The Television Thread

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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Tue May 14, 2019 2:08 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:44 am
It wasn't a jump though. When was the last time she didn't seem willing to burn down King's Landing?

This has been building since she happily watched her barbarian husband dump melted gold on her brother's head. Every season, she's been justifying increasingly tyrannical actions. How many people has she burned to death? How many have been over increasingly power hungry reasons? How many times have characters had to advise her against using the nuclear option?

It's been there staring everyone in the face and was even made explicit in s2, when she has the vision of King's Landing destroyed by dragons.

She's going to justify this by Cersei's actions and how she clearly booby trapped the city with Wild Fire, which looked utterly pitiful and inconsequential next to the dragon fire.
I agree the foundations and the reasons are there, but what I said is that it wasn't executed properly. Even with all that you said, it didn't feel earned to me.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue May 14, 2019 2:16 am

Thief wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:08 am
I agree the foundations and the reasons are there, but what I said is that it wasn't executed properly. Even with all that you said, it didn't feel earned to me.
What would have made it feel earned?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Tue May 14, 2019 2:28 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:05 am
But it's a horrifyingly terrible thing to do. It's also necessary for the entire thesis of the show to work. Having the audience align themselves with a clearly power hungry monarch-conqueror and then pull the rug out from under them by showing them what that looks like is an excellent concept.
I was all in for and expecting her to tack in this direction for a while, but it just didn't feel earned. I understand perfectly well she's willing to wreak havoc to get what she wants and enjoy the havoc while doing it, but getting what you want and then wreaking havoc because (and I'm just going off what they telegraphed in maybe two scenes) she thinks she needs fear to overcome Jon love (that ridiculous bimbo), or because she cray - I dunno about that.
ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:05 am
But no. This is the show vindicating itself of those accusations and giving the audience what it needs: admonishment over supporting a tyrant of their own. A lesson many people desperately need these days.
Naming my child Theon was overhasty.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue May 14, 2019 2:34 am

Ergill wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:28 am
I was all in for and expecting her to tack in this direction for a while, but it just didn't feel earned. I understand perfectly well she's willing to wreak havoc to get what she wants and enjoy the havoc while doing it, but getting what you want and then wreaking havoc because (and I'm just going off what they telegraphed in maybe two scenes) she thinks she needs fear to overcome Jon love (that ridiculous bimbo), or because she cray - I dunno about that.


Naming my child Theon was overhasty.
The issue with "love" has been present since she arrived in Westeros and has been hammered in heavily with every interaction she had in Winterfell. I think her being cray and doing it to overcome Jon love is the correct answer.

Just change it to Reek and cover your bases.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Tue May 14, 2019 2:37 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:34 am
Just change it to Reek and cover your bases.
Very well.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue May 14, 2019 2:48 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:05 am
Having the audience align themselves with a clearly power hungry monarch-conqueror and then pull the rug out from under them by showing them what that looks like
I only disagree to the extent that Daenerys is characterized as some exceptional case. Conquerors are not pussy-cats. It's not like they should have expected some better version of a would-be conqueror crossing the sea with armies to arrive at the gates of King's Landing to negotiate some Jean Luc Picard ending. The audience is aligned with a conqueror. That's all that needs to be established. History taught us what happened to Carthage (145 BC) and Baghdad (1258) and Dresden (1945), but somehow we were supposed to suspect that a pretty blonde Khan wouldn't burn a city? Again, the shit that Cersei pulled with Daenerys would have gotten any actual city murderfied by any Alexander or Xerxes.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Tue May 14, 2019 2:50 am

Overall, I think her turn needed more room to breathe. I say this as someone who was never a Dany fan, but even though there were hints of her ruthlessness, she was never this ruthless and batshit mad. There were always profound reasonings behind her previous shows of force and you could always see regret in her. She did things, even though she usually didn't want to, and you could argue that she had to and we could get into an interesting debate of what it takes to conquer and be a ruler, etc. But the way the scene plays out doesn't necessarily feel like a progression of what we've seen through the series, but more like a sudden fit of anger, a lash-out born of solely the events of the last few episodes (Jorah, Missandei, rejection, betrayal), instead of the effect of everything she has experienced through the previous 7 seasons.

Moreover, once the carnage starts, the episode refuses to acknowledge her character, rarely - if at all - showing her attitude and reaction to what she's doing, instead focusing on the destruction. Considering she's one of the two or three most important characters and this is supposed to be such a dark turn for her character, I think it would've been important to show where she's at emotionally and mentally while everything is happening. Now, this might be something they address in the last episode, so I'm bringing it up with that caveat, but as it is now, it just felt like the writers dumped the character to the side in favor of the spectacle.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue May 14, 2019 3:06 am

Thief wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:50 am
Overall, I think her turn needed more room to breathe. I say this as someone who was never a Dany fan, but even though there were hints of her ruthlessness, she was never this ruthless and batshit mad. There were always profound reasonings behind her previous shows of force and you could always see regret in her. She did things, even though she usually didn't want to, and you could argue that she had to and we could get into an interesting debate of what it takes to conquer and be a ruler, etc. But the way the scene plays out doesn't necessarily feel like a progression of what we've seen through the series, but more like a sudden fit of anger, a lash-out born of solely the events of the last few episodes (Jorah, Missandei, rejection, betrayal), instead of the effect of everything she has experienced through the previous 7 seasons.

Moreover, once the carnage starts, the episode refuses to acknowledge her character, rarely - if at all - showing her attitude and reaction to what she's doing, instead focusing on the destruction. Considering she's one of the two or three most important characters and this is supposed to be such a dark turn for her character, I think it would've been important to show where she's at emotionally and mentally while everything is happening. Now, this might be something they address in the last episode, so I'm bringing it up with that caveat, but as it is now, it just felt like the writers dumped the character to the side in favor of the spectacle.

I don't know that every villainous turn needs an arc.
The premise of The Killing Joke is "one bad day" could turn anyone into a villain. While I think that the premise of that comic is overrated, it is nevertheless true, that normal people in some contexts will do horrible things like massacre villages. This is, after all what we learned from Milgram and Zimbardo.

She had just lost most of her forces saving the world. She had just seen
one of her last two dragons killed.
She had just seen
one of her closest advisors killed.
Her closest advisors are openly and clumsily speaking of committing treason (Vary's appears to have been
trying to poison her, hence his interest in her eating patterns).
Jon, her new love, is now distant because of the incest thing, but he is also a rival to the throne with a better claim who just blabbed to the whole kingdom that he is a Targaryen. To put it mildly, she's off-balance.

I saw a comment on Reddit that made sense.
ulyssanov wrote: She knew that as soon as the war was over, her short reign as queen would be over too because everyone would follow Jon (Varys made sure of that with his ravens). With everything crumbling around her she just lost it, I think it makes sense.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue May 14, 2019 3:08 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:48 am
I only disagree to the extent that Daenerys is characterized as some exceptional case. Conquerors are not pussy-cats. It's not like they should have expected some better version of a would-be conqueror crossing the sea with armies to arrive at the gates of King's Landing to negotiate some Jean Luc Picard ending. The audience is aligned with a conqueror. That's all that needs to be established. History taught us what happened to Carthage (145 BC) and Baghdad (1258) and Dresden (1945), but somehow we were supposed to suspect that a pretty blonde Khan wouldn't burn a city? Again, the shit that Cersei pulled with Daenerys would have gotten any actual city murderfied by any Alexander or Xerxes.
Sure but the characters and audience both bought into her benevolent propaganda, hence the reaction that many outspoken fans on the internet are having. Dany INSISTED she was exceptional but that benevolence was predicated on being loved. When met with aggression, apathy or love for another, that shroud falls and the conqueror that has ALWAYS been there is there.

It shouldn't be something catching characters and audiences off guard and yet...
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Tue May 14, 2019 3:15 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:06 am
While I think that the premise of that comic is overrated, it is nevertheless true, that normal people in some contexts will do horrible things like massacre villages. This is, after all what we learned from Milgram and Zimbardo.
While I subscribe to the intuition, I can't help but note that the Milgram experiment has had a poor track record on replication. Little variations change the outcomes a lot. And the Zimbardo experiment was compromised on its own (and not just on an ethical level). Among the confounds were the experimenters putting their fingers on the scale and subjects altering their behavior to fit the experiment.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue May 14, 2019 3:46 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:06 am

I don't know that every villainous turn needs an arc.
The premise of The Killing Joke is "one bad day" could turn anyone into a villain. While I think that the premise of that comic is overrated, it is nevertheless true, that normal people in some contexts will do horrible things like massacre villages. This is, after all what we learned from Milgram and Zimbardo.

She had just lost most of her forces saving the world. She had just seen
one of her last two dragons killed.
She had just seen
one of her closest advisors killed.
Her closest advisors are openly and clumsily speaking of committing treason (Vary's appears to have been
trying to poison her, hence his interest in her eating patterns).
Jon, her new love, is now distant because of the incest thing, but he is also a rival to the throne with a better claim who just blabbed to the whole kingdom that he is a Targaryen. To put it mildly, she's off-balance.

I saw a comment on Reddit that made sense.
This outlines why I feel it was wholly earned and am ascribing that many that are upset about it were blinded by Dany themselves. I think it's something that will go down smoother on a rewatch for those that dive back in.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue May 14, 2019 4:02 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:46 am
This outlines why I feel it was wholly earned and am ascribing that many that are upset about it were blinded by Dany themselves. I think it's something that will go down smoother on a rewatch for those that dive back in.
Just think of the poor souls who were on team Stannis.



I love the anachronism that "realistic" medieval allies to a conqueror would have such scruples about burning a city.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Stu » Tue May 14, 2019 5:18 am

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Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Tue May 14, 2019 6:32 am

Ergill wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 11:30 pm
Doubt I'd ever feel the same, but I'll take your rec and give Night a shot. I was on board with a good chunk of Kaili Blues, though it got a little too noodley for me. (I didn't get the potentially racist connotation until after I wrote that, but I'll leave it in as a warning to posterity.) Exploratory films can elicit a lot of unique affects, but sometimes they fall into similar lulls.
Agreed with your take on exploratory films. Long Day’s is, by my reading, more of a celebration of creativity, of mythmaking. How can you go wrong with that?

OK, you can, but not this time!
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Tue May 14, 2019 6:34 am

Blevo wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:00 am
Shit, I might have to rewatch a Long Day's, because I remember being underwhelmed when I watched it a decade ago. I haven't interacted with you for years, but still have enormous respect for your opinions and I must have missed something the first go-round. I just remember thinking "damn you, Wolfy, and your affinity for filmed plays" at the time.
Blevo, this is the internet. Time doesn’t exist here. The last time we interacted was yesterday. But, yes, the Chinese Long Day is the one. Seems like it’s adding new dates, keep checking! See it in 3D if you can! So magical! Get on the hype train!
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by PrisonMike » Tue May 14, 2019 10:23 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:46 am
This outlines why I feel it was wholly earned and am ascribing that many that are upset about it were blinded by Dany themselves. I think it's something that will go down smoother on a rewatch for those that dive back in.
I saw a comment on Reddit that pointed out how the major beats from last episode are most likely exactly how GRRM intends to end his books. The northern army and the Unsullied who have so far been shown as the "heroes" pillage, rape and murder innocent civilians in King's Landing while one of our main heroes burns down the entire city, like her mad father. It fits in perfectly with George's theme of heroes and villains not being so black and white.

I agree that Dany's arc could have been done better in the past few seasons. It's very easy to draw comparisons with Breaking Bad, where the main character went through a similar arc which was executed much better. However, I also think that last night's episode did the best it could in that regard. Dany's been on a downwards spiral for a while now and we finally saw her snap. What I loved about the episode is how from the moment Dany snapped, all the other characters were so insignificant in comparison to what was happening in King's Landing. Jon, Arya, Jamie, Cersei...all they could do is try to survive the chaos, while all Tyrion did was stare in horror.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by wichares » Tue May 14, 2019 1:01 pm

GoT: I buy the plot points this season in broad strokes, but the writing of the actual situations of them when watched is fucking lame. Part of it is that they are so compressed from the shorter episode sper season, another is that it feels like D&D have checked out already (everyone including HBO want the show to go on longer, but they seem set on ending it this way, this rushed), so shoddy and illogical in the "how" that the "what" feels unearned, even if it makes sense when described within the show's larger mythology. It's kind of a bad faith assumption to say that people don't buy it because it is a feel-bad, things-not-going-their-way episode, when so many equally (if not more) horrific, non-audience-conforming incidents have happened in the show in the past seasons without this much pushback. Thank god Sapochnik is there with spectacular direction to not make it actual dreck.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Patrick McGroin » Tue May 14, 2019 3:13 pm

[flash=][/flash]
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Tue May 14, 2019 5:27 pm

Disney to Hulu: We Have Assumed Control

No idea what this means for Castle Rock, The Handmaid's Tale, etc. yet. Warner Bros. is working on their own streaming service, so my guess is they'll be ported over there.
Personally, I hope that the Cartoon Network, FX and old WB shows remain since a lot of them don't stream anywhere else.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Tue May 14, 2019 9:10 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:06 am

I don't know that every villainous turn needs an arc.
The premise of The Killing Joke is "one bad day" could turn anyone into a villain.
I thought the Joker's premise was disproven. He cops to his background being "multiple choice," and Jim Gordon doesn't succumb to the "one bad day" evilness.
NOTE:
The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Tue May 14, 2019 9:12 pm

Torgo wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:27 pm
Disney to Hulu: We Have Assumed Control

No idea what this means for Castle Rock, The Handmaid's Tale, etc. yet. Warner Bros. is working on their own streaming service, so my guess is they'll be ported over there.
Personally, I hope that the Cartoon Network, FX and old WB shows remain since a lot of them don't stream anywhere else.
Damn, Disney is not joking with their "take over the world" plan.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue May 14, 2019 9:23 pm

wichares wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:01 pm
GoT: I buy the plot points this season in broad strokes, but the writing of the actual situations of them when watched is fucking lame. Part of it is that they are so compressed from the shorter episode sper season, another is that it feels like D&D have checked out already (everyone including HBO want the show to go on longer, but they seem set on ending it this way, this rushed), so shoddy and illogical in the "how" that the "what" feels unearned, even if it makes sense when described within the show's larger mythology. It's kind of a bad faith assumption to say that people don't buy it because it is a feel-bad, things-not-going-their-way episode, when so many equally (if not more) horrific, non-audience-conforming incidents have happened in the show in the past seasons without this much pushback. Thank god Sapochnik is there with spectacular direction to not make it actual dreck.
When has a character people rally behind done something abhorrent?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue May 14, 2019 10:47 pm

DaMU wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:10 pm
I thought the Joker's premise was disproven. He cops to his background being "multiple choice," and Jim Gordon doesn't succumb to the "one bad day" evilness.
Shit? Is that it?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Thu May 16, 2019 1:16 am

Image

An image of Sir George Cockburn. His portrait features him standing in front of a burning Washington, DC during the War of 1812. Just a reminder to those who thing that burning cities would be out of character for Dany or expectations for people living in anything approximating a "real word."
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Stu » Fri May 17, 2019 6:21 am

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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Captain Oats » Fri May 17, 2019 5:16 pm

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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat May 18, 2019 1:22 am

Captain Oats wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:16 pm
The Golden Compass redux?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Sat May 18, 2019 6:10 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:16 am
An image of Sir George Cockburn. His portrait features him standing in front of a burning Washington, DC during the War of 1812. Just a reminder to those who thing that burning cities would be out of character for Dany or expectations for people living in anything approximating a "real word."
The Mongols did far worse. Often. As a tool of governance. Dany did not do this before, even though she has overtaken large cities. Often. Because of her governance strategy.

To say that Dany is unable to follow her own well-worn and highly successful strategy now is to say - what? She’s gone “mad”? She’s different from the thousands of male rulers in history who didn’t randomly burn a city for no reason because - she’a a woman?

This was not Dany’s first rodeo. Why write it as if it is? And why defend her as if this sort of writing makes sense?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat May 18, 2019 7:10 am

LEAVES wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 6:10 am
The Mongols did far worse. Often. As a tool of governance. Dany did not do this before, even though she has overtaken large cities. Often. Because of her governance strategy.

To say that Dany is unable to follow her own well-worn and highly successful strategy now is to say - what? She’s gone “mad”? She’s different from the thousands of male rulers in history who didn’t randomly burn a city for no reason because - she’a a woman?

This was not Dany’s first rodeo. Why write it as if it is? And why defend her as if this sort of writing makes sense?
Because it does make sense?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat May 18, 2019 10:49 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:10 am
Because it does make sense?
On 9 October 1847 the Mexican American War is on. Texas Ranger Samuel Hamilton Walker has brought his new super weapons with him, 44 calibre Colt revolvers. Each weighing 4.5 points, they are more powerful than factory loads in Dirty Harry's Model 29. The Battle of Huamantla is on, and the Americans have the advantage. They capture Santa Anna's own artillery and use it against his forces (igniting them with their cavalry pistols when they cannot find primers or fuses). In the battle, however, Walker is mortally wounded.

The Rangers had won their battle, but the loss of their beloved leaded enraged the Americans. They sacked the city. No quarter was given. They laid waste to the town. It was, in essence, a war crime. It was the only instance of U.S. troops sacking a city in that war. So why the exception? Because their blood was up. Because they were in an emotional moment. Because it was war and war, it turns out, really is pretty fucking horrible. Horrible though it was, the action was effective. The victory was so decisive that it cost General Santa Anna his job.

Why would Dany do something "out of character" and burn a city after she had won? Why do the "good guys" ever commit war crimes? Because it is not really out of character and because "good guys" is a dubious appellation, even in just wars.

I hate to get whiny and woke, but up to this point, Dany has been killing brown people across the narrow sea, bringing freedom fries to dusky-hued denizens of far off lands. It's OK because she is a liberator. Our support of Contras in Nicaragua was A-OK, because they were "Freedom Fighters." Colt's most famous revolvers were just fine because they were "Peace Keepers." And those intercontinental ballistic missiles were OK, because they were named "Peacekeeper Missiles." And military actions sound better when they have names like "Enduring Freedom." Sure, we see her and her forces fighting skelebone monsters from the North, but there is no question of even worrying about the humanity of this "other." It's all been rather convenient so far.

We see the world through her eyes, the eyes of a conqueror. We get a moment, however, in season 1 episode 10, where we get an alternate point of view--
DANY: My child was innocent.

WITCH: Innocent? He would have been the stallion who mounts the world. Now he will burn no cities. Now his Khalasar will trample no nations into dust.

DANY: I spoke for you. I saved you.

WITCH: Saved me? Three of those riders had already raped me before you saved me, girl. I saw my God's house burn, there where I had healed men and women beyond counting.


And has anyone ever listened to this woman speak?!? She's been yakking about fire and blood and taking what is hers for the whole damned series. Turns out, she meant it.

I hate to break it everyone, but Dany is here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and after her second dragon and Missandrie got ganked, she's all outta bubblegum. She is committing a war crime. So have a lot of "good guys." Our paradox that great people sometimes do horrible things is no deeper than what we might find in an old Cracked article https://www.cracked.com/article_16590_6 ... anity.html

Her decision is tactical as well as emotional. She's tried the path of "love". She's played "Mr. Nice Guy," with Tyrion botching one decision after another and most(?) of her forces lost defending Winterfell. By her lights, it isn't working. And if not rule by love, then fear. If Jon could have manned up for the realm and hit it with his aunt one more time to reassure her that love and hope are not lost, this could have been headed off, but he is King of the North and not the Redneck South, so King's Landing must pay the price. Or better yet, if he could have kept his mouth shut for five minutes and not spilled the beans to his sisters that he has a claim to the throne, this could have been avoided.

So, to sum up. She is arguably not crazy (even though the show, being written by children now, will undoubtedly make it plain that she is 100% nutzo by the end of the next episode). She is no more villainous than we should have expected. She did not turn. It's not that she "became" a dragon. She was a dragon the whole time. She was Napolean and Alexander and Genghis Khan the whole time. Kings Landing only shows that the surface rhetoric does not match the actual function of her ambition. Well, no shit kids. The official rhetoric is pillow talk, baby. Vae victis, so think twice before you ask someone to "liberate" your country.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat May 18, 2019 10:52 am

Image

The title of the Reddit thread I snapped this from is
[SPOILERS] found on twitter, apparently GRRM responded to this blog post from 2013 with “This guy gets it” regarding Dany...
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Sat May 18, 2019 2:34 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 10:49 am
On 9 October 1847 the Mexican American War is on. Texas Ranger Samuel Hamilton Walker has brought his new super weapons with him, 44 calibre Colt revolvers. Each weighing 4.5 points, they are more powerful than factory loads in Dirty Harry's Model 29. The Battle of Huamantla is on, and the Americans have the advantage. They capture Santa Anna's own artillery and use it against his forces (igniting them with their cavalry pistols when they cannot find primers or fuses). In the battle, however, Walker is mortally wounded.
I don't think you can explain what happened last week by pointing to a My Lai-type event circling around group psychology where war stressors and dehumanization lead into a massacre. They haven't put any work into Dany being stressed by the horrors of war. She has a patrician distance from her subjects, but has mainly attacked people she deemed threats while callously allowing for collateral damage. Here, despite the crazy eyes, it seems like she's making a calculation. Before that, though, she's always been a neocon, promoting an idealistic project, but stumbling into moral quagmires. That subtext will get politely swept under the rug now. A lot of the people complaining, in here and elsewhere, have been expecting her to make a darker turn for a while now and wanting it too. Tragic descents into depravity have been de jure for tv drama for the last two decades. This just felt rushed and sloppy. A snub after The Short Night afterparty, a cockblock from her nephew, a sudden threat to her succession, and a single line suggesting "better to be feared". Like, oh, if you act like a raging psychopath and barbecue people on masse no one will challenge your crown? There are no precedents to appeal to in living memory? OK, whatever. If she really did go mad at that point, then even more whatever. They definitely didn't put the work into that.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Sat May 18, 2019 3:04 pm

I do like that quote from the books. It would have made the TV series make a lot more sense. The TV writers, however, omitted it. And probably EVERYTHING ELSE in the book that gave indication of Dany actually changing. The thing about a TV show compared to a book is that words don’t tell the whole story. Emoting is as much text as script, and they failed on that level completely.

As for the explanation of, “Successful warlord with a history of treating her subjects fairly due to their utility to her as an economic and military force deciding to switch to genocide because some of her army died in an overwhelming victory against a mythical superhuman race of superzombies”... that makes no sense. She still has enough army to meet her goals PLUS save the world. It makes no sense.

Some random general in a backwater like Colonial America is not he same as a conqueror of empires who has been responsible for the governance of some of the world’s great cities. Not in the slightest.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat May 18, 2019 5:01 pm

LEAVES wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:04 pm
I do like that quote from the books. It would have made the TV series make a lot more sense. The TV writers, however, omitted it. And probably EVERYTHING ELSE in the book that gave indication of Dany actually changing. The thing about a TV show compared to a book is that words don’t tell the whole story. Emoting is as much text as script, and they failed on that level completely.

As for the explanation of, “Successful warlord with a history of treating her subjects fairly due to their utility to her as an economic and military force deciding to switch to genocide because some of her army died in an overwhelming victory against a mythical superhuman race of superzombies”... that makes no sense. She still has enough army to meet her goals PLUS save the world. It makes no sense.

Some random general in a backwater like Colonial America is not he same as a conqueror of empires who has been responsible for the governance of some of the world’s great cities. Not in the slightest.
Half of her army died during the siege of Winterfell as did her champion and loyal companion, her navy was crippled during the previous battle at King's Landing where her "child" was murdered, her best friend was publicly decapitated during peace talks advised by her Hand, one of her main advisors betrayed her and tried to poison her, her lover has a better claim to the throne and told his family, who in turn spread that through her Hand, adding to the betrayal, and her reception since arrival has been the polar opposite as across the sea.

She's also dealing with someone she knows exploits weakness and DID booby trap King's Landing with Wild Fire, so it would have burned regardless.

That's all context from this season and doesn't mention the countless times she's burned her enemies (like the aforementioned witch that had been raped and had her village burned on the order of her husband) and had to he talked out of burning people by those aforementioned advisors that are no longer loyal or alive.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Sat May 18, 2019 6:19 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:01 pm
Half of her army died during the siege of Winterfell as did her champion and loyal companion,
And she won handily without them.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:01 pm
her navy was crippled during the previous battle at King's Landing where her "child" was murdered,
Let's not justify one stupid moment with another stupid moment. Dragons - invincible. Dragons - highly vulnerable. Dragon - invincible.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:01 pm
her best friend was publicly decapitated during peace talks advised by her Hand,
So kill Circe. Demolish the Red Keep after surrender. That would've raised ethical questions on its own.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:01 pm
one of her main advisors betrayed her and tried to poison her, her lover has a better claim to the throne and told his family, who in turn spread that through her Hand, adding to the betrayal, and her reception since arrival has been the polar opposite as across the sea.
We should probably clarify what's being justified here. Do you think she's mad or calculating? If the former, the two-episode lead-up all of these embody looks feeble. If the latter, it's dumb and ignores what happened to her father because it makes for a big, dramatic moment.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:01 pm
That's all context from this season and doesn't mention the countless times she's burned her enemies (like the aforementioned witch that had been raped and had her village burned on the order of her husband) and had to he talked out of burning people by those aforementioned advisors that are no longer loyal or alive.
The witch turned her husband into a vegetable and essentially killed her child. The people of King's Landing didn't do anything to her. It's not even a question of morality here. It's a question of psychology.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat May 18, 2019 6:45 pm

Ergill wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 6:19 pm
And she won handily without them.



Let's not justify one stupid moment with another stupid moment. Dragons - invincible. Dragons - highly vulnerable. Dragon - invincible.



So kill Circe. Demolish the Red Keep after surrender. That would've raised ethical questions on its own.



We should probably clarify what's being justified here. Do you think she's mad or calculating? If the former, the two-episode lead-up all of these embody looks feeble. If the latter, it's dumb and ignores what happened to her father because it makes for a big, dramatic moment.



The witch turned her husband into a vegetable and essentially killed her child. The people of King's Landing didn't do anything to her. It's not even a question of morality here. It's a question of psychology.
Her psychology is that she's a narcissist that had the benefit of love from the people, the power of dragons and the wisdom of loyal advisors. When she's stripped of that, we're left with a narcissist that resents the people and her advisors that resorts to the impulse she's had to solve all her problems the ENTIRE SHOW: Burn them all.

There are different kinds of mad and many do not exclude calculation and rationalization.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Sat May 18, 2019 8:10 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 6:45 pm
Her psychology is that she's a narcissist that had the benefit of love from the people, the power of dragons and the wisdom of loyal advisors. When she's stripped of that, we're left with a narcissist that resents the people and her advisors that resorts to the impulse she's had to solve all her problems the ENTIRE SHOW: Burn them all.

There are different kinds of mad and many do not exclude calculation and rationalization.
That strikes me as selective a reading of her character as those who say she's a good-hearted person who's had regrettable decisions foisted on her. Outside of the Ramsey's, GRRM has been openly intent about muddying the blackhat-whitehat mentality for most of his characters. People do evil, but they do evil typically with a coherent set of reasons and within the context of political gamesmanship. Later turns for a character weren't about uncovering their essential evil or goodness because people are very seldom either. The shocks experienced throughout the show aren't about Anankin Skywalker moments, but about disappointing political and human realities that undercut neat Romantic tragedies. You might say that now everyone can look back and see that her project was flawed from the start. I think, on the contrary, this encourages more people to look back and rationalize that she was doing so much better and if only she hadn't turned to the dark side. The neocon subtext melts away and we're not talking about people doing awful things while entertaining good intentions, but people doing awful things because they're stressed and narcissistic. That kind of flattening of the show has been par for the course for the Benioff-Weiss stretch after they lapped the books, but I don't think is in keeping with the original theses of GOT.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat May 18, 2019 8:20 pm

Ergill wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:10 pm
That strikes me as selective a reading of her character as those who say she's a good-hearted person who's had regrettable decisions foisted on her. Outside of the Ramsey's, GRRM has been openly intent about muddying the blackhat-whitehat mentality for most of his characters. People do evil, but they do evil typically with a coherent set of reasons and within the context of political gamesmanship. Later turns for a character weren't about uncovering their essential evil or goodness because people are very seldom either. The shocks experienced throughout the show aren't about Anankin Skywalker moments, but about disappointing political and human realities that undercut neat Romantic tragedies. You might say that now everyone can look back and see that her project was flawed from the start. I think, on the contrary, this encourages more people to look back and rationalize that she was doing so much better and if only she hadn't turned to the dark side. The neocon subtext melts away and we're not talking about people doing awful things while entertaining good intentions, but people doing awful things because they're stressed and narcissistic. That kind of flattening of the show has been par for the course for the Benioff-Weiss stretch after they lapped the books, but I don't think is in keeping with the original theses of GOT.

I think you're flattening it by taking this as an exclusive reading. A narcissist with intent to burn things (absolutely there in the heavy Martin adapted seasons) is there. Is her benevolence purely instrumental? Perhaps not. Does it have a breaking point in the face of that narcissism? Yes. Can she justify this action as a necessary evil given the nature of Cersei and her having booby trapped King's Landing? Also very possible.

It's not a simplistic heel turn nor is it out of line with what has come before.

It feels like you're stretching to say it's bad regardless of any progression of the character, foreshadowing or context.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Sat May 18, 2019 8:33 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:20 pm
I think you're flattening it by taking this as an exclusive reading. A narcissist with intent to burn things (absolutely there in the heavy Martin adapted seasons) is there. Is her benevolence purely instrumental? Perhaps not. Does it have a breaking point in the face of that narcissism? Yes. Can she justify this action as a necessary evil given the nature of Cersei and her having booby trapped King's Landing? Also very possible.

It's not a simplistic heel turn nor is it out of line with what has come before.

It feels like you're stretching to say it's bad regardless of any progression of the character, foreshadowing or context.
She made the turn before the traps were uncovered. They weren't part of the calculus. And I don't see how the traps rationalize, for her, deliberately targeting and killing civilians by the wholesale. I can imagine B&W doing their whole dejected exposition skit afterwards where they posit intentions they weren't able to adequately convey in the show itself, but clearly I don't buy it. When you compress the season and then rush through all these character beats in favor of dwelling on nostalgic callbacks and fist-pump moments, your heart's in a different place. They might be better suited for Star Wars.

I feel like it was a rather simplistic heel turn. I've been there for the precedents and I've heard them reiterated over and over recently. We just interpret them differently.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sun May 19, 2019 12:38 am

LEAVES wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:04 pm
I do like that quote from the books. It would have made the TV series make a lot more sense. The TV writers, however, omitted it.

True. However, our own Dany on TV has made frequent reference to fire and blood and burning and her birthright and so on. I made reference to that section to refer to the first author's intention (GRRM) to show that the DNA of the story shows us Dany as a conqueror. This is and always has been "the plan."
LEAVES wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:04 pm
As for the explanation of, “Successful warlord with a history of treating her subjects fairly due to their utility to her as an economic and military force deciding to switch to genocide because some of her army died in an overwhelming victory against a mythical superhuman race of superzombies”... that makes no sense. She still has enough army to meet her goals PLUS save the world. It makes no sense.

Sure, but I am not making that particular argument. Old school faculty psychologists referred our minds operating by understanding, imagination, emotion, and the will. George Campbell would warn would-be persuaders that pure reason is not enough,
It is not therefore the understanding alone that is here concerned. If the orator would prove successful, it is necessary that he engage in his service all these different powers of the mind, the imagination, the memory, and the passions.
Although faculty psychology is no longer in vogue, the vocabulary is still with us and even the folk psychology of the ancient Greeks recognized a difference between emotional and logical proof. And even today we speak of "emotional decisions" as opposed to "rational decisions." In short, I don't see Dany as making a purely emotional or tactical decision here. It's both. Her emotions are getting the better of her, because she is pissed (so it's war crime time), and her internal rational compass is pointing North to "rule by fear," so it is not serving as a guardrail, and her external guardrails (her advisors) have lost her trust (by betraying her and by giving bad advice). In the language of Hume (who held that all reasoning is emotional) her "warm" (Punch him!) and "cold" passions (Don't get arrested!) are in alignment here.

She is making what hair stylists call "the commitment cut" - the customer is vacillating about that cute bob haircut they want and so start blabbing about bad ideas in between, so you make that first cut and everyone can see that there is no going back. You came in for the bob, you're getting the bob. It's a moment of becoming. For those more dramatically inclined we can refer to Cortez burning his boats to ensure the conquest of South America (speaking of war crimes!). It's an emotional moment for Dany because her rage wants to do it, her hope is failing, her reason is telling her that she can win as a Machiavellian, but she is also killing a part of herself here. She's going "all in" and burning what is left of her "hope" and her fig leaf of being a better kind of conqueror. This is the woman willing to watch her brother get a crown of molten gold without flinching, willing to eat horse hearts, willing to dabble in dark magic to win, willing to cheat to win (paying for her slaves by murdering the slavers), willing to BBQ those who betray her (if she's in a good mood, she may just lock you in your own darkened vault to die a slow death). In the end, she is what she always was, a person willing to win a high stakes game at high cost.

Is she making the right decision? By conventional morality, no. But war rarely plays by the rules of conventional morality. By our modern sensibilities? No. But this show was supposed to offer us a bracing and realistic depiction of how things were back then. By Dany's official rhetoric of liberation? No. But should this surprise us? Is she right even in terms of her self-interest relative to the narrow goal of ruling Westeros? No, but leaders often blunder. The real question is not really whether she is making the right decision, but whether we can make sense of her decision. And I think that answer to that question is "Yes."
LEAVES wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:04 pm
Some random general in a backwater like Colonial America is not he same as a conqueror of empires who has been responsible for the governance of some of the world’s great cities. Not in the slightest.
Not so fast. Cockburn burned that capital of another nation. This was considered out of bounds by rules of war. In response to this action, a writer in the London Statesman asked,
"The Cossacks pared Paris, but we spared not the capital of America. Is it certain that this is a legitimate method of warfare?"
Why did he do it? Well, it was payback. Americans had sacked York and were perceived to be backstabbers for causing trouble while the British were trying to save the world from Napoleon.

More than this, you have only objected as to "scale" and not "principle" or "function." You have not established why we would or should expect a major conqueror to show more restraint. Indeed, I think the history of war will show that great conquerors and makers of empires typically show less restraint than generals fighting in backwaters.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sun May 19, 2019 1:34 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 6:45 pm
Her psychology is that she's a narcissist that had the benefit of love from the people, the power of dragons and the wisdom of loyal advisors. When she's stripped of that, we're left with a narcissist that resents the people and her advisors that resorts to the impulse she's had to solve all her problems the ENTIRE SHOW: Burn them all.

There are different kinds of mad and many do not exclude calculation and rationalization.
I'm with you on this one. People were seduced by the pillow talk and now want to object that what we have here is not the "real" Dany.

I don't agree that she is a pure narcissist, but most narcissists aren't. There is love in her and hope and idealism, but when push comes to shove, she really wants the throne.

And don't you kind of have to have your head up your ass to think that you will "break the wheel" of politics to establish a utopia and bring about an end of history?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Sun May 19, 2019 5:55 am

Not going to engage with all of that nonsense, but the Brits’ military commander with no governing experience burnt a few select empty buildings in a backwater part of the world - and it was still a controversy. Not exactly an apples to apples comparison, except that they did far, far, far less and it was already beyond the pale.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sun May 19, 2019 6:08 am

LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 5:55 am
Not going to engage with all of that nonsense, but the Brits’ military commander with no governing experience burnt a few select empty buildings in a backwater part of the world - and it was still a controversy. Not exactly an apples to apples comparison, except that they did far, far, far less and it was already beyond the pale.
Are discussing whether she is "right" for burning the city or whether her burning of the city is "plausible" within the story? One is a moral question. The other is an aesthetic question. I think we're all agreed about the former (i.e., war crimes are bad). However, the latter is still an open question.

Cockburn burning the capital city (including the White House) of the United States was wrong, but also reveals to us that things like this do happen. People do go beyond the pale. The question is whether we can make sense of a conqueror from a period of history further in our mythic past also engaging in such an act.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:08 am
Are discussing whether she is "right" for burning the city or whether her burning of the city is "plausible" within the story? One is a moral question. The other is an aesthetic question. I think we're all agreed about the former (i.e., war crimes are bad). However, the latter is still an open question.

Cockburn burning the capital city (including the White House) of the United States was wrong, but also reveals to us that things like this do happen. People do go beyond the pale. The question is whether we can make sense of a conqueror from a period of history further in our mythic past also engaging in such an act.
Your own post said “out of character”, so assuming that your post was a reminder that even when people burn small parts of small cities in small countries no, they do not typically genocide the population then, yes, we agree that Cockburn does show that Dany’s behavior is not plausible.

Since Dany’s governance is based on the Mongols who did genocide populations repeatedly and did destroy some of the world’s greatest cities brick by brick then they are a better comparison. They did it to conquer additional territory. Dany did not. Why is she different in this story from both Cockburn and from the Mongols her character is based on?

That’s a good ass question. A plausible explanation is shitty writing. Another plausible explanation is shitty writing due to shitty stereotypes of women. Both very, very plausible.

Oh, and Dany is literally worse than ISIS in this story. Contemplate that.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Sun May 19, 2019 5:20 pm

LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am
Since Dany’s governance is based on the Mongols who did genocide populations repeatedly and did destroy some of the world’s greatest cities brick by brick then they are a better comparison. They did it to conquer additional territory. Dany did not. Why is she different in this story from both Cockburn and from the Mongols her character is based on?
What's more, it was a part of their explicit rules of war. They'd come across a city and give their terms. Surrender and we'll enslave you or simply take control of your city. Fight and we'll wipe you off the face of the earth. It wasn't about fateful decisions in the heat of battle.

LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am
That’s a good ass question. A plausible explanation is shitty writing.
Unpossible.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:34 am
I'm with you on this one. People were seduced by the pillow talk and now want to object that what we have here is not the "real" Dany.
Hardly in this thread. If people are saying it was rushed, that can't mean they saw this as an impossible development for her. It means it was something like what they were expecting in the long run, but they thought it was handled cheaply in practice. Likewise, what kind of pillow talk am I buying into (the Marquis de Sade?) when saying that we should've been shown the horrific outcomes of basic conquest without the window dressing of bulging eyes, twirling mustaches, and other trappings of cartoonish evil? A total heel turn absolves people of their prior support of Dany's project, giving them room to say, "If only she wouldn't have turned heel here, it would've been fine." It doesn't underline the horrific consequences of conquest that don't hinge on crazy, bloodthirsty acts of malevolence. Lastly, it has nothing to do with ideals and everything to do with basic instrumental reasoning to say that any appeal to the calculation of rule by fear founders on the precedent of Dany's father. "Recent events make me nervous that my subs will overthrow me. Better lean into the crazy stuff that got my dad assassinated by his subs!"

It's like turning the Hound's arc into a suicidal revenge quest against his brother complete with an epic battle in a crumbling tower while Highlander music blares in the background. It's stupid flash and dazzle prostrating itself to the mythic beats, the fantasy tropes, that GOT was all about subverting.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:34 am
And don't you kind of have to have your head up your ass to think that you will "break the wheel" of politics to establish a utopia and bring about an end of history?
There's something of a Russian nesting doll of heads up asses here. I mean, it's all well and good for people to disagree about the precedents. Simply lying about what people are arguing in here is B&W grade cheap.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun May 19, 2019 5:38 pm

Am I being lumped into this anal nesting doll? Just wanna know how civil I should remain in any replies.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Sun May 19, 2019 6:00 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 5:38 pm
Am I being lumped into this anal nesting doll? Just wanna know how civil I should remain in any replies.
Nope. That's more in reference to YARN helping himself to deceptive caricatures of us. I don't see you doing that.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun May 19, 2019 6:16 pm

Ergill wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:00 pm
Nope. That's more in reference to YARN helping himself to deceptive caricatures of us. I don't see you doing that.
Phew. I’m known to embed my head in all sorts of crevices but thought I’d mostly kept myself breathing the fresh air on this one.

I also thought the Hound’s ending was a fitting blend of spectacle and GoT style subversion by emphasizing how deflating and pointless it was but I can see that being seen as too fantastical. Placing it amidst the “hero” slaughtering everyone should work to take away a few of those conventional points, I would hope.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by crumbsroom » Sun May 19, 2019 6:24 pm

Having come to expect some narrative short cuts the last few seasons of GoT, I wasn't bothered much by the abruptness of D's transition. Enough details had already been baked into her inevitable turn and I just went with it. I liked the episode.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Sun May 19, 2019 6:32 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:16 pm
Phew. I’m known to embed my head in all sorts of crevices
Perish the thought!

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:16 pm
I also thought the Hound’s ending was a fitting blend of spectacle and GoT style subversion by emphasizing how deflating and pointless it was but I can see that being seen as too fantastical. Placing it amidst the “hero” slaughtering everyone should work to take away a few of those conventional points, I would hope.
Fair enough. I don't think you're out to lunch or anything. Clearly I just don't have any faith in Benioff and Weiss.
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