Maisie Williams on Arya’s dark decision, and the power of a coin
By Lightbringer on in Interview.

Arya Stark has gone through quite the transformation this season, as her journey across Westeros with The Hound has taught her some of life’s harder lessons. After crossing the first name off of her list, and learning where the heart is, her journey took a sharp turn in the season finale. Her travelling counterpart faced off with Brienne for the honor of keeping the young Stark safe, and for the first time, The Hound fell, very far. Now Arya has set out on her own, and is sailing for Braavos by way of one iron coin.

In a number of new interviews this week, Maisie Williams talks about the unexpected fight between Brienne and The Hound, Arya’s decision to walk away, and the power that Jaqen H’ghar’s coin and phrase hold.

Maisie spoke with Making Game of Thrones about what it meant to Arya to meet another female fighter, the moment Brienne lost Arya’s trust, and Arya’s nerves as she watched Brienne and The Hound face off.

What did it mean to Arya to meet someone like Brienne?
There’s actually a direction in the script in between their interaction about how they named their swords and learning how to fight. It says: “Arya smiles. She likes this weirdo. Brienne smiles. She likes this weirdo.” I remember reading it and thinking, “That is it. It’s perfect.” It’s the most happy Arya has been in forever. She realizes you can be female and fight, and be strong and be a leader. It gives her a whole new inspiration…and then it all turns sour.

Is there something Brienne could have said or done to make Arya trust her?
Not mention Jaime Lannister. In Brienne’s defense, she didn’t say anything wrong. It’s that thing where the audience knows so much more than the characters do, but mentioning Jaime Lannister is when it takes a spin on its head. Brienne was telling the truth but Arya’s guard goes straight back up and her hand is back on her sword. It’s a shame because I think they could have been great together.

What do you think Arya was feeling watching Brienne and the Hound fight?
In all of the previous fights, Arya has never been nervous about the outcome. The Hound took on four or five guys at the inn. She wants to have confidence in him, but she’s realizing it’s not as easy as it’s been before. It’s first time she’s seen him struggle so throughout the fight, she’s thinking about what she’s going to do next if it does go wrong.

 

Arya may have felt nervous while watching the fight, but Maisie admits to Access Hollywood that she didn’t have much to do on set during the battle, and that most of the time she and Daniel Portman were acting as assistants to their fighting counterparts.

“I don’t know how tall they are… I mean, I’m quite abnormally small anyway, so my whole life I’ve kind of been looking up to people, literally, and to see these two characters just literally fight with all they’ve got — and they were tired. It wasn’t as glamorous as you might think it would have been. They were really rolling around in the dirt and they had… all this [fake] blood all over them and, oh my God, it was really, really intense. They had stunt doubles on set, but it was getting to the point where even the stunt guys were like, tired and they had to swap back in the actors in this hot sun on the top of this big kind of mountain thing. … You get tired and your body slows down after a while and your reactions slow down and there [were] a lot of cuts and bruises by the end of it. It was so, so intense.”

“For a lot of the scene, it’s on them. It’s those two fighting, so I got to hang out a lot with Dan and it kind of felt like — you know when boxers go out into the ring and then when they come back to the side and people like pat them down with towels and give them water and things like that? It kind of felt like that was what me and Dan were doing for Rory and Gwen. So like, when they came off from shooting, we’d like give them their energy bars and water and things like that, and like, ‘Hey, do you want some space? Here, have my seat. There’s a bit of shade here. It was intense and they have this massive armor on and Rory’s got his wig on and his big prosthetic face and these massive, full, like, heavy, heavy swords and it was great.”

 

Maisie spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the power of the coin Jaqen H’ghar gifted Arya, if she believes Arya still wants to reunite with her family, and what it was like to film her final scene with The Hound.

Does she realize how powerful the coin is that had been given to her by Jaqen H’ghar?
I think she’s overwhelmed by the power she has over the captain when she unveils this coin. Automatically, she knows that’s who she can be for the rest of her life. When she gets on the ship, the final moment for her, she looks over her past life, this world she’s been in and spat out the other side, and she turns around and forgets all of that. She walks to the front of the ship, and that symbolizes the fresh start. She can be anyone she wants to be. Oh, that sounds so cheesy! But she can go to a place where no one knows who she is and no one wants to kill her. And that’s such a relief for one of the most unlucky characters on the show.

Do you feel like she still wants to reunite with her family?
I don’t really think that she is desperate for that anymore. She’s more determined to stay alive, and she’s almost angry that it seems like no one else in her family is trying. If you give someone enough time to think about things, they go through every outcome, and I guess that’s what she’s been doing. Because of all the betrayal and deceit she’s been through so far, it has completely changed her attitude about trying to get the family back together.

Describe what it was like to shoot the scene in the finale where Arya walks away from the wounded Hound.
It was one of my most enjoyable scenes, which sounds awful, because it’s such a deep, twisted scene. But I’m really happy with the outcome. It felt like we were all on the same page. I read the scene for so long, but then to hear Rory [McCann]—the Hound—screaming to come back and kill him, it really got to me. It’s just acting, but there’s so much of you in the character, so it’s awful to walk away from a full-grown man screaming to come back. He had all this makeup on, and broken bones and big bites on his neck. For a second, you have to remind yourself that it’s fake, because it gets intense. You have to take a breath and remember you’re not that cold-hearted bitch anymore.

 

In an interview with Vulture Maisie talks about getting the last scene of the season, and just why Arya walked away from The Hound instead of giving him what he wanted.

You have the very last scene of the finale, Arya setting out on the next stage of her journey. That’s a pretty big deal!
[Laughs] I was super excited when I found that out. I kind of thought it might happen, because my mom read the script before I did — she’s a quicker reader than I am. So when I got to the end and realized it was Arya sailing across the Narrow Sea, I was very, very happy about that. Particularly in this last season, we’ve seen a massive change in Arya. The old Arya that we used to know was slowly being chipped away, so I feel like this is a breath of fresh air. She’s not trying to control her future anymore. She’s just letting go of everything that she used to know, and she’s starting fresh.

Throughout this whole season, Arya’s had this very complicated relationship with the Hound. They’ve been friendly at points, but he’s still on her list of people to kill, for what he did to Micah, the butcher’s boy. Is that why she walks away?
Yeah. It’s that saying — keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. And I think that’s so true with Arya and the Hound, where they have an uneasy truce and they do kind of help each other, but they know at any given moment, they could turn on each other. They’re both kind of dangerous people, and they both have strengths and weaknesses that the other doesn’t, and it makes it interesting, because they could try to kill each other. Although now, can she really bring herself to kill him? And finish it? I think in her head, it’s not a spiteful thing. It’s not like, “I’m going to leave you here to die.” I think there’s so much more going on in her head at that point than, “Okay, I’m going to kill you,” or “I’m not going to kill you.” It’s almost what he wants, so she’s not going to give it to him.

 

And Maisie tells Zap2It that because of Arya’s decision to walk away, she hopes the audience starts to question her actions.

“That’s her nod to the Hound saying, ‘This is who I am now.’ Episode 1 is the audience realizing, and then episode 10 is to the Hound. All the lessons that he taught her, ‘That’s where the heart is,’ and she’s taking all of that in. … He is ready for her to kill him, and she just looks at him and walks away. And it’s like, ‘Yeah, you’re right, I do know how to kill you. You taught me that. Thank you. But you’re an a**hole, so thank you and goodbye.’ It’s sad. It’s kind of like, was that necessary, Arya? I hope the audience feel like, was that even necessary? That’s what I wanted it to be like.”

Be sure to click through to all of the interviews, as Maisie has a lot of great things to say about Arya’s journey throughout the season.

 


Game of Thrones: Should Jaime have freed Tyrion? by winteriscoming

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66 Comments

  1. Jambo
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Stannis!

  2. dragonreborn
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    #hodor

  3. Mr Fixit
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Maisie seems frighteningly smart and eloquent for her age. Those answers… I’m in awe.

  4. Almost A Knight
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    and that most of the time she and Daniel Portman were acting as assistants to their fighting counterparts.

    How much should I pay to see this amazing full behind of scene. Seriously, the best fight scene ever. Despite her meeting Brienne never happened in the books (so far) but for a moment Arya Stark smiles in the show and a glimpse of the innocent little girl who was in season 1 appeared.

  5. King DBC
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    When the WiC Awards come by, Maisie can just collect her title again. Hopefully she gets an Emmy nod, she’s amazing.

  6. winnie
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this. Great insights from an amazingly talented young actress.

  7. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Arya’s journey is harrowing, disturbing, and thought-provoking. Maisie does Arya so much justice. I am really looking forward to her time in Braavos.

    My only hope with her arc is that she has a wolf-dream at some point.

  8. MM
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    LOL at Maisie referring to Arya as a “cold-hearted bitch.” Awesome.

  9. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    King DBC:
    When the WiC Awards come by, Maisie can just collect her title again. Hopefully she gets an Emmy nod, she’s amazing.

    I love her, but she’s won twice, and I’m all Sophie Turner this year.

  10. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Arya’s journey is harrowing, disturbing, and thought-provoking. Maisie does Arya so much justice. I am really looking forward to her time in Braavos.

    My only hope with her arc is that she has a wolf-dream at some point.

    She truly is one of those where the casting just knocked it out of the park.

  11. Hollyoak
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    What a great interview. I really enjoyed reading it.

    I also just watched The Children for the second time. I love it even more on rewatch. The music is fantastic during the Children of the Forest scene and also during the Hound vs Brienne throwdown. There is a discordant almost electric theme to that battle and it really delivers.

    I wish Ramin Djawadi could get more recognition. He is a true talent. And wow, the ending! I know a lot of people were disappointed because they wanted to end on a WTF moment, but I have to say, that was an absolutely perfect close to season four. As the main theme begins to soar, now with a vocal choir, Arya looks out to the world beyond. Ok, I cried. It is just that great.

    Also, I never really talked about the whole Tysha thing, so I want to say something but I’m sure no one cares at this point. For all of you that WERE SO TORN UP INSIDE about the omission of Tysha, the end result is the same in regard to Tyrion’s state of mind. He has snapped. That’s it. That’s all the non-book reader needs to feel. That happens with or without the Tysha thing.

    Tyrion is freed by Jaime, sees Shae in Tywin’s bed (a betrayal) strangles her and then kills his father. The viewer is supposed to feel that the guy they’ve liked all these seasons has gone over the deep end. It’s all the same in regard to his character! So why all the uproar? Tyrion’s mental state is in upheaval. THAT is the end result.

    Anyway, I think this was the best season finale so far. I loved the Children scene. Why all the hate on the rotting wights? I love when they bring the supernatural elements in and surprise the viewer who has forgotten about the fantasy element of the show. From here on out, the books are probably going to get even more fantastical so I’m looking forward to it!

    Oh, and Stannis and his charge into Mance Rayder’s camp was a better battle scene than all of the Watchers on the Wall episode: the charging cavalry divided into quadrants, the overhead shots. It felt like the Ride of the Rohirrim in the Return of the King!

  12. Hollyoak
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    What a great interview. I really enjoyed reading it.

    I also just watched The Children for the second time. I loved it even more on rewatch. The music is fantastic during the Children of the Forest scene and also during the Hound vs Brienne throwdown. There is a discordant, almost electric, theme to that battle and it really delivers.

    I wish Ramin Djawadi could get more recognition. He is a true talent.

    And wow, the ending! I know a lot of people were disappointed because they wanted to end on a WTF moment, but I have to say, that was an absolutely perfect close to season four. As the main theme begins to soar, now with a vocal choir, Arya looks out to the world beyond. Ok, I cried. It is just that great.

    Also, I never really talked about the whole Tysha thing, so I want to say something but I’m sure no one cares at this point. For all of you that WERE SO TORN UP INSIDE about the omission of Tysha, the end result is the same in regard to Tyrion’s state of mind. He has snapped. That’s it. That’s all the non-book reader needs to feel. That happens with or without the Tysha thing.
    The viewer is supposed to feel that the guy they’ve liked all these seasons has gone over the deep end. It’s all the same in regard to his character! Tyrion’s mental state is in upheaval. THAT is the end result.

    Anyway, I think this was the best season finale so far. I loved the Children scene.

    Why all the hate on the rotting wights? I love when they bring the supernatural elements in and surprise the viewer who has forgotten about the fantasy element of the show. From here on out, the books are probably going to get even more fantastical so I’m looking forward to it!

    Oh, and Stannis’ charge into Mance Rayder’s camp was a better battle scene than any of the scenes in Watchers on the Wall: the charging cavalry, the overhead shots, the sweeping wide shot of the cavalry divided into quadrants. It reminded me of the Ride of the Rohirrim in the Return of the King.

  13. Hollyoak
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    My posts aren’t showing up so I wonder why I am writing this.

  14. Bean of Westeros
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this!! I loved reading it because now I know her acting in the scene conveyed to me exactly what she set out to. When Arya walks away from the Hound without killing him, it wasn’t really to deny him the mercy of a quick death. Think about their relationship.

    During the course of their journey, the Hound’s “Westeros for Idiots” survival training has pretty much taught her the following:

    • don’t waste time saving some random local villager just because you can
    • don’t waste time crying over dead family and friends
    • stealing is actually okay in a pinch
    • revenge lists are stupid

    The Hound rolled his eyes every time she recited that list. Except for once. When he heard his name. Amazing scene. And does anyone agree – I think her walking away from him wounded on that hill and the opportunity to mark another name off her list was the conclusion/redemption of the arc of their relationship. Her sad eyes said, “You’re off my list now.” THAT is what made me cry my eyes out.

  15. Walter Harrow
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Maisie wasnt in many episodes this season but i really think she should (and could) be nominated for an emmy for her performances in episode 1 and 10. She didnt really speak much in either episodes but her facial reactions etc were brilliant

    I know im voting for her when the WiC awards happen (Sophie was great as well but Maisie does so much with so little)

  16. Bean of Westeros
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Another thought! I was too late a few weeks ago to comment on the scene with Arya’s maniacal laughter upon finding out Aunt Lysa was dead. BUT I didn’t think she was laughing at the Hound at all! She was laughing WITH him. Commiserating on the futility of their journey. If he had any ability left in him to laugh, he would have.

    So after that contagious laughter by the Bloody Gate, this week I was happy to see Arya’s teeth one more time when she SMILED, yes SMILED at Brienne! Happy dance! I’m with everyone in wishing they could have united.

  17. Mr Fixit
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    As far as I am concerned, the acting awards should go to:

    Best actor: Pedro Pascal
    Best actress: Maisie Williams
    Best supporting actor: Rory McCann
    Best supporting actress: A tie between Kate Dickie and Kerry Ingram.

  18. Bean of Westeros
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak,

    I agree on the skeletons! They looked great on my TV. Maybe other people have that stupid “movie” setting turned on where the frame rate is messed with and everything looks like a cheap soap opera. I seriously think that might be why people complain about the CGI being cheesy looking.

  19. Zack
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    At that scene, my thought wasn’t “She’s being cruel”

    It was “Look how much she’s grown in outlook”

    It was showing mercy to a flawed man, a mentor, recognizing the unfairness of growing up with Gregor as a brother. I don’t think it was forgiveness for Micah or anything so extreme–if that were the case she probably wouldn’t have taken his silver. But I think she recognized that he didn’t belong on a kill list.

  20. BlackTalon
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit:
    Maisie seems frighteningly smart and eloquent for her age. Those answers… I’m in awe.

    Exactly what I wanted to say myself. And this is the case with all her interviews. I am almost 40 with a uni degree and I don’t think I could describe Arya’s thoughts and character so well, off the cuff at least, as she seems to be doing in the interviews.

    Somewhere on here there is an interview with her next to one with Michael McElhatton and it is stunning to see how much better her insight and eloquence were.

  21. Hollyoak
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Bean of Westeros:
    Hollyoak,

    I agree on the skeletons! They looked great on my TV. Maybe other people have that stupid “movie” setting turned on where the frame rate is messed with and everything looks like a cheap soap opera. I seriously think that might be why people complain about the CGI being cheesy looking.

    Yes! And somewhere I read that it was part CGI and part real actors and greenscreen! I thought it was an awesome shock!

  22. Josla
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Hands down the best fighting scene so far. Jaime vs Brienne was a joke, sadly.

  23. jentario
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Maisie must be fucking PLEASED that she won’t have to wear that stinking costume anymore in season 5 assuming she gets the acolyte uniform. She will hardly be crying when she throws that thing into the river.

  24. jentario
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Bean of Westeros,

    I totally agree! The skeleton wights looked great on my screen. But the fireballs were probably the lamest thing the show has produced to date. So… that scene still has its issues.

  25. jentario
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak,

    BTW the scene is exactly the same in the books, minus the fireballs. It was a great chapter and they really did it justice, minus the fireballs. My only other complaint is that the Three Eyed Raven didn’t have a root growing out of his eye.

  26. MX
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak,

    With all due respect, I don’t think you get the idea of Tysha. There are a few components here:

    1. Being betrayed by his family. Yes, indeed, Shae’s intercourse with Tywin fulfills this aspect of Tyrion’s suffering.

    2. If Tysha was not a whore, she is actually Tyrion’s “original sin”.
    Allowing for her to be violated so terribly and somewhat reluctantly participating in the act is in some way more terrible than killing Shae, since Tysha never wronged him. Finding Tysha has the potential for redeeming Tyrion. That is why he is obsessed with “where do whores go”, although Tywin probably never attached any deeper meaning to that statement. Shae was actually Tyrion’s attempt to recover the experience with Tysha (and the show actually reinforced it by referencing her as soon as he met Shae), which is why that doubling is necessary.

    3. Finally, most urgently, if Tysha was not a whore, then she was indeed the only person to ever truly love Tyrion, without ifs and buts. She was his one chance for love and happiness and he missed it. She is the only reason to carry on and not completely sink into the mire of nastiness. If I were Tyrion, I’d be even more obsessed with her whereabouts.

    This is where I think D&D are making some bad mistakes — they might remind us of Tysha through Varys, so the Jaime component isn’t strictly necessary — but if they drop her, Tyrion has no purpose beyond sheer cynicism and self-preservation. Frankly, that would not be plausible, since intelligent people often need an obsessive idea to survive in this world.

    Hence no Tysha equals weak understanding of Tyrion’s character.

  27. Kay
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Very nice interview. This season we saw Arya’s future get solidified, from the beginning till the finale. Great insight into Arya’s outlook now, and her disillusionment with her family and embracing of her own future path as an individual. It is also sort of sad that all the Stark kids have given up thoughts of their family and are out to work on their own futures. Sansa never thinks of her family, Bran has embraced his destiny. No idea about Rickon. And now Arya is moving away from the idea of her family and Westeros, too.

    jentario: But the fireballs were probably the lamest thing the show has produced to date.

    The lamest thing in the show so far? Shadow baby by far! Giving birth to it, having it go kill Renly. On a lameness scale, that far, far exceeds a few, visually nice fireballs. IMO, of course.

  28. Dogs
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    Hey, I don’t know if this has been mentioned or it’s obvious already, but those fireballs are like: literally balls of something that Leaf is throwing, and they explode on impact – not magic fireballs summoned with magic. When I realized that I wasn’t as pissed off. You can kind of see her throwing them in the scene.

  29. Dogs
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    MX,

    Or lazy understanding of Tyrion’s character.
    Shae works for me, but I’m still suspicious of Tyrion going up to Tywin’s chamber without some revelation from Jaime to immediately prompt him. The scene was badly directed because we didn’t get Tyrion’s emotional state re-established in a coherent way BEFORE he went up to the tower.

  30. Dogs
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Dogs,

    Maybe, since Tyrion and Shae were actually in love in the show, if they had made Shae not immediately turn to self-defense, but actually try to explain herself to Tyrion, but in the heat of the moment he kills her and never hears her explanation, and so is thereafter haunted by the possibility of her innocence (or justification of her actions) in some way.

  31. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Zack:
    At that scene, my thought wasn’t “She’s being cruel”

    It was “Look how much she’s grown in outlook”

    It was showing mercy to a flawed man, a mentor, recognizing the unfairness of growing up with Gregor as a brother. I don’t think it was forgiveness for Micah or anything so extreme–if that were the case she probably wouldn’t have taken his silver. But I think she recognized that he didn’t belong on a kill list.

    I read it two ways, which are not mutually exclusive. She respected and liked him enough to drop him from her list, but also felt that he didn’t deserve to choose the moment and manner of his death. After all, the butcher’s boy didn’t get to choose either.

  32. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I read Maise’s actions two ways, which are not mutually exclusive. She delivered both mercy and justice.

    First, she respected and forgave the Hound enough to drop him from her kill list. That’s mercy (despite his protestations). However, she also determined that he did not deserve to choose the moment and manner of his death. After all, the butcher’s boy didn’t get to choose either. That’s justice.

  33. Seriano
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Kay: The lamest thing in the show so far? Shadow baby by far! Giving birth to it, having it go kill Renly. On a lameness scale, that far, far exceeds a few, visually nice fireballs. IMO, of course.

    I really hope it’s not because the shadow baby is in the books and the fireballs aren’t. Because that would be stupid. George has filled his lameness-quota in the novels, but some people seem to oversee that fact.

  34. DavidTheGrey
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: And wow, the ending! I know a lot of people were disappointed because they wanted to end on a WTF moment, but I have to say, that was an absolutely perfect close to season four. As the main theme begins to soar, now with a vocal choir, Arya looks out to the world beyond. Ok, I cried. It is just that great.

    I wanted that WTF moment, but I am OK with it being delayed. (Hopefully not deleted!)

    But I do like the ending… it actually is a nice cap to Arya’s story, because we also saw her at the end of Season 1 in a similar circumstance. It was on back of a wagon, but she was still leaving everything familiar behind and being almost on her own (with a bunch of stangers).

    Not a “fan” of this “site” any more. I seem to have lots of issues with it lately – from virus attacks (a few weeks back) to weird side-bar pop ups (for mobile app stuff?) and yesterday and today when I type a comment, it pauses on me several times, seeming to only register every few keystrokes and resulting in a lot of backspacing and retyping. Not sure if it’s my PC or what, but it only happens on WiC and just started lately. I’m too addicted to the show to say I will ‘quit’ this site, but it’s definitely more of a chore lately.

  35. DavidTheGrey
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    jentario: Maisie must be fucking PLEASED that she won’t have to wear that stinking costume anymore in season 5

    Ha ha, never thought of that. Great point – and it will be neat to see her in a new outfit. Made me think back on her costumes and brought a smile to my face when I remembered her wearing that helmet at King Robert’s arrival to Winterfell. Can’t wait for Season 5!

  36. BranSnow
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Dogs:
    jentario,

    Hey, I don’t know if this has been mentioned or it’s obvious already, but those fireballs are like: literallyballs of something that Leaf is throwing, and they explode on impact – not magic fireballs summoned with magic. When I realized that I wasn’t as pissed off. You can kind of see her throwing them in the scene.

    Wrong. Those fireballs, once they leave Leaf’s hand, are instantly ablaze. It was magic(nothing wrong with that). But it was cheaply done. I re-watched many times because I tried (and wanted) to give that scene another shot.

  37. jentario
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Dogs,

    Still looked ridiculous. They should have given her fire arrows or something.

  38. BranSnow
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    jentario:
    Dogs,

    Still looked ridiculous. They should have given her fire arrows or something.

    Agreed. Looked very ridiculous. Mods deleted my other comment about the fireballs.

    Capt. 2nd Rank Vasily Borodin: [as he's dying] I would have liked to have seen Montana…
    rather than seen the sub par visual and sound effects of Leaf’s fireballs

  39. jentario
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Kay,

    The fireballs weren’t visually nice. They were not on par with the show’s high CGI standard. They looked like something you would see in the syfy channel.

  40. Hollyoak
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    MX:
    Hollyoak,

    With all due respect, I don’t think you get the idea of Tysha. There are a few components here:

    1. Being betrayed by his family. Yes, indeed, Shae’s intercourse with Tywin fulfills this aspect of Tyrion’s suffering.

    2. If Tysha was not a whore, she is actually Tyrion’s “original sin”.
    Allowing for her to be violated so terribly and somewhat reluctantly participating in the act is in some way more terrible than killing Shae, since Tysha never wronged him. Finding Tysha has the potential for redeeming Tyrion. That is why he is obsessed with “where do whores go”, although Tywin probably never attached any deeper meaning to that statement. Shae was actually Tyrion’s attempt to recover the experience with Tysha (and the show actually reinforced it by referencing her as soon as he met Shae), which is why that doubling is necessary.

    3. Finally, most urgently, if Tysha was not a whore, then she was indeed the only person to ever truly love Tyrion, without ifs and buts. She was his one chance for love and happiness and he missed it. She is the only reason to carry on and not completely sink into the mire of nastiness. If I were Tyrion, I’d be even more obsessed with her whereabouts.

    This is where I think D&D are making some bad mistakes — they might remind us of Tysha through Varys, so the Jaime component isn’t strictly necessary — but if they drop her, Tyrion has no purpose beyond sheer cynicism and self-preservation. Frankly, that would not be plausible, since intelligent people often need an obsessive idea to survive in this world.

    Hence no Tysha equals weak understanding of Tyrion’s character.

    Hey MX, thanks for your thoughtful and insightful reply. It makes sense, but I’m still thinking of the home-viewer. They’ve never heard of Tysha.

    You wrote:
    Hence no Tysha equals weak understanding of Tyrion’s character.

    But we’re talking about the TV show. Are you saying that TV watchers now have a warped sense of Tyrion’s character and motivation because that TV scene wasn’t true to the books? They don’t know the books. We do, and it tempers our every thought about the show.

    Tyrion has many layers. We know that as book-readers and some of his complexity has been portrayed on screen. My point is that TV watchers are still coming away with the end result of Tyrion having done something incredibly damaging and out of context to the character they have come to know and care about. The end result is the same, is all I’m saying.

    Thanks

  41. Jebel
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: Hey MX, thanks for your thoughtful and insightful reply. It makes sense, but I’m still thinking of the home-viewer. They’ve never heard of Tysha.

    …… The end result is the same, is all I’m saying.

    Apart from that long scene in Season 1 where Tyrion tells the story of Tysha.

    The end result isn’t quite the same as in the book Tyrion due to the Tysha reveal hates Jaime and talks about killing him along with Cersei, in the show he still loves his brother.

  42. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    jentario:
    The fireballs weren’t visually nice. They were not on par with the show’s high CGI standard. They looked like something you would see in the syfy channel.

    The problem with “powers” like tossing fireballs in tales of this nature is why didn’t they use them from the outset? BR knew they were coming so why weren’t the CotF ready for the attack to help Bran & Co (and save a dying Jojen)? I yell “foul!” on stuff like that. In ADwD, CH helped them fight through the wight force through sheer perseverance, not magic (that is, if we can call the undead unmagical). :)

    Although I don’t mind a warged Hodor and a vigilant, protective Summer, I thought the scene could have benefited by “guidance” earlier from the CotF (more than one), instead of a deus ex machina scenario. The CotF could have lead them through the “evil” presence near weirnet central, encountering a surprise or two….with maybe Jojen getting injured (only to die sadly in the cave). In any case, the powers of the CotF are much more subtle, imho. But hey…this is TV so let them have at it.

  43. Sansa Bird
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    Speaking of WiC Awards… does anyone know when they’re starting?

    I’ll have to check the past awards to see when they generally start after each season…

  44. Reef
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    Wow there must not be a single laser or plasma blast in any sci-fi movie that you think looks good because this was certainly on par with the best of those and this is a tv show.

  45. Reef
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    She couldn’t get out there on time because she was too busy taking a dump. Does that satisfy you?

  46. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Jebel: Apart from that long scene in Season 1 where Tyrion tells the story of Tysha.

    The end result isn’t quite the same as in the book Tyrion due to the Tysha reveal hates Jaime and talks about killing him along with Cersei, in the show he still loves his brother.

    Unsullied viewers here and elsewhere have talked about this stuff as well. People definitely remember the story of Tyrion’s first wife. So, Tyrion’s scene wasn’t just weak for some of us book-readers. Swapping in Shae for Tysha wasn’t a complete success for everyone.

  47. Greenjones
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I don’t think they said Shae instead of Tysha because they thought book readers had forgotten. I think they did it so that Tyrion would be more effected by having killed her. They could’ve still brought her up and maybe that would’ve been better, but I don’t think they were being cynical about the casual viewers’ capacity to recall things.

  48. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    Many people have stated since the finale aired that they think it was right to say Shae instead of Tysha precisely because viewers (Unsullied) won’t remember Tysha. People are very cynical.

    Personally I think Tyrion just having killed Shae is why it didn’t work. I felt disgusted by it, actually- like how dare he be offended by his father insulting Shae when he just delivered the ultimate insult, really, in murdering her. It was just dumb. Whereas with Tysha, he did have a genuine grievance, and the hurt reached back to a young age. I think the audience would have handled it being Tysha just fine, especially if they took the time to throw a one-minute refresher about Tysha in sometime this season.

    It was a deliberate choice they made, of course, I assume because they thought it would be more potent with Shae, but it was just weird, hypocritical, and gross. Talking about how you loved a woman right after you killed her is so fucked up. If I thought the show was going to treat it like that, I would be okay with it, because I like going down dark paths, but I get the feeling the show will just continue to paint Tyrion as the good guy and giving him excuses for bad behavior.

  49. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Reef:
    She couldn’t get out there on time because she was too busy taking a dump. Does that satisfy you?

    Nah. Like dragons and wights, the CotF don’t excrete so there really isn’t a need for latrines at weirnet central. However, I’ve heard from my friend Brynden that spicy Jojen paste may upset their digestive tract enough to delay them significantly before leaving their pods to save the lost ones. But they haven’t tasted Jojen paste yet, since they just killed him, so your logic is really quite flawed.

  50. Zack
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Well said. There are a lot of complex, clashing elements going on in Arya’s mind. I love that the show took pains to explore that, and that Maisie’s got such a strong understanding of it.

    Ours is the Fury,

    Did he want to kill her, though? She grabs a knife as soon as she sees him; to which he reacts. I don’t think it’s ridiculous for him to have love for the Shae he knew even after he kills Shae. He blames his dad and his name for losing her, for which he certainly has reason. If Tywin hadn’t made threats to her life, Tyrion wouldn’t have wanted to send her away. If Tywin hadn’t forced the marriage to Sansa on him, there’s no reason for jealousy to start ripping the relationship apart. Which means once again Tywin poisoned a pure love and Tyrion’s chance at happiness.

    When he stands up for her and refuses to let Tyein refer to her as ‘whore’, it’s because he recognizes that she was only manipulated. And she grabbed the knife as soon as she saw him. He doesn’t attack her until she’s armed. It’s practically self defense. So I strongly disagree with your use of the word ‘murder’.

    Tyrion’s feelings there as he kills Tywin are absolutely justified in my view. The scene accomplishes the same thing as mentioning Tysha would have.

    I do think the episode was weakened by the omission, but only for the changed Tyrion/Jaime dynamic. I would have liked Tyrion having a reason to tell Jaime “…and Moonboy for all I know”

  51. Hawk
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    I actually thought that Tyrion’s anger to Tywin calling Shae a whore was still mostly to do with Tysha. Even though Tyrion didn’t specifically mention her by name, the way he said “Say the word ‘whore’ again” just seemed to be said in a way that it was more significant than just being about Shae.

    Could just be wishful thinking on my part and I’m not a big fan of the whitewashing they’re doing to Tyrion, but we’ll see what they do with this storyline next season.

  52. Josla
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I agree with this. I had the same problem with that scene. How offended Tyrion was by Tywin calling Shae a whore but he just killed her instead? That makes so little sense that it was a totally turn off for me.

  53. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Josla:
    Ours is the Fury,

    I agree with this. I had the same problem with that scene. How offended Tyrion was by Tywin calling Shae a whore but he just killed her instead? That makes so little sense that it was a totally turn off for me.

    Tyrion loved Shae as a person, despite the fact that he killed her. It was Tywin (and Cersei) who forced Tyrion to reject Shae, and turn her against him. It was Tywin’s treatment of Shae as a whore, rather than as a person that his son loved, that ultimately led Tyrion to reject Shae, and later, kill her. It is Tywin’s completely dismissive attitude towards Tyrion’s deepest feelings (love for Shae) that set him off. She was not “just a whore” to Tyrion. He loved her deeply. And Tywin’s inability to give a shit at all, and to drive Tyrion towards murdering the only person in the world he truly loved, causes him to pull that trigger.

    The scene is so perfectly logical and psychologically authentic, that I have difficulty understanding this kind of a reaction. I think most book readers are simply clouded by their knowledge of the Tysha motivation, and cannot see the truth in the Tyrion-Tywin water closet confrontation.

  54. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Zack:
    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Well said. There are a lot of complex, clashing elements going on in Arya’s mind. I love that the show took pains to explore that, and that Maisie’s got such a strong understanding of it.

    Ours is the Fury,

    Did he want to kill her, though? She grabs a knife as soon as she sees him; to which he reacts. I don’t think it’s ridiculous for him to have love for the Shae he knew even after he kills Shae. He blames his dad and his name for losing her, for which he certainly has reason. If Tywin hadn’t made threats to her life, Tyrion wouldn’t have wanted to send her away. If Tywin hadn’t forced the marriage to Sansa on him, there’s no reason for jealousy to start ripping the relationship apart. Which means once again Tywin poisoned a pure love and Tyrion’s chance at happiness.

    When he stands up for her and refuses to let Tyein refer to her as ‘whore’, it’s because he recognizes that she was only manipulated. And she grabbed the knife as soon as she saw him. He doesn’t attack her until she’s armed. It’s practically self defense. So I strongly disagree with your use of the word ‘murder’.

    Tyrion’s feelings there as he kills Tywin are absolutely justified in my view. The scene accomplishes the same thing as mentioning Tysha would have.

    I do think the episode was weakened by the omission, but only for the changed Tyrion/Jaime dynamic. I would have liked Tyrion having a reason to tell Jaime “…and Moonboy for all I know”

    Very well said. Though it must be pointed out that Tyrion himself tells Tywin that he “murdered” Shae. So he uses the word, and I think he means it. Tyrion does feel that he murdered Shae.

    But that doesn’t lessen the argument for why Tyrion would object to Tywin’s use of the word “whore.” It was Tywin’s treatment of Shae as nothing but a “whore,” that led Tyrion to reject Shae, which ultimately led to Shae’s betrayal (both in the courtyard and in the bedroom), and which ultimately led Tyrion to strangle her. Tyrion loved Shae more than anything in the world. But his father didn’t care because she was just a whore, and Tyrion was just a whore-monger. This attitude destroyed Tyrion’s life. And that attitude is encapsulated and concentrated in the word “whore,” and in the contemptuous manner in which his father delivers it.

    It’s not just about Shae. It’s about Tywin’s comtemptuous rejection of everything Tyrion is, and everything Tyrion cares about. Tywin’s second use of the word “whore” tells Tyrion that his father will never change his view of him, and for that, he must die.

  55. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Greenjones,

    Many people have stated since the finale aired that they think it was right to say Shae instead of Tysha precisely because viewers (Unsullied) won’t remember Tysha. People are very cynical.

    Personally I think Tyrion just having killed Shae is why it didn’t work. I felt disgusted by it, actually- like how dare he be offended by his father insulting Shae when he just delivered the ultimate insult, really, in murdering her. It was just dumb. Whereas with Tysha, he did have a genuine grievance, and the hurt reached back to a young age. I think the audience would have handled it being Tysha just fine, especially if they took the time to throw a one-minute refresher about Tysha in sometime this season.

    It was a deliberate choice they made, of course, I assume because they thought it would be more potent with Shae, but it was just weird, hypocritical, and gross. Talking about how you loved a woman right after you killed her is so fucked up. If I thought the show was going to treat it like that, I would be okay with it, because I like going down dark paths, but I get the feeling the show will just continue to paint Tyrion as the good guy and giving him excuses for bad behavior.

    And yet people are worried about Tyrion being white-washed? Yes, it’s fucked up that Tyrion loves Shae (and defends her against insult) after he murders her. But Tyrion is indeed fucked up at this point. He was sentenced to die by his father, and betrayed by the love of his life (who also had sex with his father, who sentenced him to die). He murdered her in a fit of rage and sadness and jealousy and insanity. And he did that because he loved her! And still loves her after she’s dead. And his father’s contemptuous disregard for that love (and for Shae) is what moves Tyrion to shoot him.

    I don’t know one unsullied for whom this scene didn’t make sense. We book-readers must set aside our Tysha-centric baggage and watch the scene in the show’s context.

  56. Zack
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos: It’s not just about Shae. It’s about Tywin’s comtemptuous rejection of everything Tyrion is, and everything Tyrion cares about. Tywin’s second use of the word “whore” tells Tyrion that his father will never change his view of him, and for that, he must die.

    Great post. This bit in particular is very insightful. I love it.

  57. jentario
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    At first I felt exactly like you did on this front, but brother had a different take that actually clears that issue up: Tyrion didn’t intend to kill her, he still loved her and he understood her. He regretted killing her deeply, it’s not the same as in the book here. It was mostly an act of self-defense (hence the “I’m sorry”)- he still saw the woman he loved in her. She wasn’t a whore to him, just a victim of circumstance (and he probably considers himself at least in part responsible for how it turned out).

    Then Tywin comes along treating her like a whore- he essentially rendered her back to the character Tyrion first met. He made her a witness in the trial, probably with a death threat involved (otherwise she wouldn’t have blamed Sansa, vengeance only goes so far), he made her his whore and used her in the bedroom. And then, he essentially forced her to attack Tyrion (which caused her death) since she screwed him over so hard (because of Tywin) that she actually thought he wanted to kill her. But he didn’t want to.

    And finally Tywin calls her a whore, as if dismissing all their genuine loving history together. So it actually makes sense that it pisses Tyrion off, since as far as he sees it, Tywin was responsible for the ugly end of their relationship. If it wasn’t for him and Cersei, they wouldn’t have to be so secretive about it. But Tywin says the next whore he finds, he hangs. And then Tywin finds out- so he has to send her away, but she would never leave him because she loves him. So he had to wreck their relationship in order to keep her safe, all because of Tywin. And then of course it all backfired and she became a whore again and Tywin calling her that is what hurt Tyrion the most, because she really wasn’t a whore until Tywin came and fucked it up for them.

    Makes sense?

  58. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    Makes a lot of sense. Also see my previous two posts on the subject, and Zack’s as well. That’s essentially the interpretation we’ve given, with a bit more meat on the bone. Though I disagree that it was pure self-defense on Tyrion’s part. Based on his own words to Tywin, I do think Tyrion sees his act as a murder. But that doesn’t lessen his love for Shae, and his hatred for the way in which his father dismisses Tyrion, and what he cares about, including Shae. And of course, Tyrion at this point feels that Tywin ultimately drove him to murder Shae, the only person he loved (and who, he’s probably convinced, once loved him).

    Frankly, and I mean no offense to anyone here, I am having difficult understanding why there has been so much difficulty in rationalizing Tyrion’s actions once he enters the bedchamber.

    I can understand why one might find the answer to the question “Why did Tyrion seek out Tywin in the Tower of the Hand in the first place?” a bit lacking (though I would argue he simply wanted revenge against his father for wrongly sending him to his death), but why Tyrion did what he did when facing his father is perfectly genuine.

  59. TheBerylfly
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I am slightly baffled by how Maisie thinks Arya does not want to return to her family anymore

  60. s
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Of all the characters in this show, I feel like they have done the best justice to Arya. She had a full arc, especially this season with The Hound. I’m very excited to see what comes next for the character and the actress.

    Also, I’m hoping The Hound is confirmed dead or alive, not left as a loose end. I’m ok either way.

  61. jo_jo
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    Dogs,
    Maybe its just me but if my father callously sentenced me to death I think I would want to see him one last time. I thought this was tyrions way of getting closure although I don’t think he had any idea what he was going to do when he saw him.

  62. Darkstar
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: Nah. Like dragons and wights, the CotF don’t excrete so there really isn’t a need for latrines at weirnet central.

    Of course dragons excrete! What do you think dragon glass is made of? Petrified dragon shit!

  63. jentario
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Darkstar,

    There is a legit theory on that, if you weren’t aware. It also involves wildfire.

  64. Biscotti Knight
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    jentario:
    Bean of Westeros,

    I totally agree! The skeleton wights looked great on my screen. But the fireballs were probably the lamest thing the show has produced to date. So… that scene still has its issues.

    I think that scene helped prepare the unsullied for a new set of characters. The Children of the Forest are mysterious. It wasn’t my favorite plot device, but they needed to show how the CotF rescue Bran, Meera, and Hodor and keep Jojen from coming back as a Wight.

  65. Ronin
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Arya becomes a Faceless man assasin in later seasons

  66. Strider
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: The problem with “powers” like tossing fireballs in tales of this nature is why didn’t they use them from the outset? BR knew they were coming so why weren’t the CotF ready for the attack to help Bran & Co (and save a dying Jojen)? I yell “foul!” on stuff like that. In ADwD, CH helped them fight through the wight force through sheer perseverance, not magic (that is, if we can call the undead unmagical). :)

    You were not the only one to yell “foul!”. I thought exactly like you. It’s not even the cheesy aspect of the fireballs but getting CotF “late” as it were to the fight! At least late enough for Jojen.

    Bloodraven watched all of them for their whole lives, past present and future. With his powers he saw everything that happens, yet he couldn’t see THAT?! Ooh, maybe he did and he’s not the good guy some expect him to be! There… I can go reread the Dunk and Egg novellas lol.

    Totally preferred Coldhands for the whole of Bran’s journey.


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