Written Recap Roundup, Season 4 Episode 5 “First of His Name”
By Bex on in Recap.

Margaery

This week’s batch of critics highlighted the women of Westeros and how true power often lurks in the shadows. Cersei Lannister was discussed often, and reflection was given on the state of the show as it reached its halfway mark.

As always, we’ve tried our very best to sort out the Book Readers and Show Watchers out for your convenience, and while no review is chock full of book spoilers, it goes without saying that it is the comments sections that Unsullied should really avoid.

BOOK READERS

Sean T. Collins – Rolling Stone

The women of Westeros learn lessons — and teach them — in a cathartic and emotional episode…”The First of His Name”…was Game of Thrones‘ most emotionally sensitive, and satisfying hour so far this season.

Charlie Jane Anders – io9

One person can sometimes be more deadly than 100,000, in the right circumstances. That’s a bit of a motif in last night’s episode: the strongest force and the best swordsmen aren’t always the winners.

Alyssa Rosenberg – Washington Post

The great strength of the episode is with its women, operating in side passages and shadows while men claim official power, living as best they can in the conditions granted to them.

Todd VanDerWerff – A.V. Club

B+; Power being an illusion is not a new idea for the show to bring up…but what’s new and different about season four is how tenuously power’s grasp holds Westeros… it seems key to me that the episode is full of people either rejecting the illusion of security that power provides (as with the last remaining survivors of Craster’s Keep, who choose to make their own way in the world) or aiming to strengthen it in service of increasing their own power.

More book readers review and Unsullied react under the cut:

James Hibberd – Entertainment Weekly

Game of Thrones has been on a generous streak of giving us answers. Who killed Joffrey? What do the White Walkers do with Craster’s sons? Now this week, Thrones blows wide open a hugely crucial murder mystery cold-case file that we long assumed was solved. Plus, we see a new side of Cersei, Dany makes a game-changing decision, Jon Snow attacks Craster’s and more…

James Poniewozik – Time

“First of His Name” is, more than most, a this-thing-and-that-thing-and-another-thing episode, contributing a little each to a lot of storylines, but much of it is concerned with the same question: So now what?

Myles McNutt – Cultural Learnings

This balance between the self-made Littlefinger and the anointed Tommen sits on the periphery of an episode that functions as a highly logical mid-point of the season. And yet their respective paths are placed as guideposts for other characters who are faced with decisions that could lead them down one path or the other, depending on the choices they make in a moment of transition.

Laura Hudson – Wired

Whether you loved or hated last week’s episode, this week you’re getting more of it: more quietly interesting conversations that were never in the books, more Sansa, more Craster’s Keep, and more moving the pieces around the chessboard in preparation for whatever big play is coming next. Rather than action, this one’s all about family, but especially about mothers, sisters and daughters–and about how mixed up and tragic those relationships can get when loss and jealousy get involved. Also Cersei is really, really nice, which is actually kind of frightening.

Thomas Fitchenmayer – Esquire

Power ranking: Dany’s been booted from #1! But by whom?

Recap: In this latest lesson on the nature of power from Game of Thrones, we are being told that the will to command is utterly meaningless.

Nina Shen Rastogi – Vulture

As Oberyn tells her that her daughter Myrcella is safe with his family in Dorne, where they “don’t hurt little girls,” Cersei retorts, “Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls.” The line resonated throughout several scenes in the episode, from Sansa encountering her new protector/tormentor — her ferrety, paranoid Aunt Lysa — to the liberation of Craster’s women.

Matt Fowler – IGN

There was some awesome stuff in tonight’s installment…And what’s more, a lot of it was material that reached its gauntleted fists back into events from the past, bringing everything up to the present story in a wonderful way. Hell, even seeing scenes from the pilot episode (involving Jon Arryn, Ned, and Catelyn) during the “Previously on…” part right at the beginning was cool. And an effective reminder of just how much the show’s changed over the past four seasons.

Scott Meslow – The Week

As Game of Thrones made painfully clear a few episodes ago, not even the queen is truly safe — and Cersei’s narrative provides the backbone to Sunday’s episode, as she has candid conversations with Margaery Tyrell, her father Tywin, and Oberyn Martell.

Sarah Hughes – The Guardian

Power and justice are the themes this week, but – despite an action-packed conclusion – it feels like time to pick up the pace

Elio Garcia – Westeros.org

The episode turns on somewhat more distant matters, matters that are less thematically connected than viewers may have been used to. Sometimes the writers are able to line up certain things so that there’s a thematic through line, but other times—as with this episode—the needs of plot movement override artful thematic unity. As the middle episode of the season, “First of His Name” feels very much like a bridge episode, preparing the way for the back half of the season and the decisive events fans are no doubt anticipating. In the course of doing this, one potentially-interesting thread was snipped in a fashion that felt short-sighted, a significant plot movement was revealed to be a closed circle with no real lasting impact on the wider narrative, and the significant changes in one character’s screen translation from the source material became highlighted.

 

NEW VIEWERS

Erik Adams – A.V. Club

A; If any criticisms linger about the lack of momentum in these episodes (including those that were registered in this space last week), it is because the majority of their movement is in retreat.

Jeremy Egner – ArtsBeat, New York Times

We saw lots of subtle maneuvering on the fringes of “official” power, where the real power always resides. I’d describe this week’s installment as one of those “move-the-chess-pieces” episodes, but really, with the exception of the action at Craster’s Keep at the end, the chess pieces mostly just stood around chatting.

Kristy Puchko – The Mary Sue

Last week Game of Thrones was full of setups. Last night’s episode offered plenty of payoffs, including the answer to the show-starting mystery of who killed Jon Arryn!

Alan Sepinwall – Hitfix

it’s an episode that brings us to season 4′s midpoint, and as such it mainly features characters recognizing that their jobs are far from over, and that they — many of them misfits, rejects, or otherwise overlooked figures who now play an enormous role in the future of this story and the world in which it takes place — need to figure out what particular strengths are and how they can apply it to the task at hand.

Laura Stone – Hey, Don’t Judge Me

You know, this is what’s wrong with Westeros: no one appreciates a nice gift.

Andy Greenwald – Grantland

Tyrion has the jokes. Tywin has the power. Bran has the sight. And Daenerys has the dragons. But midway through this extremely engaging fourth season, I’m starting to think that Cersei Lannister is the most important character on Game of Thrones. No one else so perfectly captures the show’s myriad contradictions.

Natalie Bochenski – Sydney Morning Herald

This was another slow-burner of an episode, which might have annoyed some of you, my beloved Throners. But it was a lovely character study, full of small decisions, big revelations and a great dollop of comeuppance to finish off.

Brian Juergens – The Backlot

A few unexpected revelations (Littlefinger is the Mole!), the destruction of the Northern Rape Squad, and the return of the world’s oldest breastfeeding boy were almost enough to distract from the fact that last week’s breakout star – Ser Pounce – was nowhere to be seen this week.


58 Comments

  1. Siobhán Mooney
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Excellent! Have been really looking forward to Laura Stone’s commentary. She’s become my favourite recap writer.

  2. Ian Zelaya
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Fellow WiC folks, check out my recap of last night’s episode on my TV blog, TVgasmic.

  3. zod
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    You should add the Vancouver Observer reviews (aka the funniest GOT reviews) to your ‘new viewers’ list :

    http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/game-thrones-s04e05-recap-and-review-first-his-name

  4. Cumsprite
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Where is Elio’s review? How can I properly experience outrage at HBO’s fanfictional adaptation unless someone official provides me guidance?

    I am bereft.

  5. Mike Chair
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    “Sansa lays awake at night and hears strange howling. It sounds like a direwolf being strangled. It’s her aunt absolutely screaming in passion. Given her volume, it sounds like he’s going right up her Moon Door.”

    Classic Hibberd.

  6. Bex
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Cumsprite,

    I just checked and his weekly dose of disappointment has hit the web

  7. MUGger
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Bex,

    Elio is the East German judge of the GOT reviewers.

  8. Greenjones
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    When will the episode’s ratings come out? Mayhaps it will reach the next million viewers that it needs…

  9. House Mormont
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    The comments are kinda broken on the Recap thread and I just watched it because UK so can someone console me

    IT’S EPISODE 5 AND WE STILL HAVEN’T LEARNED THAT JOFFREY ORDERED THE BRASSASSINATION? IS TYRION GONNA COME TO A SUDDEN REALISATION IN HIS CELL? IS BLOODRAVEN GONNA SHOW BRAN AND THEY’VE BEEN HIDING THIS FOOTAGE FOR THREE YEARS???

  10. Sunfyre
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    MUGger:
    Bex,

    Elio is the East German judge of the GOT reviewers.

    Must get tiring week in week out. Oh well, he’s only got three or four more years…

  11. Ice & Fire Walk with Me
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    I’m gonna need some stitches.

  12. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Bex:
    Cumsprite,

    I just checked and his weekly dose of disappointment has hit the web

    Also has you’re weekly dose of contempt for his disappointment…not sure what’s worse.

  13. WildSeed
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    LOL !

    Funny, several media reviewers refer to last night’s episode centering around the ” power of women “. Certainly they do’t mean the scenes of Cersei, Danerys, and ending for Craster’s Keep.
    Any episode includes the first two. To be fair, I haven’t read all in it’s entirety, but still, a synopsis that begins with that is quite lame. Was exciting to hear crazy aunt Lysa , though ( :

  14. House Mormont
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Since the critics all saw that the episode showed the power of women, does that mean it was painstakingly obvious that Cersei was manipulating Marge, Tywin and Oberyn? Because I’m kicking myself that I didn’t see that

  15. Cumsprite
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Well, Elio’s economic fortunes are dependent on ASOIAF canon portrayed in the dead tree medium. He is not a disinterested observer. If HBO becomes the canon it hits him in the pocketbook.

  16. Greenjones
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Cumsprite,

    Though the show has likely made him quite a bit wealthier. As it has Martin.

    Still, while his checklist-style reviews (“that wasn’t in the books, that wasn’t, that wasn’t) do irk me, he’s always been cordial towards me (in comments/replies etc) so I see no purpose in resenting him any. He seems like a good guy.

  17. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Cumsprite:
    Pau Soriano,

    Well, Elio’s economic fortunes are dependent on ASOIAF canon portrayed in the dead tree medium. He is not a disinterested observer. If HBO becomes the canon it hits him in the pocketbook.

    I meant to quote just Bex…you can hate all you want, but a moderator doing it is not very elegant in my opinion.

  18. Cumsprite
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Oh. Forgive me. I didn’t know Elio wasn’t ever disappointed in the show. Bex, you have been naughty.

    -1 Lemoncake

  19. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones:
    Cumsprite,

    Though the show has likely made him quite a bit wealthier. As it has Martin.

    Still, while his checklist-style reviews (“that wasn’t in the books, that wasn’t, that wasn’t) do irk me, he’s always been cordial towards me so I see no purpose in resenting him any.

    Exactly. Not likely, but surely. They both benefit greatly if the show is a succes.

    Plus he is married to Linda so he should have an award just for that…I mean poor guy. I’ve been reading his reviews lately and they’re quite well constructed, even if you don’t agree with them. And I find the section where he compares what happens to the show to what happens in the books pretty interesting actually

  20. Smaug Bolton
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Hey, at least Elio left out his lame troll-esque passive agressive jabs against D and D this week. But once again, his ability to make the GoT community collectively say, “WTF are you talking about? Youre the ONLY one talking about that.” was amped up to 10. He had a problem with the water dancing? I mean, really? And the episode lacked effort? Yeah, ok Elio. Michelle MacLaren, whos worked on some of the most ground breaking shows (plural) ever didnt put effort into it. Because clearly you know what it takes to make a show like GoT.

  21. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont:
    Since the critics all saw that the episode showed the power of women, does that mean it was painstakingly obvious that Cersei was manipulating Marge, Tywin and Oberyn? Because I’m kicking myself that I didn’t see that

    It wasn’t that obvious I guess..I saw her approach to Oberyn as trying to manipulate him because he will be a judge, and the same with Tywin (the trial is mentioned in both instances), but I didn’t put Marge in the same sack until I read it somewhere.

  22. Cumsprite
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: I meant to quote just Bex…you can hate all you want, but a moderator doing it is not very elegant in my opinion.

    I stand corrected, thank you, kind Ser. Elio has never, ever been disappointed in the show. Bad Bex.

    -1 Lemoncake

  23. Jared
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    zod:
    You should add the Vancouver Observer reviews (aka the funniest GOT reviews) to your ‘new viewers’ list :
    http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/game-thrones-s04e05-recap-and-review-first-his-name

    Agreed. Yerman’s recaps are among the first ones I read the next morning (usually it’s Greenwald – who is the best writer, hands down – then Sepinwall, then Yerman). I love the irreverent nicknames that he gives all of the different factions (Team Sexy Witch Religious Fundamentalism! Team Dragon Mama! Wildling Team Six! Etc, etc). His crowning achievement, however, came when he christened Missandei as “She3PO”. I legitimately cackled for a solid minute when I saw that for the first time. Granted, that joke was pretty much tailor-made for me. You create something that combines perhaps my two greatest pop-culture loves in Star Wars and Game of Thrones, and I’m done for.

    Thank goodness for the lovely and talented Nathalie Emmanuel. If she wasn’t giving such a great performance, that joke would have permanently altered the way that I perceive Missandei. She would have become “She3PO” forever.

    I also loved this line from Laura Stone’s recap (which, incidentally, is also really damn funny):

    Guys? I want to watch Lysa fly.

    Patience, my dear, patience. Your hopes will soon be rewarded.

  24. Lex
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    What is wrong with this site?? I can’t see past the first page of comments, in the recap thread. There is no option to switch pages. The comments just stop. Really annoying.

  25. Interior Bannisters
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: Exactly. Not likely, but surely. They both benefit greatly if the show is a succes.

    Plus he is married to Linda so he should have an award just for that…I mean poor guy. I’ve been reading his reviews lately and they’re quite well constructed, even if you don’t agree with them. And I find the section where he compares what happens to the show to what happens in the books pretty interesting actually

    His reviews are quite well constructed and his criticisms are not incorrect. In fact, I do share plenty of the same criticisms, but while I view most of them are minor flaws in brilliant work, he sees them as incredibly major. At the end of the day, I have long accepted that an on screen adaptation can NEVER compete with the written word. GRRM is working with a relatively limitless medium where he is in total control. A show was writers, actors, budget, time constraints, directors with their own vision, …. Its just not feasible to expect the show to deliver the source material in a flawless manner, and sometimes I feel like that is what he expects.

  26. Bex
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Not hating? He finds something to be underwhelmed with in every episode. I think you’re reading too much into my comment to be honest.

    zod,

    Duly noted. Always like the funny ones.

  27. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Bex:
    Pau Soriano,

    Not hating? He finds something to be underwhelmed with in every episode. I think you’re reading too much into my comment to be honest.

    I’m not reading a lot, just that you don’t like Elio and that you’re not afraid to show it, wich is , in my opinion, not vey elegant on your part.

    Regarding the hating part, I never said he didn’t hate the show, so I’m not sure who are you quoting, but for what is worth I don’t think he hates the show. I’d say he enjoys it for the most part.

    And if you think that “feeling underwhelmed with some parts of the show” is the same as “hating” then you definition of “hate” is much broader than mine…is this the way the internet generation speaks or is there something lost in translation here?

  28. Arthur
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    How come I can’t see past the 1st page of all the threads with lots of comments?

  29. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Interior Bannisters: His reviews are quite well constructed and his criticisms are not incorrect.In fact, I do share plenty of the same criticisms, but while I view most of them are minor flaws in brilliant work, he sees them as incredibly major.At the end of the day, I have long accepted that an on screen adaptation can NEVER compete with the written word.GRRM is working with a relatively limitless medium where he is in total control.A show was writers, actors, budget, time constraints, directors with their own vision, ….Its just not feasible to expect the show to deliver the source material in a flawless manner, and sometimes I feel like that is what he expects.

    Ah that could be…I didn’t get that impression though, as I said I thought he enjoyed the show for the most part. I think he still does, as most of westeros.org (just check their votes for episode 4, more than 50% were 8,9 or 10¡s)

    I am of the same opinion as you by the way, I see the flaws as something minor in an otherwise brilliant work.I have to say they show is at his worse when it deviates unnecessarily from the book, like say some parts of season 2, or the Bran/Jon/Locke storyline.

    Most of the later deviations I like though, so I think they’re getting better at it, although I fear the time when they don’t have a whole book as a base to write from

  30. Arthur
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I can’t either and I was on a rant about people overusing the term “filler” this season and wanted to see if any agreed or I ruffled any feathers.

  31. Cumsprite
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Wait … what? How is it hating when pointing out Elio might be negatively impacted if the show surpasses the books in the popular culture?

  32. Lex
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Arthur:
    Lex,

    I can’t either and I was on a rant about people overusing the term “filler” this season and wanted to see if any agreed or I ruffled any feathers.

    Agreed 100%, the overuse of the term filler is absolutely ridiculous. Was pretty disappointed to see that even WiC/Phil said it. I understand that some episodes are slower than others, but that’s not necessarily filler. Filler = completely pointless material, with the sole purpose of wasting time. Last night’s episode had a couple filler scenes I guess, but the majority was either action, or set-up. That is not filler. What do people want, a big battle or major character death every episode?? Ridiculous.

  33. Ludo
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    As always, the recap of Andy Greenwald is amazing. He is the best reviewer by far. He understands the real purpose of Game of Thrones and ASOIAF.

  34. Andrew
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Ludo,

    Agreed, he’s the best, no surprise at all since he isn’t a book reader and he can just review the damn show instead of being an insufferable turd like Elio

  35. msd
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont,

    Not obvious but by the end of the episode I suspected Cersei was playing a game. She was too conciliatory with too many people in a row for me to accept it at face value and it was too coincidental that she was nice to the Tyrells, then her father, then Oberyn …

  36. Shan
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    All I know is after these last two episodes I hope David and dan continue to write the bulk of the episodes and Cogman never writes another one. 4 was IMO one of if not the worst of the series, whereas 5 was my favorite. I love david and dans episodes and I cant figure out why people hate on them

  37. Skipjack
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s interesting that so many recaps for this week are leading with the “power of women” motif. The NYT three days ago did this piece talking about how “problematic” the show’s treatment of women is. While the same day Alessandra Stanley, she of season 1 NYT “don’t watch this boy fiction” review, wrote a whole piece on women in power on prime-time. Conspicuously and entirely missing was GoT. To be fair, I’m sure she genuinely refuses to watch it. Her loss.

    I was glad to read today that D & D swore to stop reading the reactions before this season started because it distorts the creative process. The positive and negative swings are the purest attention seeking click-bait.

  38. Skipjack
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Also I have to say that the tonal shift for Cersei from last week to this tipped me off that she was up to something, but I do wish they could have given more looks at this side of her before now.

    Shan,

    I don’t really think you can lay individual episodes at the door of any one writer. D&D say what’s going to be in the episode then hand off some of them and say go make it work. It didn’t work as well last week, but it’s still the show-runners responsibility for the character arcs, and that was where I think the episode was weakest. Cogman frequently writes the sharpest dialogue, and I actually had to check last night’s episode again to make sure that David and Dan really wrote it. No offense intended there, it was a return to form for them.

  39. Enfield
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I just realized my favorite reviews are those that don’t use a rating system, and just review and analyze the show with its complexity in mind. Greenwald probably the best of the bunch, but there are some really great writers covering this show. Even if you have to sort through some nonsense to find it.

  40. chris
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Hey, anyone notice that we’re suddenly getting a LOT less cleavage from Margary?

  41. House Mormont
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion has the jokes. Tywin has the power. Bran has the sight. And Daenerys has the dragons. But midway through this extremely engaging fourth season, I’m starting to think that Cersei Lannister is the most important character on Game of Thrones. No one else so perfectly captures the show’s myriad contradictions.

    This man speaks so much truth everytime he writes, although I may be biased since show version Cersei is possibly my favourite character ever

  42. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: I’m not reading a lot, just that you don’t like Elio and that you’re not afraid to show it, wich is , in my opinion, not vey elegant on your part.

    Every moderator here is allowed to have an opinion and not be harassed for it, just as you are permitted to have a dissenting opinion about Elio’s reviews. Bex is free to like or dislike any review, and that’s that.

  43. Bard
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Bex:
    Cumsprite,

    I just checked and his weekly dose of disappointment has hit the web

    This time, however, I think he has a point (not including what he wrote about show Cersei though).

  44. jentario
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    You go girl.

    And honestly, it IS a weekly dose of disappointment. Objectively.

  45. Chickenduck
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    House Mormont:
    does that mean it was painstakingly obvious that Cersei was manipulating Marge, Tywin and Oberyn? Because I’m kicking myself that I didn’t see that

    Yes. It seemed pretty obvious to me.

  46. Chickenduck
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    House Mormont:
    The comments are kinda broken on the Recap thread and I just watched it because UK so can someone console me

    IT’S EPISODE 5 AND WE STILL HAVEN’T LEARNED THAT JOFFREY ORDERED THE BRASSASSINATION? IS TYRION GONNA COME TO A SUDDEN REALISATION IN HIS CELL? IS BLOODRAVEN GONNA SHOW BRAN AND THEY’VE BEEN HIDING THIS FOOTAGE FOR THREE YEARS???

    Well, to be fair, a couple of seasons ago there was a scene where Cersei and Tyrion (IIRC) talked about it. It was pretty clearly implied by Cersei that she was knew it was Joffrey.

  47. Chickenduck
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Elio might be a nice guy in real life, but I haven’t read a review from him in ages. There’s simply nothing he says that offers me any real insight or interest. No actual review in any meaningful sense of the world.

    It is, as someone stated above, basically like reading a checklist of book changes. And really, any book reader could do that for themselves.

    My favorite are Miles from Cultural Leanings and comparing the two A.V. Club ones.

  48. Ser Poncho
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Not sure if this is all that ethical or not, but could we entertain the idea of banning comments bashing Elios reviews? Or maybe make a separate thread or something? Every week these review round ups just turn into elio bashing–which is fine in a sense because his reviews are the literary equivalent to nails on a chalk board. But theres never any discussion of anything else and its a shame.

  49. Dude
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont,

    There’s no way cersei could actually want margaery to kind of raise her son the marriage to loras I’d buy if she hates jaime now

  50. Chickenduck
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Ser Poncho,

    In a roundup of reviews, criticizing a reviewer is completely appropriate.

    Only ban if comments are defamatory.

  51. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: Every moderator here is allowed to have an opinion and not be harassed for it, just as you are permitted to have a dissenting opinion about Elio’s reviews. Bex is free to like or dislike any review, and that’s that.

    She can like or dislike whatever she wants, I just find the condescendent way she expressed it, not very elegant to say the least..

    jentario:
    Ours is the Fury,

    You go girl.

    And honestly, it IS a weekly dose of disappointment. Objectively.

    It could be, but when you use your power as moderator to bash someone you have a personal problem with, in the comments of a post you just wrote in a site you moderate, you are not being very ethical. Or, as I said, elegant.

    What is this post about? Criticizing the critics? Ok good then, let’s see a review of each one of the reviews (and then send them to the reviewers of course, so they can answer)

    Ah, it was not that? It was a compilation of the reviews! Aha. Ah, ok, then let’s use the comments section to bash someone who can’t answer anyway, because it’s not really a well constructed argument, but a random pun more akin to a troll than to a peer.

    I found it sad and it really says a lot about someone who would do something like this.

    As someone said this posts become Elio bashing week after week, and for me is sad to read because he can’t really defend himself. It feels like bullying

    So let me ask you guys, who would be the best moderator, the one who tries to make peace or one who fuels the war with a totally inappropiate comment? When I read Cumsprite commen it bothered me because as I said it feels like a kind of bullying to me, but when Bex answered his comment with a similar one (taking sides) it felt like me like a teacher that sees bullying going on and instead of stopping it joins it.

    I hope I explained why I felt compelled to call the moderator into what was to me a very unfair action. If you think that’s harassing well, tocate los cojones, is like the police that say they’re being harrassed when they have to answer uncomfortable questions…

  52. Cumsprite
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    My ears were burning! So, first I am a hater, now I am a bully. I asked you upthread how pointing out Elio’s potential bias constitutes hating, but you declined to respond. Were WICnet a newspaper, the disclaimer/disclosure that most editors would demand accompany his review would be nearly as long as the review itself. He is a friend, colleague and collaborator of Martin’s. Most media would decline to publish his reviews at all because of the perception of a conflict of interest.

    I fail to see how any of this constitutes bullying. Elio is free to respond here at any time, and he has before.

  53. Strider
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    I disagree with your statement regarding criticizing Mr. Garcia’s weekly dose of disappointment. It was not strong enough said. Mr. Sprite was not bullying, but obviously expressing an opinion (however snarky it came out).

    In my opinion, after reading them each week, and considering I’m watching the show from the same perspective he does (that’s a book reader who is only watching the show because of the books and not in spite of it), his reviews not only are heavy worded and extremely monotonous but could use a lot of editing too.

    His style of writing relies too much on long interminable sentences, with passive tenses that any writing teacher will tell you to avoid as much as possible. And I won’t go further. It will make for an essay just as boring as his reviews, that can put me to sleep in under 1 min flat. I prefer something more vivid. But that’s just me! That’s for form.

    As for the tone, they reek of discontent and are predisposed from the word go (on all but one) to criticize to minute detail whatever the script has put together, especially if it deviates from the books. I read them all. I agree with some of his complaints. Perhaps more than I would like. Why do I still read them? Because what he lacks in form, tone or rhythm he makes up in knowledge from the source. So there’s that.

    But the fact remains that I cannot see how expressing an opinion such as “daily dose of disappointment” is something contributor Bex or jentario or any other, would be so blown out of proportion. This is after all compilation of reviews, what we like, what we do not, and why if we care to elaborate. Mr. Garcia’s review is one of them, so of course it is fair game. Should we all start censoring ourselves now?!

    And yes, like anywhere else, including Mr. Garcia’s forums, contributors and moderators can have their own opinion even if it is not shared by all. They should damn well speak up.

  54. MATTHEW
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Sara Mesle from The LA Review of Books has exteremely well written essays about each episode. Check them out!

    I would love to see these added to the recaps. https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/game-thrones-season-4-first-name

  55. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Cumsprite:
    Pau Soriano,

    My ears were burning! So, first I am a hater, now I am a bully. I asked you upthread how pointing out Elio’s potential bias constitutes hating, but you declined to respond. Were WICnet a newspaper, the disclaimer/disclosure that most editors would demand accompany his review would be nearly as long as the review itself. He is a friend, colleague and collaborator of Martin’s. Most media would decline to publish his reviews at all because of the perception of a conflict of interest.

    I fail to see how any of this constitutes bullying. Elio is free to respond here at any time, and he has before.

    Sorry I missed your comment amidst the miriad of new posts. You must think I’m daft though, because you rapidly change your argument from your first post to your second, and my comment regarding you being a hater responded your first one, not your second. Even if your second is pretty absurd as someone said later: Elio benefit’s from the show succes greatly, as Martin does.

    Regarding bullying, yes, it feels like bullying when people gangs up over and over on someone who’s not even here to defend himself. But as I said before, my main concern is with Bex not with you. You can keep on hating all you want, at least you make it fun ;)

    Strider:
    Pau Soriano,

    I disagree with your statement regarding criticizing Mr. Garcia’s weekly dose of disappointment. It was not strong enough said. Mr. Sprite was not bullying, but obviously expressing an opinion (however snarky it came out).

    In my opinion, after reading them each week, and considering I’m watching the show from the same perspective he does (that’s a book reader who is only watching the show because of the books and not in spite of it), his reviews not only are heavy worded and extremely monotonous but could use a lot of editing too.

    His style of writing relies too much on long interminable sentences, with passive tenses that any writing teacher will tell you to avoid as much as possible. And I won’t go further. It will make for an essay just as boring as his reviews, that can put me to sleep in under 1 min flat. I prefer something more vivid. But that’s just me! That’s for form.

    As for the tone, they reek of discontent and are predisposed from the word go (on all but one) to criticize to minute detail whatever the script has put together, especially if it deviates from the books. I read them all. I agree with some of his complaints. Perhaps more than I would like. Why do I still read them? Because what he lacks in form, tone or rhythm he makes up in knowledge from the source. So there’s that.

    But the fact remains that I cannot see how expressing an opinion such as “daily dose of disappointment” is something contributor Bex or jentario or any other, would be so blown out of proportion. This is after all compilation of reviews, what we like, what we do not, and why if we care to elaborate. Mr. Garcia’s review is one of them, so of course it is fair game. Should we all start censoring ourselves now?!

    And yes, like anywhere else, including Mr. Garcia’s forums, contributors and moderators can have their own opinion even if it is not shared by all. They should damn well speak up.

    Man my main issue is with Bex because she is a moderator. She is not speaking up, she is making a backhanded comment to further a personal agenda she has, and old feud with Mr Garcia. That’s not fair game.

    If she wants to review the reviews, or review the reviewers good, let’s see a post about that. But not just Mr Garcia, all the other critics. Of course, she would never do that right? Of course not, they would not let her. And it would be a terrible idea, with a a lot of backlash from the other reviewers.

    But we had here is not a post reviewing the reviewers but a post compiling the reviews, wich week after week turns into Mr. Garcia’s bashing because commentators can’t stand someone else not loving the show they love as much as they do! Wich is the most stupid thing ever really. So they log on and the most intelligent ones do it in a snarky, fun way (like cumsprite) and the less intelligent ones say stuff like “OMG book purists make me sick!” and much worse (like”he isn’t a book reader and he can just review the damn show instead of being an insufferable turd like Elio”). When u read post after post of this it really makes me want to start defending the guy who’s being ganged up on

    In my opinion, the job of a moderator is not to take sides, and much less doing it for the ganging up side. That rubbed me in the wrong way so much that I had to point that to her.

    Maybe I should have discriminated more who I called bully to and reserved it for the people that resort to name-calling instead of the ones that are being civil, and that would be my fault, but I still think Bex made a mistake when she took sides. And if you go back all I said was that it was not very elegant on her part when she did. I think she prolly realizes that now

  56. Jon Boddington
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Its not about not loving the show as much as they do. Its about Elio’s arrogant condescension towards the show and the people who work on it. You talk about Bex lacking class, yet you defend elio for writing reviews that reek of disdain and are loaded with passive agressive jabs at certain writers (why Cogman and GRRM get a pass on their episodes shortcomongs, i have no idea). Sure, maybe you can chalk part of it up to envy, but Imo I feel like someone, who is lucky enough to be in the position hes in, would handle their reviews with more professionalism. Instead they just come off as less bombastic, more organized rants of which youd find coming from a petulant rabbling commentor who hates everything. If I want that ill go read reviews of the star trek reboot movies.

  57. Isabelle
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Ludo:
    As always, the recap of Andy Greenwald is amazing. He is the best reviewer by far. He understands the real purpose of Game of Thrones and ASOIAF.

    That he does. Even if the ideas are difficult or uncomfortable to read sometimes:

    Though she has buried two husbands before sleeping with either of them, Margaery still seems to possess a youthful confidence that things will eventually work out. Did you notice the way she subtly backed away from Cersei as they spoke? It didn’t seem like fear. Rather, her clenched body language reminded me of a healthy person during hospital visiting hours. It was as if Margaery feared that Cersei’s poisonous nature was contagious. Little did she know that venom is the only thing keeping Cersei alive.

    Thought-provoking, thoughtful, wonderfully phrased etc. But really quite rough to see in black and white!

  58. Cumsprite
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano:You must think I’m daft …

    Actually, I hadn’t considered this possibility until very recently. You’ve given me much to think about.


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