 3 of Archer (one of those times when the self-conscious build-up to a line dramatically backfires), but when I read your comment and this string of complaints from the self-appointed diction police it came off a little like someone smearing their smelly opinions in everyone else’s face. Honestly, people are just expressing how much they like the show. Who the f*ck is anyone to deconstruct the words they use? :P

    Even “agency,” so long as it’s used properly, is fine. Sure, it makes someone look like they’re boosting their language, but it’s even weirder to make it an issue. 9_o

    I’m anxiously awaiting some special editorials on “Blackwater” in the coming week. It’s my hope that word-of-mouth and the native merits of the episode make people expect more from television and open HBO’s coffers that much more to make S3 the Greatest Show on Earth. And I’m no book-thumper, but GRRM has to have more input from now on. So many characters breathed deeper this week, I can’t even start to explain the joy it sparked.

  39. The Onion Knight
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Really you people are nit-picking at Blackwater? Too confusing? Give me a break. I’m convinced this is the worst fan base in the history of fanatics.

  40. Siniša Grimjaur Šiško
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    FaBio aka @Axechucker nailed it for me. Well said, mate. I got goosebumps reading it, just like I had watching the episode.

  41. Ollie
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I really liked the episode such a good battle, whilst i missed the others like John and Danny i think it would have ruined the episode to include them going from big bad ass battle of 1000s to cold north on a short walk with 20 people. it wouldn’t have worked.

    can some one tell me if Tywin got there on time in the book or if he simple won the battle with the pen from a distance and the Tyells came and wopped ass with Loras Tyrell as he was to far away.

    I really liked how they made Stannis fight and become a front line warrior king as so far for non book readers i dont think he came across very well and this I think makes you respect and like him being the first man in ect.

    ow one last thing was it just larry who thought the Hounds leaving was unclear as I thought it was obvious although as a book reader I do tend to find most things so

    ps lary’s Cersei crazy understatement of the year

  42. andrea
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Laura Stone,

    “… that when Sansa kissed his sword (again, literally a sword) he was going to cut her mouth open. Just me?”

    Nop, not just you.

    I very much enjoy reading your recaps.

  43. KG
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Ollie,

    Oh, I don’t know. I’d rather have my kid sleep his way to death rather than be paraded through the streets to a headsman’s block … and said head getting spiked for all to see.

    Seems like one of the most rational decisions she’s made.

  44. KG
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    The use of “agency” as a catch-all for “free will, self determination, personal power” has come out of nowhere in about the last … nine months or so, and has been in virtually every Game of Thrones review this season.

    It’s annoying, it’s lazy writing, and it’s buzzword-chasing.

  45. Laura Stone
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Thanks for that! And seriously, King Weaselteat missed an opportunity there. Not that I WANT him to actually hurt Sansa (I’m not a book reader, so I don’t have the fannish hate for Sansa that so many do) but if he wanted to follow through on his brutality kick, that would have been a good place.

    …then again, leaving Sansa with a permanent smile wouldn’t play into his “m’lady cowers before me” vibe, either.

  46. Hexonx
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair: Larry missed the Hound’s reason for disengaging, i.e. the fire. Shit

    Yeah, I think a lot of people missed that though. Apparently it wasn’t as clear as it could have been. Also, I’m not sure most people knew that Loras was supposed to be “Renly’s Ghost” and a lot of Stannis men who were Renly men before fled b/c of it.

  47. andrea
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Laura Stone: King Weaselteat missed an opportunity there

    that’s because he was in his “swaggering”-mode? (or maybe “swashbuckling” mode, don´t know which is more appropriate in English). Glad that he miss the oportunity.

  48. Arrogant Bastard
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Hexonx,

    Yeah, I’m sure most of the new viewers didn’t recognize Renly’s armor; that’s not really something that they can easily get viewers to recognize on the show. Hopefully most viewers realized it was Loras in the Throne Room and not Lancel; both actors look very similar.

  49. Dan
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Does anybody else check out Linda’s tumblr to see the train wreck that seems to never end over there? I can’t imagine she is actually like that in person. She is too cartoonishly boorish on her tumblr for it not to be an act. If it’s not an act then wow is all I can say.

  50. Josh
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Love most of the reviews…even the AVCLub has it’s points..I don’t watch Larry(just don’t find him interesting) and don’t really like Westeros reviews(Too much talk of the books….) but I love reading critics I read normally(Mo Ryan!) just gush over my favorite show on TV :).

    This episode did do one thing bad though…It increased my desire for book 6 tenfold! I can’t wait another decade!

  51. andrea
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    KG: The use of “agency”

    blame semiology for that. Is an abused word in Spanish too.

  52. SeraRavi
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    “Agency” with that connotation was everywhere in academic writing at least since back in 2006 when I took my first Anthropology and Literary Theory classes, so I’ve seen it so much that I barely even notice it anymore. Its use in TV show reviews may have seen an uptick lately, though.

    I thought the episode was nearly flawless given its budget constraints. My dad had the misfortune of having read that part of the book a few weeks ago, so he keeps complaining that it wasn’t as good as the book. I tried to explain that they had to work around budget constraints and what was feasible for an hourlong TV show, but he still says he’s disappointed. You just can’t win with some people.

  53. Ser Lemon Cake
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I like Ryans reviews for other shows and
    Love his and Mo’s podcast but he can barely disguise the fact he just does not like the show much. Which is fine but I find not wanting to hear h talk about it on the
    Podcast.

  54. Delta1212
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    KG:
    Wastrel,

    The use of “agency” as a catch-all for “free will, self determination, personal power” has come out of nowhere in about the last … nine months or so, and has been in virtually every Game of Thrones review this season.

    It’s annoying, it’s lazy writing, and it’s buzzword-chasing.

    Do you mean people have been using it more in the last nine months? Because the word has had that meaning for quite a while… Though I haven’t really noticed an overuse of it lately, either.

    I mean, I’m not surprised it comes up a lot when discussing the series or what have you, since criticism of fiction is one of the areas that the concept it represents is most likely to be discussed, but again, I certainly haven’t noticed an overuse of the term.

  55. Hawk
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I have a really tough time watching Larry’s reviews… Aren’t nerds supposed to be intelligent?

  56. The DarkStar
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Won’t happen, but it would be awesome if Sansa had a portrait of her and Arya, and Tywin visits her and sees it, recognizing Arya.

  57. Blourd
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Laura Stone:
    Just mentioning that this recap of mine doesn’t use the words agency OR epic.I do say “f*ck” a lot, though.

    Also: kablooey.Just mentioning, in case anyone’s averse to the K word.

    Hey. Yours is the first non WiC recap I turn to, these days, now that I can keep all the character nicknames straight ;^)

  58. ...
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I love this quote from Wired review:

    What is a bit surprising is how much the script actually diverges from the book — Bronn versus the Hound, Cersei poisoning Tommen, etc. So it’s not like you can’t make changes to the story; the changes just need to be consistent with the characters and serve a clear dramatic purpose.

    THIS. The fact that the episode was written by GRRM can clearly be seen in that the characters stay the same. The new scenes are consistent with the characters, some new scenes in the previous episodes weren’t. (e.g. Jaime and Jon) The writers (except George, obv.) need to work on making their own scenes more believable and in tune with the rest of the story, not out of character, otherwise they should prepare for a huge fan backlash like in the previous weeks.

    The ep was just astonishing.

  59. Blourd
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    ,

    And Stannis being in the thick of the battle rather than stranded over on the wrong side of the river.

  60. Remaal
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    KG:
    Ok here’s my statement to the world:

    The next person who uses the word “agency” in any sort of review, personal or professional, should be drawn and quartered.

    God almighty, folks; the English language is massive and all-encompassing. Using whatever the current buzzword happens to be over and over again doesn’t make you look intelligent; it makes you look like you’ve never heard of a thesaurus.

    Haha. I was thinking the same thing this morning as I was reading all the reviews and comments. Somehow in the past few months the word has become extremely fashionable as shorthand evidence of an erudite writer. Not quite sure why. lol

  61. Mormegil
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    So just what was that story Shae was going to tell Cersei?

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v490/mormegil99/shae.gif

  62. KG
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    Hear, hear.

  63. KG
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Hawk,

    Intelligent and well-spoken aren’t the same thing. As an “intelligent geek,” maybe you should know that.

  64. Darth Valyria
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    He strikes me as neither.

  65. Ollie
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    I agree that poison is the way I would rather my son died other than being slaughtered and paraded . although whilst I know Stannis would kill him I think he would be humane (not sure if he would burn a child dance spoiler I know he plans on killing the son of Mance Ryder but that with Melisandre working on him without her he wouldn’t do it) to the children as he not a monster just a hard man. My crazy Cersei point was more that her character in general is a nut case eg her drunken scenes and what she was saying.
    sorry if im being over-defensive over my point

  66. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    :
    I love this quote from Wired review:

    What is a bit surprising is how much the script actually diverges from the book — Bronn versus the Hound, Cersei poisoning Tommen, etc. So it’s not like you can’t make changes to the story; the changes just need to be consistent with the characters and serve a clear dramatic purpose.

    THIS. The fact that the episode was written by GRRM can clearly be seen in that the characters stay the same. The new scenes are consistent with the characters, some new scenes in the previous episodes weren’t. (e.g. Jaime and Jon) The writers (except George, obv.) need to work on making their own scenes more believable and in tune with the rest of the story, not out of character, otherwise they should prepare for a huge fan backlash like in the previous weeks.

    The ep was just astonishing.

    But one has to wonder if the same people saying “Thank you George for keeping the characters in character with these changes!” would be complaining about these same changes if they didn’t know beforehand that he wrote it.

    I actually wonder if there were scenes added or altered by D&D. According to GRRM’s commentary on his episode last season there were changes made either by them or in the process of filming itself.

  67. Felt Pelt
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Anime Real Talk recap is up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwGDVCZ138w

  68. Remaal
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Episode 2×10 “Valar Morghulis” preview:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC6paCeIr9c

  69. JoopStroop
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Felt Pelt:
    Anime Real Talk recap is up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwGDVCZ138w

    Love it!!

  70. JoopStroop
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Strepsi:
    I love the recap roundup!

    BTW, the typically sassy AfterElton.com recap is online with lots of love for drunk Cercei (who was the best part of the episode for me too):

    Down the hall, Cersei (Lena Headey) is taking audience with her Maester – and by “taking audience” I mean “getting wasted on red wine and ignoring him”.


    Seriously – Ce-Ce is turning into the Lucille Bluth of Westeros and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF IT.

    The Lucille Bluth of Westeros?That makes my morning.

    Haha, yeah I love their recap as well, these are my favorite quotes so far and I’m not even halfway through!

    “Joffrey threatens to cut Tyrion in half – Tyrion points out that this would make him a Quarter Man, which would require him to get new business cards and change his email address, and we all know what a bitch THAT is!”

    “she basically threatened murder and rape onto anyone at her party who wouldn’t play Jenga”

  71. KG
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Darth Valyria,

    You strike me as unpleasant.

  72. Dan
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    I was thinking the same thing.

  73. Lex
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    People missed the Hound/fire connection? Really??

    I watched it with a couple non-readers, and they picked up on it right away. Plus, you know, he said “I’m going some place that’s not on fire.”

    I thought it was pretty clear.

  74. Jorge
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink
  75. Weirwood
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Hawk:
    I have a really tough time watching Larry’s reviews… Aren’t nerds supposed to be intelligent?

    LOL!

    Look at this….. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=otaku

    Definition number 6 was especially telling.

  76. Hexonx
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 3:43 am | Permalink
  77. Dogmayor
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Laura Stone,

    It’s non book readers that have had a hate for Sansa, not book readers. Every book reader I’ve seen or talked to has always defended her.

  78. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Darth Valyria:
    KG,

    He strikes me as neither.

    Agree…the Anime Real Talk guys are much much better

  79. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Dogmayor:
    Laura Stone,

    It’s non book readers that have had a hate for Sansa, not book readers. Every book reader I’ve seen or talked to has always defended her.

    Therer’s plenty of Sansa haters between the readers too…I actually was one and is the show version that is changing that

  80. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Though I don’t like Larry Williams’ reviews, it’s rather ridiculous to see so many people making fun of him because he – being unaware of the novels – expects ‘cannons’ to appear in Game of Thrones.

    As a matter of fact, the absence of gunpowder in Westeros is one of Mr Martin’s biggest deliberate anachronisms:
    During the period of history (late 14th to 15th century) that informs much of ASOIAF, especially central to southern Westerosi customs, knowledge and technology, handheld firearms and cannons, as well as signal maroons (rockets) were regularly used on the battlefield and during sieges.
    Mr Martin expressly eschewed gunpowder in his world because he thought that it would undermine the fantastical elements of his story.

    For a non-reader like Larry Williams to expect cannons in this particular setting is not at all erroneous. Some people should get their facts straight instead of laughing about someone’s supposed naivete.

  81. Baelish
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Actually, medieval warfares was about 95% free of gunpowder until near the end of the middle ages/beginning of the early modern period. The middle ages began when the Roman Empire began to disintegrate, and lasted 10 centuries. And George R R Martin even parallels this with the Doom of Valyria. Most fantasies take place in times similar to the Dark Ages between 7ad – 13th ad, where there’s a large shortage of historical documents. Here’s a good reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_warfare#Equipment .

    So, sorry – it’s not very intelligent to expect cannons in a medieval paralleled fantasy. But that’s why people can’t stop watching Larry. It’s like watching a nerd train wreck :)

    And come on… who the fuck would need dragons if you had cannons? Just bait them and blow the fuckers ups.

    Beowulf probably would’ve fucked that dragon up if he had cannons. Should’ve called Robb.

    Because Robb has cannons. He can’t lay siege to King’s Landing without ships… even though he has cannons…LOL. Was one of my favorite Larry moments yet. In too much for a rush to talk ab Varys’s speech ab the dark arts… But spends like 2 mins contemplating cannons.

    But hey, he’s going to “look it up”. There’s ample Game of Thrones references concerning cannons, apparently :) :)

    Also… his breakdown of the Bronn/Hound interaction was funny. “so… They gonna fight? If they don’t fight… Dont get it. They gonan fight, right? That’s weird… I didn’t see em again… Uh… Fight? I don’t understand the talkin. They fightin, right? Hmm.. Weird that you don’t see em together again…” even though you clearly do when Bronn saves him. Lulz.

    I was surprised he didn’t comment on Joffrey being a litte bitch tho. Everyone hates that kid. Especially him I thought, given that Joffrey killed his nigga Ned and all..

  82. Langkard
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Some great reviews for this last episode, especially from Poniewozik, Hibberd and our very own FaB.

    On the issue of cannons, a large part of the problem stems from our inability to properly teach history. People tend to get the erroneous impression that “medieval” is actually some period of time in which almost 1000 years of history are all jumbled together. It shouldn’t be a surprise that someone thinks cannons would be normal, as LV correctly points out above.

    The reason history is so badly taught is because we make it culture-centric. In other words, we ignore that which does not present our own culture in a good light while over-emphasizing things to make our history look better. It’s a natural phenomenon. People don’t like to look bad and go out of their way to avoid hearing or seeing that which does make us look bad, or makes us look not as all-powerful as we might wish.

    In the case of medieval history, therefore, things like cannons are introduced into the discussion only when they appear in common use by Western Europeans in that time frame. Small wonder then that students get the use of cannons mixed up with earlier medieval warfare which has been emphasized, like knights and castles and more. Cannons were actually used in the early medieval period, but not in the West. The most effective early use of gunpowder on the battlefield in Europe was done by the Mongols, using the Chinese invention to great effect. Muslim armies also began using gunpowder about the same time as the Mongols, much earlier than Western armies. But that doesn’t fit the Western-centric narrative of how we teach history. So, students form false impressions of history and it isn’t corrected because, you know, it isn’t important. Right?

  83. ThePinkDragon
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    LV:
    Mr Martin expressly eschewed gunpowder in his world because he thought that it would undermine the fantastical elements of his story.

    …Really? I know this is off topic, but did he seriously say that?

    I love you, Georgie, but sigh.

  84. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Baelish,

    Would you be so kind not to contradict my point with irrelevant and misleading information that you don’t even understand properly?

    Mr Martin’s Westeros is based on a period of time between the late 14th and the 15th century (during which the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses were fought). Exceptions to this are the ironborn with their longships and maybe the North – because of this I wrote “central to southern” Westeros.

    The “Middle Ages” and “Medieval Times” are a very long period of time, as you so diligently quoted from Wikipedia. Because the term “Middle Ages” is too broad to be of much use, I deliberately mentioned the centuries in European and Ottoman history on which Mr Martin based much (though not all) of his world. With the exceptions mentioned above, Westeros is not modelled, culturally and technologically, on “the Middle Ages” but after what is called the Late Middle Ages (from 14th to late 15th or early 16th century), a period during which European culture and especially technology bears no resemblance to its state after Rome’s Fall.

    From the late 13th century onward, cannons, introduced to Europe by the Moors in Iberia, were used for military purposes. Their use grew steadily, until they became first the siege artillery then (much later) the field artillery of choice. During the period Mr Martin bases much of his world on (the Late Middle Ages, remember?) gunpowder was used, as I wrote, for signal maroons, handheld guns as well as cannons.

    Sure, there have been no signs of gunpowder in Game of Thrones until now, so Larry William’s expectation might be a little bit out of the blue.
    But what I criticised were people (like you) who make fun of him because he’s ‘dumb enough’ to expect cannons in a “Medieval” world. Guess what, Westeros is not modelled after what you believe “medieval” or “the Middle Ages” mean, nor would it be absurd to expect cannons in a setting that is based on Western Europe during the 14th to 15th century.
    Get an education before making fun of people.

  85. Wes
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    MRR:
    Well, there were cannons in that painting in Pentos in the first episode…

    Larry is sometimes entertaining, but tends to ramble on without a solid understanding of what he’s discussing too often for my tastes. It’s interesting to see a very candid viewpoint from a non-reader, but sometimes it’s just tiresome (like last week’s discussion, prompted by being mis-informed by a friend of his that they were “dragging things out” in the show this season, about how the series needs to stand strong regardless of being an adaptation – the issue he had noticed was that GoT doesn’t work well as an episodic series, and that has little to do directly with its adaptation from and attempts to stay true to the books).

    Actually, he has a fair criticism. The Arya/Tywin plotline was good exposition, but it ultimately built up expectations for an Arya/Tywin conflict/resolution at the end of the arc… which didn’t happen. His Bronn/Sandor criticism was similar, though it was on a much smaller scale as it was one scene and not nearly an entire season’s character arc.

    The show is adding or changing scenes to allow for exposition, but the scenes are often enough creating different or new expectations. This isn’t a complaint “hey, they’re changing the books OH NO THAT’S BAD. There was a lot of tension for viewers watching the Arya and Tywin scenes that was just completely dropped. They should have had some type of climax, not an anticlimactic ending. I’m not saying it should have been a huge fight or even a big climax, but it’s perfectly reasonable for a viewer to expect something to come out of it.

    It’s ridiculous to complain about Larry expecting something from the Bronn/Sandor scene, whether a fight or it foreshadowing some other type of future conflict, because that’s what good storytelling general does. It foreshadows and lays a foundation for things that happen later.

    As for the episodic nature of the show and the books not adapting well because of it, I have to disagree in part. Each chapter in the books tends to have its own arc; sometimes to the point I felt like I was reading a TV show during the books. That’s not to say the show needs to adapt the book perfectly (for those who didn’t read the spoilers, this isn’t a complaint about changes), but I’d expect the writers of the show to have clear and fulfilled arcs for characters from episode to episode and throughout the season. Where they do make changes or additions, they need to be aware of the new expectations they’re creating, and successfully resolve those expectations. Further note: By resolving expectations, I don’t necessarily mean give the readers the resolution they expect. I mean if you’re going to establish a conflict, you should generally follow through on that in some way. That’s good writing.

  86. Raoul Duke
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    QUESTION: How are they going to wrap up every other story line in one episode?? Virtually every character in the series (save Jamie, Brienne and Sam) yet have stories to be told this season (or book).

    That said, I’ve divided the characters into 3 categories: 1) Those that DEFINITELY demand closure, 2) Those that should be getting SOME screen time but can probably get away with holding out until next season. 3) Those that are PROBABLY done with this season:

    1) Dany: um… house of the undying anyone? 1) Jon: he still needs to work out a few issues between him, Qhorin and his wildling captors. 1) Theon/Bran: logic tells me there is still some very relevant shit to go down with these two (particularly Theon), but logic also tells me there is no Ramsey as of yet… so do these guys actually belong in the second category?? I hope not.

    2) Arya: ok, I know this SHOULD be at “1″, but her last episode had a sort of closurey feeling to it (gods, I hope Im wrong). 2) Lannisters: although they got the whole of “Blackwater”, fellow readers know that there are a few details left from ACoK… that said, it can understandably wait till next season (although here there is a potential Tyrion related season cliffhanger). 2) Robb and Cat: the weakest case of the “2s”… I think their story can easily be discarded until next season if time constraint for this episode was an issue.

    3) Davos and Stannis: Stannis is almost definitely out and Davos, although he could make some sort of an appearance, will probably hold out until next season as well. 3) Jamie and Brienne: Probably done for this season… these characters have actuallly already surpassed events in ACoK. 3) The Hound: Out 3) Sam: Although he plays no relevant part until next season… am I the only one relishing a season cliffhanger involving three horn blows???

    The only ones I have no real doubts about are the first two (ok, and there got to be more Theon)… apart from them I think they can only realistically add a max of two more characters.

    So what stories do you guys think will be told??

  87. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    At least, episode 10 will last 64 minutes. That’s something, I guess… :)

  88. Langkard
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Raoul Duke:
    QUESTION: How are they going to wrap up every other story line in one episode?? Virtually every character in the series (save Jamie, Brienne and Sam) yet have stories to be told this season (or book).

    We do get an extra 10 minutes of show next week. Granted, it will be tough to get everything into just 64 minutes, but I think they’ll manage.

    Considering that “Valar Morghulis” is the episode’s title, I think Arya will be a featured player in the coming finale. Based on the preview up on HBO.com, we’re getting: Dany and Jorah, at least one Brienne and Jaime scene, at least one Jon scene, Theon but perhaps no real resolution at Winterfell, Tywin’s triumph and Arya and Jaqen as above. We’re also likely to get a few things not shown in the preview, such as: Tyrion awakening, Davos still alive but either adrift and clinging to wreckage or washed up on some tiny island, Loras Tyrell and maybe Margaery as well, and for a cliff-hanging ending (considering the name of the final track on the Season 2 soundtrack) we’re getting the Fist of the First Men and thus Samwell Tarly.

  89. Wes
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to add that the types of ships they were using in the show may suggest the use of cannons. I don’t think this is a major spoiler, as it just has to do with a tech difference that has no impact on the overall storyline, but I’ll black it out anyway.

    I’m pretty certain if the ships we saw were all war galleys with rams at the front and many oars coming out the side and less talk of the ships relying on wind it would have been more obvious that none of those ships were outfitted with cannons.

    I’m no expert on naval warfare, but without cannons, I’m not sure how a fleet like Stannis’ (as seen in the show) could have a war at sea.

  90. Raoul Duke
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Langkard,

    Very solid arguments! Thanks a lot.

  91. Langkard
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Wes:

    I’m pretty certain if the ships we saw were all war galleys with rams at the front and many oars coming out the side and less talk of the ships relying on wind it would have been more obvious that none of those ships were outfitted with cannons.


    I’m no expert on naval warfare, but without cannons, I’m not sure how a fleet like Stannis’ (as seen in the show) could have a war at sea.

    In the books, GRRM has the ships outfitted with archers, ballistae and rams. Those three offensive weapons were what we got in the TV show. This is consistent with pre-gunpowder war galleys of the Mediterranean used since Roman times, which were both sail and oar-powered.

  92. Baelish
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    LV -

    your assumptions of where George R R Martin sourced his material. Care to source this, or are you just throwing out horeshit and calling it gold?

    Try not to get up in arms about the fact that your pseudo-history lesson is irrelevant.

    Fantasy stories do not, and have never been based, on the early modern period. As much as you enjoyed the semester you learned about it.

    It’s plain stupid to think there’s cannons in Game of Thrones. Everyone thinks its stupid from Dorne to the wall. Unborn babes think its stupid in their mother’s wombs, and old men think its stupid with their death rattles. No one wants to pretend that your friend Larry makes sense, brother.

    Looking forward to your reply. Don’t cry this time ;)

  93. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Let’s keep it civil in here, please.

  94. Baelish
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I’m not the one who took the discussion personally ;)

  95. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Baelish,

    I don’t care who took it personally.

    Keep it civil, everyone. Them’s the rules.

  96. Wes
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Baelish:
    LV -

    your assumptions of where George R R Martin sourced his material. Care to source this, or are you just throwing out horeshit and calling it gold?

    Try not to get up in arms about the fact that your pseudo-history lesson is irrelevant.

    Fantasy stories do not, and have never been based, on the early modern period. As much as you enjoyed the semester you learned about it.

    It’s plain stupid to think there’s cannons in Game of Thrones. Everyone thinks its stupid from Dorne to the wall. Unborn babes think its stupid in their mother’s wombs, and old men think its stupid with their death rattles. No one wants to pretend that your friend Larry makes sense, brother.

    Looking forward to your reply. Don’t cry this time ;)

    I’m not LV, obviously, but GRRM has cited the War of Roses as one of his inspirations for the series on many occasions. I thought that was common knowledge. Here’s one such interview:

    http://collider.com/george-r-r-martin-interview-game-of-thrones/86337/

    And this one isn’t a direct quote from Martin but makes comparisons between the War of Roses and the series:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/04/the_real_life_inspirations_for_game_of_thrones/

    And your statement that fantasy stories are never placed in the early modern period is just plain ridiculous. Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time is more early modern than medieval. Many of Sanderson’s fantasy novels take place in an adapted early modern world. The list goes on, and your statement that it doesn’t happen is perhaps one of the most ridiculous things I’ve read in these comments.

  97. Baelish
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Righto.

    Anyway, while waiting I just looked it up.

    George R R Martin was influenced by the hundred yrs war, war of the roses… THE CRUSADES, and The ALBIGENSIAN CRUSADE? So half of the influences he lists are hundreds of years before cannons. Also on his FAQ page he lists a giant stack of literature concerning medieval warfare, medieval swordsmanship, life in the castles, etc.

    http://georgerrmartin.com/faq.html

    So there you go. He clearly is basing it mostly on medieval warfare. You can check that first last link I posted on medieval warfare equipment again. The siege equipment didn’t include cannons.

    Thanks for the pseudo-intellectual maclestrom of hate, but still. I think you can see why fans of medieval fantasy think Larry is dumb, even if you love whatever piece of infomation you learned about the onset of cannons near the end of the middle ages.

    And in the spirit of what “Our is the Fury” just said – let’s not try to claim people don’t have an ‘education’ just because you disagree with them.

  98. Weirwood
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Wes: I’m not LV, obviously, but GRRM has cited the War of Roses as one of his inspirations for the series on many occasions. I thought that was common knowledge. Here’s one such interview:

    http://collider.com/george-r-r-martin-interview-game-of-thrones/86337/

    And this one isn’t a direct quote from Martin but makes comparisons between the War of Roses and the series:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/04/the_real_life_inspirations_for_game_of_thrones/

    I always took that to mean that is where the inspiration for the battles and political intrigue between the families came from but NOT necessarily during the same time-frame/period… and definitely not the setting (obviously).

  99. Wes
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I suppose I should also add that Baelish was the one to bring up the early modern period. LV put ASoIaF into the “late middle ages”.

    The possibility that cannons could exist in the world depicted in the show isn’t unbelievable. They don’t, but wondering if they do isn’t stupid. No need to be ridiculously judgmental.

    Weirwood,

    Eh, see above. It’s the “omg how can someone be so stoooopid to think cannons may exist in such a setting” and “fantasy is only ever set in the early part of the high medieval period and there are NEVER any cannons or anything”-like statements that Baelish is making that I’m arguing against.

    ASoIaF is high medieval. Gunpowder and cannons were introduced to Europe during this period. By during, I do mean during. They weren’t present throughout all of it.

  100. KG
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    They are too vulgar even for my lenient limits. Jesus, learn some words other than “fuck.”

  101. Baelish
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Weirwood,

    Exactly! It’s blatantly obvious that the setting isn’t based on the period of those wars (aka the late middle ages, Wes, which essentially was the begging of the early modern era).

    Cannons appeared near the tail end, transitional period of the 10 century “middle ages”… And the structure of the ASoIAF, the logistics behind how people move and how the battle… T should be blatantly obvious that it doesn’t take place in the late middle ages.

    And yes… I’m sorry but yes it’s ridiculously stupid to think cannons are in a Game of Thrones in the middle of reviewing episode 9 of season 2. It’s stupid to the point of hilarious. Please turn off your Internet troll mode and see that.

    Larry Williams is a boon to hipsters everywhere.

  102. Virtus
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    What is stupid is to suggest that the late Middle Ages were completely free of gunpowder weapons… The French troops deployed 300 cannons in the battle of Castillon in 1453 during the Hundred Years’ War and the English commander’s horse was killed by a cannon shot in that battle. And I think it’s fairly obvious that ASOIAF is inspired more by late Middle Ages rather than the early period: consider for example the descriptions of knights wearing full plate armor, something that historically is most typical to the 15th century. The politics of the series bear great similarities to the Wars of the Roses, as GRRM has himself mentioned.

  103. Virtus
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Baelish: should be blatantly obvious that it doesn’t take place in the late middle ages.

    Only if you want to ignore the fact that full plate armor was not used before the late middle ages.

  104. Weirwood
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Virtus: Only if you want to ignore the fact that full plate armor was not used before the late middle ages.

    This series in NOT set on Earth BTW….. just sayin’….

  105. Wes
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Weirwood,

    This doesn’t really help either side of the argument.

  106. superkick
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  107. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Baelish,

    As I said, get an education before you insult people like Williams for making assumptions that you think are ignorant only because you are ignorant yourself.

    First you write unlettered nonsense about the “Middle Ages” about which you obviously have no clue, trying to contradict my arguments by citing a Wikipedia article that focuses on the middle medieval period. Then you retreat from the debate by dishing out the “It’s Fantasy and Fantasy is always Medieval (whatever that word means)”-argument? Laughable. You are not only clueless with regard to medieval history, but you probably know only a handful of works of Fantasy fiction, too.

    I have followed Mr Martin’s career since the late 90s, I have read almost all of his interviews (which you can find at the ‘So Spake Martin’ section of westeros.org), I know about his inspirations from history, as well as his literary stance on the Fantasy genre – and most importantly, I know about technology in the Late Middle Ages, something that you ‘know’ only via Wikipedia.

    There is no such thing as “The Middle Ages” or “the medieval period”: Both terms, if not qualified, cover a much too broad period to be of any use. And they sadly allow people like you to post about how warfare in ASOIAF is based on “medieval warfare” – as if there was such a thing like ‘medieval warfare’.

    Westeros, as far as its culture, state of knowledge and technology are concerned, is based on the particular period I mentioned twice: The Late Middle Ages in Europe and the Ottoman Empire. This is made evident by the types of armour worn by Westerosi chevaliers, the types of horses bred, the siege equipment, architecture, ships and the nautical skills used, as well as the social norms governing marriage, succession, and fealty.
    As I wrote, there are exceptions to this, especially the ironborn with their longships and culture inspired by the vikings (a culture that ended before the Late Middle Ages began in Europe).

    Mr Martin’s inspirations from earlier (or even later) periods are either of a narrative/thematic kind (alluding to famous family feuds, religious conflics or military campaigns like the crusades, aso) or they are used for other parts of his world (for example the Iron Islands, the Free Cities or Slaver’s Bay). But the majority of his technological and cultural references to reality come from the time between 1300 and 1450 to 1500- a time that he is a great fan of (his vast figurine collection in particular references the High Middle Ages). Before the 13th century the famous, romanticised tradition of chivalric colde and pageantry, tournaments and courtly love did not even exist in the manner that Mr Martin employs in ASOIAF.
    But during this time, gunpowder was regularly used for several military purposes (see my posts above). One extremely important purpose that I forgot to mention was the deployment of mines by sappers in order to collapse fortifications.

    My original point, though, was not to educate you – you should do that yourself – but to criticise the off-hand way in which many ridiculed Williams’ expectations – not because those expectations were blatantly stupid but because the critics themselves didn’t know what they were talking about. It’s poor style to ridicule people out of ignorance – but it’s okay to ridicule ignorant people who ridicule others because of their own ignorance. Surely, you get my point.

    Weirwood,

    That is a correct observation but a fairly trivial one: Mr Martin uses reality and its history to create his fictional world. In order for that world – except for the magical parts ;) – to make any sense, he has to stick to reality in some respects (technology, for example).
    He obviously doesn’t have to copy the whole of reality even for the non-magical parts of his world: After all, he eschewed gunpowder, despite it existing and being used during the period that informes much of Westeros in particular and ASOIAF in general: The Late Middle Ages from the early 13th to late 15th century.

  108. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    superkick,

    Not really new-news, it’s been on the schedule listed at 64 minutes for a while. Not 70 mins, as some people are saying. But it’s always good to have it reconfirmed. :)

  109. Weirwood
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Wes:
    Weirwood,

    This doesn’t really help either side of the argument.

    Which is fine since I really don’t have a direwolf in this fight…. I’m just shaking my head at the lengths that Larry fans will go to defend him. I still don’t understand why he is seen as the be-all-and-end-all of non-book readers. He makes himself look bad enough without people trying to explain away (and make sense of) his nonsense. SMH

  110. Baelish
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Virtus:
    What is stupid is to suggest that the late Middle Ages were completely free of gunpowder weapons…

    Yeah, I just said the complete opposite of that like twice. So it would be stupid if someone actually said that.

    Funny that you bring up the French cannons as the first example. When the Chinese and Ottomans were the first to use them historically. Been watching the Borgias a bit too much? Lol maybe Larry has too.

    Anyway. What’s becoming ‘stupid’ is this conversation.

    Enjoy it, fellas.

  111. Virtus
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Baelish: Yeah, I just said the complete opposite of that like twice. So it would be stupid if someone actually said that.

    Funny that you bring up the French cannons as the first example. When the Chinese and Ottomans were the first to use them historically. Been watching the Borgias a bit too much? Lol maybe Larry has too.

    Anyway. What’s becoming ‘stupid’ is this conversation.

    Enjoy it, fellas.

    I haven’t seen a single episode of the Borgias. I mentioned the French cannons as an example and not the Chinese because ASOIAF takes plenty of inspiration from medieval Europe and little to none from medieval China.

  112. Shagga son of Dolf
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    A lot of closet racism going on in this thread. And that’s all I’m gonna say. If Larry was white he wouldn’t have half the comments he does. Yeah….I said it…..

  113. Virtus
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Baelish,

    But maybe you’ve been watching too much Hollywood movies if you really think that an early medieval setting would have knights wearing full plate armor… LOL.

  114. Weirwood
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Shagga son of Dolf:
    A lot of closet racism going on in this thread. And that’s all I’m gonna say. If Larry was white he wouldn’t have half the comments he does. Yeah….I said it…..

    If Larry was white he never would have said “They killed my nigga Ned” and been applauded for it (or “Fuck the white man” for that matter)….. pointing out the fact the Larry is black and assuming that is the reason why he is disliked sounds an awful lot like racism BTW…..

  115. Ryan
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Dogmayor,

    Don’t speak in absolutes because you’re wrong. I despised Sansa until maybe the very end of Feast, but I certainly won’t be defending her.

    Or Dany for that matter. I hope she stays in Mereen,

  116. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    KG:
    Pau Soriano,

    They are too vulgar even for my lenient limits.Jesus, learn some words other than “fuck.”

    Ah that doesn’t bother me at all, but well, it’s well known southern europeans are the worst cursers on earth…when I studied in the states I always got into trouble because of that, and I didn’t get it…

    Anyhow, Larry is at the same level of vulgarity but this guys are much more insightful and interesting than Larry… u can see they are smart and that they care for the show, so if sometimes they don’t get a thing it’s becaue it wasn’t very clear in it

    Regarding the cannons…it’s pretty obvious that if u had cannons Dragons would be, like someone said, “cannon fodder”, so noone would be worried about them. So it makes sense what Martin said about “undermining the fantay elements”

  117. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Weirwood: Which is fine since I really don’t have a direwolf in this fight…. I’m just shaking my head at the lengths that Larry fans will go to defend him. I still don’t understand why he is seen as the be-all-and-end-all of non-book readers. He makes himself look bad enough without people trying to explain away (and make sense of) his nonsense. SMH

    For what it’s worth, I dislike Larry Williams’ style and commentary, and I don’t follow his video reviews.
    It just rubbed me the wrong way that some people here and at other boards made fun of him because of those ‘cannons’. I don’t know how much Williams knows about the historical background (or better: inspiration) of ASOIAF/Game of Thrones but to ridicule him because ‘LOL, the idiot doesn’t know that there were no cannons then, FAIL’ seemed pretty ridiculous to me (for which I provided some arguments).

  118. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Wes: Weirwood, This doesn’t really help either side of the argument.

    No, but it does help undercut what is a completely ridiculous argument in the first place.

    It’s a fictional story based on multiple periods of time. Asking if they have cannons isn’t objectively stupid, as they could have whatever the hell the author wants them to have. But it is a pretty stupid thing to ask near the end of the second season when we’ve seen absolutely no sign and heard no mention of any such thing to this point.

  119. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Shagga son of Dolf:
    A lot of closet racism going on in this thread. And that’s all I’m gonna say. If Larry was white he wouldn’t have half the comments he does. Yeah….I said it…..

    That must be the stupidiest thing I’ve read lately…actually, those guys over at Anime Real Talk are black too and people who dislike Larry are recomending them (like me)

  120. Baelish
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Oh wait, LV replied. Hi, LV!

    I hope you’ll excuse me for not reading past where you wrote about speculating over people’s education backgrounds and then talked about how u stalked George R R Martin since the 90s.

    Hmm. Weird. Stalking an old fat man? Quite the “educational” resume. You’re obviously “very educated” for knowing this. Since educated, working people typically take the time to stalk men who look like grown hobbits.

    In fact you should write a dissertation about what types of nail polish to put on while jerking off to him. You could start an online course!

    Oh and saw some comments about how clearly defined periods such as the middle ages, and clearly defined and taught periods of warfare as “medieval warfare” are not real. Hah! Wow, sounds very “educated” as well. Lol! I think a few hundred tenured professors and published authors disagree with you buddy, to say the least. But what do they k ow, right? You got a bachelors! Hell ya!

    As for how in-versed I am in fantasy, well. I’ll take that as a compliment. I think you took that comment in terms more absolute than anyone with a social life would. I meant medieval fantasy. And yes, that’s a real term. Sorry to disappoint.

    So, I’ll just point out that just about everyone who’s posting about books this thick on these boards likely has a higher education. It’s nothing unique.

    Rather, the fact that you obsess over this little quip in your personal attacks just shows that you must be sensitive about the topic. I’m assuming you received a poor one? Sorry. Probably should’ve just taken out student loans and shelled out for a private school. You’d come off as less insecure, at least.

    So, I’ll leave it at that. Given that you’re taking this so personally, I would strongly recommend some counseling.

    On that note, gentlemen, I’m out. ’twas a nice first time posting on this forum… but I’m realizing that most of u are kinda weird. I mean… who the hell takes this shit that seriously?

    Enjoy. x

  121. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Baelish,

    xD

    Baelish:

    Lol! I think a few hundred tenured professors and published authors disagree with you buddy, to say the least. But what do they k ow, right? You got a bachelors! Hell ya!

    The problem in this debate is, that I, as others here, have read those tenured professors and published authors – and you’ve read Wikipedia.

    But Whatever.

    Here’s to you!

  122. Virtus
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Baelish: Lol! I think a few hundred tenured professors and published authors disagree with you buddy, to say the least.

    You’re the one referencing Wikipedia, LOL.

  123. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Was thinking about Bronn and the Hound, and I think GRRM threw it in there in order to foreshadow Bronn’s unwillingness to fight the Mountain. I mean, sure, Bronn is crafty, and all, but the Hound would have fucked him up, right? And, if Bronn is leery of the Hound, he’ll surely be leery of the Mountain. I mean, who wouldn’t be? save Oberyn Martell (who was nuts). Even Jaime (w/two hands) would have to think twice about that one.

  124. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: That must be the stupidiest thing I’ve read lately…actually, those guys over at Anime Real Talk are black too and people who dislike Larry are recomending them (like me)

    Forgive him, after a lifetime of anti-Hill Tribe prejudice Shagga’s a little sensitive.

  125. LordStarkington
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins:
    Was thinking about Bronn and the Hound, and I think GRRM threw it in there in order to foreshadow Bronn’s unwillingness to fight the Mountain. I mean, sure, Bronn is crafty, and all, but the Hound would have fucked him up, right? And, if Bronn is leery of the Hound, he’ll surely be leery of the Mountain. I mean, who wouldn’t be? save Oberyn Martell (who was nuts). Even Jaime (w/two hands) would have to think twice about that one.

    I think it also might have been intended to set up Ser Mandon Moore attacking Tyrion. Sandor is Joffrey’s sword and brazenly implies he’s there to kill Bronn, who is Tyrion’s sword. In addition to what you mention, it also hints that people (likely Joffrey or Cersei) are already angling to undermine Tyrion.

    As for the latest Larry Williams brouhaha -

    Personally, I just noticed it for the reasons Steven Swanson pointed out; and I laughed a bit because it was another example of a needless digression that threw off the flow of his review a bit.

    I was actually pleasantly surprised he referenced Alexander the Great’s campaign against the Malli when talking about Stannis’ behavior, most people seem to ignore Alexander’s campaign in India, especially the part after Jhelum/Hydaspes.

    Also good to see we got the obligatory playing of the race card though :p

  126. serum
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Raoul Duke,

    If you look at the top of this page and click on features then click on episode guide it gives you a brief breakdown of what will be in the next episode. Some of your questions will be answered here! Hope this helps to clarify some things for you.

  127. Langkard
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Baelish:

    Anyway, while waiting I just looked it up.

    George R R Martin was influenced by the hundred yrs war, war of the roses… THE CRUSADES, and The ALBIGENSIAN CRUSADE? So half of the influences he lists are hundreds of years before cannons. Also on his FAQ page he lists a giant stack of literature concerning medieval warfare, medieval swordsmanship, life in the castles, etc.

    http://georgerrmartin.com/faq.html

    You should probably have read what you “looked up” in GRRM’s list of influences. Using just your paragraph above, you claim that half of the influences he lists are before cannons. Which half would be “hundreds of years before cannons”? Cannons were first used in Europe by the Moors in the siege of Cordoba in 1280, but gunpowder as a weapon was used as early as 1241 at the Battle of Mohi by Mongols against Hungarians and gunpowder is mentioned as being used in sea battles as early as 1250 in a Norwegian source.

    The Crusades began in 1095 and ended in 1291 (in the Levant) or the 1300′s (if you include the Northern Crusades) and even later if you include minor crusades up to the 15th century. Since cannons were used in Europe in 1280 for certain, the Crusades is out as being “hundreds of years before cannons” and that includes the Albigensian Crusade.

    The Hundred Years’ War rages essentially between 1337 and 1453. During that period both sides used gunpowder weapons, including primitive volley guns like the ribault. THe first naval battle in Europe to use artillery between ships was at the Battle of Arnemuiden in 1338.

    By the time of the War of the Roses, which began in 1455, all kinds of cannon and gunpowder weapons in general were in use, from pot-de-fers and bombards and mortars to arquebuses and other early handguns (parts of handheld guns have been found at Towton, where a major battle of the Wars of the Roses took place in 1461).

    So, I’ll ask again, which “half of the influences he lists are hundreds of years before cannons”?

  128. Darren Mason
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why people are getting all butt hurt about Larry getting things wrong and ranting about stupid stuff. That’s the point! he’s ridiculous and wrong 90% of the time, its funny to watch.

  129. Langkard
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Darren Mason:
    I don’t understand why people are getting all butt hurt about Larry getting things wrong and ranting about stupid stuff. That’s the point! he’s ridiculous and wrong 90% of the time, its funny to watch.

    Frankly, I think it’s because many of the people who would otherwise be whining about deviations from the books have had the wind taken out of their bluster by the fact that it was GRRM himself who wrote the screenplay for the episode. Having no real grounds on which to complain about the episode this week, they’ve taken to attacking something else to compensate. Larry Williams makes an easy target for them precisely because he does tend to get some things wrong.

  130. Macha
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    Darren Mason,

    You just don’t understand. One does not simply go to bed when someone is still wrong on the internet. ;)

  131. Drfunk
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Wow, are you guys seriously starting CannonGate in a recap thread? I think most people would like some links to some good reviewers that aren’t on the master list. As for the cannons, didn’t GRRM say that he specifically took out guns/gun powder as it would defeat the whole purpose of hand to hand combat? So Larry wondering if there isn’t any cannons isn’t stupid. Due to the fact that Westeros feel so real (despite its fantastical elements) its drawn a lot of comparison to our middle age period, but it is still an entirely new realm altogether. Any historical reference is therefore totally meaningless, there could be spacecrafts introduced in book 6 if GRRM decided it would help the story.. cause this world is NOT our world.

    As for Larry, I tend to agree with a previous commenter that it does feel like he’s doing this as a “job” and not as a passion. His recent ventures into merchandising, or the attention to his view counts while lashing out on any who dare criticize him makes me think that if he weren’t getting anything out of it, he’d quit reviewing the shows.

    This might be a bit of a stretch but it feels like he knows he owes his channel popularity to his initial GoT reviews and just can’t “move on” without repercussion (think of that faithful gf that stood by you but you just don’t feel the same anymore). Maybe it’s because the story killed any character that identified with his moral values, or the fact that he’s trying to click with a character instead of the overall story. Whatever it is, his reviews just aren’t the same as it used to be.

  132. Langkard
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    This is House Gatewatch! We do not sow or wait for winter or roar or get furious! We invent windmills guarded by strawmen who eat red herrings and then gleefully hop on our metaphorical donkeys and tilt! Joust!

    P.S. Has the news media gone too far when they make a pun out of Game of Thrones and title a piece about renewed drone attacks in Pakistan “Game of Drones”?

  133. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Drfunk,

    While I agree with your general point, I find the “It’s Fantasy, the author can do whatever she wants”-argument tiresome. Every author in every genre can do whatever she wants. But if there is no internal consistency, whatever she wrote is likely crap.
    It’s possible to have high technology in High Fanatasy – R Scott Bakker and Steven Erikson have proven that lately (the former even has aliens, energy weapons and spacecraft in his crapsack world).
    But for Mr Martin to introduce stuff like this would require some pretty outlandish and genius reasoning. The maesters of Oldtown, in this narrative, will not build a spacecraft or arm the realm’s knights with energy lances – it wouldn’t make sense in this particular setting (at least not without some very convoluted plot devices)…
    My point is: Even in Fantasy, not anything goes. Our own history, traditions and scientific theories inform what is credible, but even a completely alien world of fiction has to have some measure of consistency (or else it becomes a literary experiment).

  134. Aldaris
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:
    P.S.Has the news media gone too far when they make a pun out of Game of Thrones and title a piece about renewed drone attacks in Pakistan “Game of Drones”?

    Incidentally, this is also the new online handle of a StarCraft II pro from Germany who plays Zerg. Also known as the ‘Ling in the North.
    :-)

  135. Darren Mason
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Langkard:
    P.S.Has the news media gone too far when they make a pun out of Game of Thrones and title a piece about renewed drone attacks in Pakistan “Game of Drones”?

    Of course not! I mean… doesn’t Robb have drones? I’m pretty sure he had drones.

  136. All_Men_Must_Post
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Belated post but awesome episode.

    The prior eight episodes were a slow burn. Even the first 29 minutes of last night’s episode provided kindling to the explosion of wildfire that was Blackwater. We see Blackwater through many eyes: delight in Joffrey, concern for his son in Davos’, horror in the Hound’s, the “what-did-I-do” in Tyrion’s, and hidden away in the Red Keep, the inebriated lost look in Cersei’s. We know the episode was written by none other than George R.R. Martin and directed by horror veteran, Neil Marshall, by its scale. I don’t think there’s been a show on television that has attempted something like Blackwater. It brought together the grandiose theatrical nature of a war, but intimately engaged the viewer with the individual stories. Suffice to say, five out of five stars and one of the best hours of television (on par, with say the Atmo jump episode in Battlestar Galactica).

    What I liked:

    1. The Hound. Rory McCann gets to shine in this episode. When the battle is all but lost, we learn that the Hound lost a more personal battle. Most will remember his resignation on the battlefield as the Clegane’s best moment in Blackwater but I’ll remember the bookend of personal stories he tells—one to Bronn, the other to Sansa—that define this man.

    … more at the site (these copy/paste jobs are getting too long)

  137. Drfunk
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    I agree that GRRM won’t introduce random elements since he’s doing “realistic fantasy” with ASoIaF. That said he easily could have introduced those elements in the first book and we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The point that was made is Larry drawing a conclusion based on historical references when our history itself has no bearing whatsoever with the series.

  138. Dan
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    That’s just plain sick but not surprising. Too many in the media left decency behind a long time ago.

  139. Langkard
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Aldaris: Incidentally, this is also the new online handle of a StarCraft II pro from Germany who plays Zerg. Also known as the ‘Ling in the North.
    :-)

    I saw that when I did a search for Game of Drones. I recognized several of the names from back when I was into SC2 and watched Day9′s weekly web shows. It also turns out that the phrase “Game of Drones” has been used several times before going back to last summer when Jon Stewart used it in a funny piece about the Iranians capturing an unmanned US drone.

  140. Mike from Braavos
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Drfunk: . Whatever it is, his reviews just aren’t the same as it used to be.

    I was feeling the same – but this week he actually spent the entire video talking about “Game of Thrones” unlike of the last few vids which spent a rather large amount of time focusing on “A Song of Larry’s Haters”.

    I couldn’t help but wonder if he made it a point to block out the haters for this week, or if he was just too caught up in the excitement of the episode. Hopefully it’s the former and he continues it next week (and next season).

    I’m not a Larry hater myself, and I respect that it’s 100% his choice to spend time on his GoT reviews confronting the haters… but I was getting sick of listening to it.

  141. andrea
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    LV: fiction has to have some measure of consistency

    Yes, plausibility is the word (verosimilitud in spanish).

    One thing can be real and at the same time not be plausible (verosímil). In literature as in film, is better to be plausible than real. That`s what we´re talking about, yes?

  142. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Exactly.

    But in ASOIAF’s case, the rules have been set and the world in many respects resembles natural reality as well as the historical reality of larger Europe. Martin no longer can so whatever he might imagine without either retconning much of his narrative or blatantly bullshitting his audience. ;)

    O, I forgot to mention that there are several supposedly ‘historical’ or ‘realistic’ elements in ASOIAF that stem from mistaken believes Mr Martin holds. Though he is very well-read on all respective topics, parts of his knowledge no longer resemble contemporary research. But most of that is not an issue, it just shows that Mr Martin’s historically informed fiction is certainly not without fail.

  143. Johan Sporre
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    James Hibberd has the scoop on characters for season 3!
    http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/05/29/game-of-throne-season-3-cast/

    Reeds + Blackfish + Shireen + Queen of Thorns, etc

    No Strong Belwas mentioned though…

  144. Tre Svatek
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre,

    Doesn’t mean hes not there though, as stated at the bottom of the article.

  145. andrea
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    and what you say also works if he wanted to introduce elements even more real / natural within the same historical period (I’m not talking about Littlefinger´s invisible plane, of course).

    “O, I forgot to mention that there are several supposedly ‘historical’ or ‘realistic’ elements in ASOIAF that stem from mistaken believes Mr Martin holds.”
    hihi, I guess this is what I´m talking about: not exactly real, but plausible.

  146. Johan Sporre
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Tre Svatek,

    I know, I know. Maybe he’ll even pop up in the next episode as a featured extra :)

  147. CristianFar
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Its nice to put an end to the “Where are the reeds!!!?” thing, but, I don’t know, first we lose most of the froggy clues, now barely any speculation of whos in and whos out. Plus no new book… How the hell are we gonna spend the hiatus between seasons?

  148. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre,

    Wow! That list is good news!
    And I really like D&D’s take on the characters and their introduction to the audience – it’s important not to overdo it by appeasing the readers’crowd.

  149. andrea
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre,
    that´s great! Thanks.

    Blackfish Blues this is a good news for you, especially today!
    I´m happy with Tormund.
    Knurk, don´t get mad, Strong Belwas will come.

  150. Aldaris
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    andrea:
    Johan Sporre,

    Blackfish Blues this is a good news for you, especially today!

    That practically calls for a name change. Blackfish Allegro maybe?
    :-)

  151. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    death to lannisters: I so feel the same way about the use of the word “epic” in this thread!It bores and irritates the shit out of me.

    Legendaaarry has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

  152. andrea
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Aldaris,

    May be! I am satisfied if she´s happy, though

  153. MRR
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Wes: Actually, he has a fair criticism. The Arya/Tywin plotline was good exposition, but it ultimately built up expectations for an Arya/Tywin conflict/resolution at the end of the arc… which didn’t happen.

    He fails to acknowledge that character development can “add anything to the overall plot.” The Arya/Tywin scenes were more than just exposition; they show how Arya is learning about the world, and how she learns to stay sneaky in the presence of people like Tywin. They give Arya a taste of being able to affect things through her dealings with Jaqen. The resolution to the Arya/Tywin conflict is a return of Arya’s sense of helplessness in being unable to stop him. That’s not “no resolution”, it’s just not a typical or trite form of resolution.

  154. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    MRR: He fails to acknowledge that character development can “add anything to the overall plot.” The Arya/Tywin scenes were more than just exposition; they show how Arya is learning about the world, and how she learns to stay sneaky in the presence of people like Tywin. They give Arya a taste of being able to affect things through her dealings with Jaqen. The resolution to the Arya/Tywin conflict is a return of Arya’s sense of helplessness in being unable to stop him. That’s not “no resolution”, it’s just not a typical or trite form of resolution.

    Well said, it’s very interesting to watch reactions to this show as, like the books, it doesn’t always follow cliched notions of climax, payoff, etc. There’s a poster on the “unspoiled speculation” thread at Television without Pity who thought nearly every storyline in the last episode fell flat because they didn’t get the payoff they were looking for in each one. It’s pretty apparent how many people are afflicted with a very short term, instant gratification mentality, and it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll drop the show or be able to adjust their minds to the fact that it’s playing a longer, subtler game than they’re apparently used to.

  155. MRR
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Yeah, you hit the nail on the head with your remarks regarding “instant gratification”. These arguments fail to acknowledge that not all of these stories are going to play themselves out on an episode-to-episode basis. I agree that episode 18 was on the slow side, but Larry’s central complaint was that he didn’t get to see whatever it was he wanted to see – despite the fact that there were still two episodes yet to air for season 2. Certain plotlines in the novels don’t get resolved until several books later, let alone within the same chapter. This “short term mentality” is why, in my initial post, I alluded to the notion that Game of Thrones doesn’t always work well in an “episodic” sense, since many of the stories are much more far-reaching than one hour of television allows.

    Many audiences simply aren’t used to that sort of nuanced, drawn-out storytelling – or they simply don’t prefer it (nothing wrong with different preferences). For them, it’s just about “what happens“, and less about how it happens or who it happens to. GoT (and the novels, of course) are trying to give us a very strong sense of who these characters are, so that what happens to them really connects with us. Sure, it might have been “stupid” as Larry put it for Catelyn to release Jamie Lannister, but isn’t that a “stupidity” we can also have some sympathy for given her situation? Focusing just on “what happens” is missing the bigger picture sometimes.

  156. Thais
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    It seems only that they have forgotten that we have already seen Beric Dondarrion in the first season, when Ned sends him to look for Gregor Clegane while acting as hand of King Robert (http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/File:Beric_Dondarrion.png)

    I know that they will probably change the actor, but since it was already foreseeable to anyone who had read the books that Beric Dondarrion would be back, I only wish they would take this kind of stuff into account when choosing actors for some characters.

  157. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Thais: It seems only that they have forgotten that we have already seen Beric Dondarrion in the first season, when Ned sends him to look for Gregor Clegane while acting as hand of King Robert (http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/File:Beric_Dondarrion.png)I know that they will probably change the actor, but since it was already foreseeable to anyone who had read the books that Beric Dondarrion would be back, I only wish they would take this kind of stuff into account when choosing actors for some characters.

    Do you really think that didn’t occur to them? The problem is they were casting for a brief role in season 1, with no assurance that they would ever get to the book where Beric reappears. Should they then in that situation go for a bigger name actor, pay him far more than that featured extra was paid, while tying him into a long-term contract just in case the show was a success and made it to the third season?

    In a show like this recastings are inevitable. I don’t like them any more than you do but there will probably be plenty more.

  158. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Re: CannonGate

    Paraphrasing Kissinger: Fanboy disputes are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.

    It’s GRRM’s world, we’re only along for the ride.

  159. Eooorrrr????
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: Do you really think that didn’t occur to them? The problem is they were casting for a brief role in season 1, with no assurance that they would ever get to the book where Beric reappears. Should they then in that situation go for a bigger name actor, pay him far more than that featured extra was paid, while tying him into a long-term contract just in case the show was a success and made it to the third season?

    In a show like this recastings are inevitable. I don’t like them any more than you do but there will probably be plenty more.

    Concur. though that scene did always bother me. I assumed they were recasting him, which made me wonder why they even bothered to show him at all? Then again, maybe if the scene was done without showing him it’d be disjointed and confusing, so they just had a stand-in for that shot to help the flow. Either way, I don’t care and doubt non-viewers will even remember Ned sending the men off when Dondarion brings it up

  160. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Eooorrrr????: Concur. though that scene did always bother me. I assumed they were recasting him, which made me wonder why they even bothered to show him at all? Then again, maybe if the scene was done without showing him it’d be disjointed and confusing, so they just had a stand-in for that shot to help the flow. Either way, I don’t care and doubt non-viewers will even remember Ned sending the men off when Dondarion brings it up

    Casual viewers may not (wonder if the show will include that scene in the pre-episode recap even if it’s a different actor), but the devoted will, he’s been mentioned multiple times as one of the apparent “plot holes” in TWOP’s thread for non-readers. And a couple have even wondered if the recently-mentioned Brotherhood could be related to Beric, wanted to give them a big pat on the back for that one.

  161. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin: Re: CannonGateParaphrasing Kissinger: Fanboy disputes are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.It’s GRRM’s world, we’re only along for the ride.

    I love that quote, particularly because I work in an academia-related job, which the original quote referred to. And yes, this is very similar.

  162. Dan
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Baelish,

    So, I’ll leave it at that. Given that you’re taking this so personally, I would strongly recommend some counseling.

    On that note, gentlemen, I’m out. ’twas a nice first time posting on this forum… but I’m realizing that most of u are kinda weird. I mean… who the hell takes this shit that seriously?

    Man, how did I miss these exchanges between this person and LV. There is nothing better than reading someone use multiple paragraphs to insult someone and then chide them for taking it too personal. Hilarious.

  163. Greyjoying
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Laura Stone,

    There is actually a LOT of hate from book readers, most of which completely boils down to the fact that she’s not a “tomboy” and doesn’t physically fights which according to pretty much everyone, stops her from being a Strong Female Character. It’s sexism all over the place, imo, not that any of her haters would ever own up to that.

  164. Drfunk
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    If you want a hilarious review/recap then check this one out:

    http://www.bestweekever.tv/2012-05-29/game-of-thrones-recap-blackwater-for-blackelephants/

    enjoy!

  165. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Dan: Man, how did I miss these exchanges between this person and LV. There is nothing better than reading someone use multiple paragraphs to insult someone and then chide them for taking it too personal. Hilarious.

    There were more responses to him but they were removed (someday I’ll learn that cocksucker is not an appropriate word to call somebody, but not today). Strangely, his originally insulting post was not.

  166. LV
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    xD

    And that Kissinger quote is funny. Still, I gave my opinions primarily because the Williams-ridicule bugged me, not so much because I care about someone’s personal take on ASOIAF.

  167. Omar Brown
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    MRR,

    Agreed. He is not my cup of tea, his epic freak out last year was pretty funny tho.
    But his “reviews” are rambling messes and I find them unwatchable.

  168. Laura Stone
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Greyjoying,

    Yep – a lot of hate from book readers, as I learned from following this site. :D I’m the type that tends to want to love things before I knee-jerk into hating them, and fortunately I’ve yet to find anything to hate about GoT. Hooray! I try to remember that books and visual media are two completely separate animals (as they have to be) but hey – everyone has the right to love/not love what they choose.

    So far, the Sansa on my screen makes perfect sense. Her age, her upbringing, and her sense of not wanting to die – yep. I get where she’s making her decisions. This series is pretty upfront with the inherent sexism (how much rape can there BE in an episode, either by talking about it or witnessing it/the attempt to rape) the trading of women for positions on the game board (perfectly illustrated by drunk!Cersei in this episode) so again, I get where this show’s Sansa is coming from.

    But of course, we all want to root for the Buffys, the Aryas, etc. A woman that can overcome that misogynist shit from the get-go is awesome. But so is a woman that can be down in the mire, in the thick of it, trapped by the expectations thrust upon her (both literally and metaphorically) and come out at the other end, intact and proud of herself.

    Hey, thanks for engaging with me in an open discussion without calling me vulgar, btw. (But then, I do love the eff word, it’s true.) ;)

  169. MRR
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Laura Stone,

    One might even suggest that the “Buffys” of the (fictional) world are more sexist than the “Sansas”, since the “Buffys” overcome the inherent sexism of society with such ease that the struggle is almost trivialized; by showing Sansa and Cersei struggle with this sexism we are shown how this sexism represents a genuine threat.

    (I have never actually seen any Buffy; I’m just using Laura’s example as a hypothetical here. No disrespect intended to Mr. Whedon! Nor do I strongly believe what I wrote above; I wrote “might” in italics to suggest that it’s a purely hypothetical point of view, the kind of thing some academic could write a paper on. Ultimately I think sexism is a very complicated issue, and I think it doesn’t just boil down into “this is more sexist than that.”)

  170. icspotz
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    As a lover of the Ice and Fire series for its complex and realistic characters based in a mythical medieval world I enjoy watching a wide variety of reviews with differing perspectives to enhance and extend my viewing experience. Thank you for this recap topic and list of reviewers. I would like to see video reviewers flagged as such if possible. Also would like to note that I recently discovered MelinaPendulum vid reviews and find them intelligent and insightful as to the characters depth and motivations in a non-spoilery way that is sometimes glossed over by the HBO series. I would love to see these passionate reviews, which are peppered with a little Brooklyn attitude, included on your list of reader reviewers.

  171. Ser Lurkalot
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    icspotz: Also would like to note that I recently discovered MelinaPendulum vid reviews and find them intelligent and insightful as to the characters depth and motivations in a non-spoilery way that is sometimes glossed over by the HBO series. I would love to see these passionate reviews, which are peppered with a little Brooklyn attitude, included on your list of reader reviewers.

    +1

  172. Laura Stone
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    MRR,

    (I will say that Buddy is pretty awesome, but that’s a topic for another forum. :D)

    I totally agree with you that sexism is a lot more than just a strong, muscled woman staring men down, saying “I have overcome.” I think that’s what is so fascinating about a character like Sansa and Cersei, for that matter. Hell, let’s put Shae in there. And Brienne. And Arya.

    I’m saying that this show does a great job of giving us women in varying positions of power and control over their own destinies, and showing their struggle against the back drop of “Well, they’re in for a little bit of rape, I suspect!” as a reminder of the cold, physical world they live in makes for amazing discussions.

    I was rather baffled by the lumps Sansa was given in various boards for not drawing a hidden sword and slicing Joffrey’s head off at the first sign that things were wrong there. It’s not who she is – and I for one find it interesting to show a multitude of characters with completely unique POVs as to how they see themselves and the world around them. Flip side: Tyrion vs. Bronn. Tywin vs. Robert Baratheon. A similar thread can tie each other them together, yet they’re completely unique in how they approach problems and solve them.

    So let’s let the women have the same agency. (Hahaha, I use that word tongue in cheek, given the reaction to specific language earlier on.)

    In summation, I really freaking enjoy GoT. One of these days soon I’ll end my self-imposed “don’t read the books just yet” rule. I do want to keep the two medium separate for as long as possible.

  173. Tyrion's Nose
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I loved the episode and the many great reviews! Thanks for collecting them here.

    While I had no gripes about the show, I do have one gripe about the reviews: It is time to retire the word “penultimate.” Just say “second to last episode.”

  174. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I believe the writer for Time suggested someone make a shirt with the sigil of House Clegane (3 Dogs) and the words, “Fuck the Kingsguard. Fuck the city. Fuck the king”.

    That’s a great idea, actually. There’s even a “Fuck the…” to go under each dog. WiC.net should get on that, pronto. I’d buy one (but, then again, I have somewhat crude taste — see screen name — so, perhaps my opinion doesn’t reflect that of the larger readership. Some people might have a problem with wearing a shirt that has the word “Fuck” written on it… I suppose).

  175. Balerion
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion is so badass. I don’t have words for it.

  176. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion’s Nose,

    Why? That’s what penultimate means, and it’s one word instead of three.

  177. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
  178. Hear Me Roar
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Tyrion’s Nose,

    Why? That’s what penultimate means, and it’s one word instead of three.

    And then there was also the antepenultimate episode eight :P

  179. MRR
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Laura Stone,

    Yeah, from my heterosexual Caucasian male perspective (or “privilege”, as some in the social sciences might say), one of the strengths in GRRM’s work as far as sexism is concerned is that it takes on the issue from a multiplicity of perspectives. Different people deal with the circumstances of their world differently, and by showing those different people and their different reactions you get a rich view of the world and a deeper understanding of its issues.

    I think Sansa gets a bad rap much of the time as well. It’s hard for some people to really relate to a feeling of helplessness, I suppose. Helplessness and persistent fear aren’t the sorts of moods we see on television very often, but a believable display of those darker moods is what sets GoT apart from the rest.

    After seeing the first season of the show and then reading the books, the first book felt like a great extended director’s cut of the show. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them!


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