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Put me in coach. I'm ready to slay.
Well, I guess you can’t kill the king every week.

After a season that started with a high level of intrigue and perhaps the most eagerly anticipated entry in GOT’s hefty body count, “Breaker of Chains” slows the pace down. Way down.

It’s not that things don’t happen, but a lot of those things come in the form of positioning. You can see that the pieces are all getting into place for a big kerfuffle in the near future, but this week it’s just above dragging characters from point A to point B so that next week (one hopes) we can get on with the job of beating the hell out of those Point-b-ians.

The result is an hour that’s a little bit more fractured than we've seen previously this year, and a lotta bits less engaging. Still, we do get a chance for globs of exposition… sometimes even without sex.

Come on in. Let’s wander about the Seven Kingdoms.

From the title, you might think the episode was centered around Dany and her Lincoln-plus-dragons parade between the slave cities, but the week actually starts in King’s Landing only moments after Joffrey’s throat-clawing, blue-skinned dance of way-to-make-a-million-people-tweet-in-joy. This time we get to see Tyrion marched off to jail, the wedding guests in a furor, and while Sansa’s absence is apparently noticed within seconds of the boy-tyrant hitting the ground, no one seems to have spotted just which way the last wolf in captivity actually ran.

Guided by knight-turned-fool Ser Dontos, Sansa gets aboard a small boat and locates a surprising patch of darkness and fog in which a ship is waiting. As she climbs aboard, she’s greeted by the ever smirking visage of Littlefinger. Hi, Littlefinger! Up until this point in the season, our former master of coin has been doing all his skullduggery off screen. Now he’s back, and he digs right in.

When Dontos—not apparently so motivated by fondness for Sansa as he might have seemed—sits placidly in his boat waiting to be paid off by Littlefinger, his payment comes in the form of a crossbow boat. Dontos. There’s a reason why we was demoted from knight to fool.

Sansa is more than a little taken aback by Littlefinger’s surprisingly blunt approach, but Lord Baelish demonstrates that her pal Dontos was not as loyal as he may have seemed. In particular, the old family heirloom Dontos gave her was a fake all along. Tossing the necklace on top of Dontos' body, Littlefinger sends both drifting back toward King’s Landing. So now Sansa is left in the loving arms of the man who once tried to bed her mother and who has already told Tyrion’s erstwhile bride just how much she reminds him of dear departed mommy. Charming.

Oh, and Littlefinger’s timely appearance and clear control of Dontos advances him right to the front of the who-killed-Joffrey queue.

Next in line would have to be Olenna Tyrell, who we next see engaged in a conversation with granddaughter Margaery. Having wedded without being bedded for the second time, Margaery is a smidge concerned over her status. Gradmom assures her that no matter what, Margaery is better off than she would have been if Joffrey were alive to practice his joffreyness. Maybe Olenna should go back to the front of the line after all.

With Mad King Joff out of the way, the crown now passes to little brother Tommen (tell the truth, did you remember there was a little brother Tommen?). Standing above Joffrey’s contorted body, Tywin Lannister leads his grandson through what has to be the most inappropriate lesson in leadership ever. The biggest point of this grotesquery being that good kings are wise, and that wisdom comes from listening to their grandfathers. Then Tywin tops himself by using this moment to launch into a birds and bees speech sure to leave the new king shaking in a corner.

Back at the body, Joffrey's true parents linger over the little tyrant. Cersei’s single-minded focus is still on killing Tyrion. She’s not about to let a little thing like a trial get in her way. Despite having spurned Jamie on his return, she's more than willing to put in a little painfully inappropriate make-out time to convince her brother to dice up their other brother, until she remembers that Jaime disgusts her now and breaks away. At that point, Jaime Lannister, who has spent three seasons redeeming himself from the opening moments of the series in which he defenestrated a child to cover up incest, throws away every trace of accumulated sympathy in a few ugly seconds as he forces himself on his sister in a macabre sexual assault, then goes on to rape her next to the bier holding their dead son. Some people are just not meant for redemption. All the being nice to Brienne in the world isn't enough to make up for this.

Now it’s time to go on the road with everyone’s favorite odd couple, The Hound and Arya. These two definitely need their own theme song. Arya has become so comfortable in traveling with the scar-faced killer that she even creates a cover story in which the Hound is her father. However, while she can fool strangers into taking them in, she can't get the Hound to display a scrap of manners. Or sympathy. The Hound promptly robs the farmer who helped them, leading Arya to bark at him. It’s nice to see that Arya, despite her murderous actions, still has a moral core.

When the Hound asks her how many Starks are going to have to die before she surrenders that last sense of fair play, you’d like to think the number is infinite.

Up at Castle Black it’s time to visit with Sam and… what’s her name? Gilly. Sam, and Gilly, and Gilly’s baby, Sam. Gilly is still stuck among the none-too-savory men of Castle Black where Sam frets over her and wonders if she'd be better off elsewhere. Gilly asks if he's bored of her, echoing Shea's words to Tyrion before he sent her away.

Sam eventually takes Gilly and her child down to Molestown, the little village best known as where the men of the Night’s Watch go to satisfy the appetites they took an oath to stop satisfying. Molestown turns out to be even dirtier and more decrepit than the decaying Castle Black, and Gilly clearly feels more than a little betrayed when Sam abandons her there.

And now… Stannis and Ser Davos. Stannis is as calm and forgiving as ever, blaming the only man who’s been giving him good advice for all his troubles and warning Davos that he’d better think of a way to conjure an army out of thin air, and he’d better think it up quick.

Fortunately, the Onion Knight has his regularly scheduled reading lesson with taskmaster Princess Shireen. Not only does Davos get to deliver the best line of the episode—“If you're a famous smuggler, you're not doing it right”—while telling tales to Shireen, Davos comes up with a plan to get the funding Stannis needs to press his claim. Good work, Davos.

The week’s obligatory sex scene turns out to be a fairly tame affair, despite involving Prince Oberyn, his paramour, and a cast of several. In the middle of pillow talk, Tywin charges in. While the once and future Hand definitely has some suspicions about the Prince’s possible role in Joffrey’s death, Tywin is above all things, pragmatic. He offers Oberyn what he wants most, a chance to chop down The Mountain, in exchange for a few civic duties.

The most interesting thing about this exchange is that Tywin is clearly aware of the danger from both the wildling army in the north and Dany’s growing flock of dragons. It’s the first time in lo these many weeks we’ve heard anyone pull their head out of local intrigues long enough to notice that the world beyond Westeros’ borders isn’t all peaches and cream.

Down in the dungeons, good squire Podrick pays a visit on Tyrion, bringing with him writing material and snacks. Unfortunately, there’s no news of Shae, and when Tyrion finds out that Podrick has refused an offer to testify against his boss, he’s forced to send away the last person he can rely on. Now Tyrion is very much alone… but at least his dungeon seems well lit and he’s got some cheese.

Back up by the wall, Wildlings descend on a northern settlement. Red-haired Ygritte lends her bow to the slaughter, but it’s the cannibalistic Thenns  who deliver a message to Castle Black meaning to draw out the tiny remains of the Night's Watch. Meanwhile the traitors back at Craster's Keep are in the path of the wildling army and likely to reveal just how weak the nights watch really is. In between the total dithering mass of the Night's Watch is down to less than a hundred men, and half of them are in as bad a shape as their castle. It really is a dark spot for the men in black.

And finally we head over to see Dany's ex-slave army arrive at the gates of Meereen. Whew. Seemed like we never get there. By process of elimination, we determine that Dario is the only person in the whole army who is worth nothing, so obviously he acts as Dany’s champion, defeating Meereen’s best in about two seconds flat.

After that, Dany delivers a rousing speech, bypassing the rulers of the city and talking straight to the slaves. Dany is getting really good at this. She punctuates this speech by bringing up a line of siege engines that hurl, not rocks, but bundles of broken slave collars. Point taken. If only it had come a little more quickly.

The end.

Now. Let's get on with the story.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Women And Westeros (20+ / 0-)

    Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have chosen at every turn a darker path with the female characters than George R.R. Martin did in the books.

    • The rape of Cersei by Jaime in the latest episode is the exact opposite of what happens in Martin’s A Storm Of Swords, where she is a willing participant. Here's the passage from the book:
    He undid his breeches and climbed up and pushed her bare white legs apart. One hand slid up her thigh and underneath her smallclothes. When he tore them away, he saw that her moon’s blood was on her, but it made no difference.

    “Hurry,” she was whispering now, “quickly, quickly, now, do it now, do me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime.” Her hands helped guide him. “Yes,” Cersei said as he thrust, “my brother, sweet brother, yes, like that, yes, I have you, you’re home now, you’re home now, you’re home.” She kissed his ear and stroked his short bristly hair. Jaime lost himself in her flesh. He could feel Cersei’s heart beating in time with his own, and the wetness of blood and seed where they were joined.

    • Robb Stark's pregnant wife, Talisa Stark, is gutted at the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones. Talisa doesn't exist in the books, but her book counterpart, Jeyne Westerling, wasn't present at the Red Wedding and survived the destruction of House Stark.
    • For Game of Thrones, Daenerys' first sexual experience is when she's raped by Khal Drogo after their arranged marriage. In the books, George R.R. Martin has Khal Drogo ask her consent before they have sex. Although, there should be a bit of an asterisk, since the Daenerys of the book is 14 and Khal Drogo is around 30. So it's still a fucked up situation.

    Over at the A.V. Club, Sonia Saraiya has an interesting article that wonders if the changes make sense for the characters.
    Changing a scene from consensual sex to rape is not just a pedantic issue of accuracy—it’s a problem with story. The Daenerys Targaryen who falls in love with a man who granted her respect when no one else would is different from the Daenerys Targaryen who fell in love with her rapist. It changes that relationship. (Dany falling in love with Drogo, and calling him her “sun and stars,” makes a whole lot more sense now, doesn’t it?)

    Similarly, Jaime is a figure of chivalric love in the books—despite his arrogance and ruthlessness, his devotion and sense of duty to Cersei, the only woman he has ever loved, is so fervent as to border on adoration. Admittedly, the show can’t rely on his point-of-view chapters, as the book does, to communicate that love. But given what we have seen Cersei Lannister capable of—her ex-husband is hardly the only man she’s had killed—is it even conceivable that she would stand for it? Jaime raping Cersei is a major anomaly for these two characters—even based purely on what we’ve seen in the show. It’s just not something that either character would do.

    I've long felt that this version of George R. R. Martin's story is set in a world in which honor and principle is actively punished, and trying to hope for the contrary is a fool's errand. So all of last season, where we come to sympathize with Jaime, and he seems to go down a redemptive path with Brienne, leads the audience down a Primrose path where their hope for him is crushed when he does something like this. And we are talking about a guy who from day one episode one was fucking his sister and crippled a child.

    I also think this puts a different, more interesting spin on Cersei. It doesn't exactly make her a sympathetic figure, but it does explain her villainy in a different way. The rape makes you wonder whether this was the first time this has happened between Jaime and Cersei, and how willing of a participant she was when the relationship began? This is also a woman for which every single male relationship she's had in her life has been abusive. Whether it's her father Tywin treating her like a whore that's to be married off for power, her husband Robert Baratheon raping her on their wedding night, or now Jaime.

    •  I haven't read the books (7+ / 0-)

      but just to give you an idea of how ROUTINE the depravity is on this show, I didn't even remember that it was a rape.  I was too fixated on the fact that they were in flagrante delicto beside the corpse of their first-born son. But that AV club article is quite jarring, not least because of the lengthy quote from the text of the books.

      I am late to this show.  I binged watched the first 3 season in March.  I knew a lot of friends, including several very thoughtful women, who love this show. The show is entertaining but it also plays like the fantasies of the darkest, most twisted 13 year old boy who ever lived.  

      I'm not easily offended but this show REALLY pushes the envelope whenever it comes to sex.

      "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

      by Spider Stumbled on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:19:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great comment (9+ / 0-)

      I'm still unhappy that they made Jaime a rapist (and not because I think he's an innocent ) . I don't understand why they felt the need to make something rape that wasn't. Why do that?

      The only man I think Cersei has ever  really been  victimized by is Tywin. He punishes her for not being born male and he punishes her for being female. Beyond that, Martin's written her as making her own choices including the one they altered in this scene.

      We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

      by Vita Brevis on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:21:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am SO (10+ / 0-)

      Furious at that completely made up rape scene with Jaime Lannister last night I could scream.  For the life of me, I don't see how rationally anyone could have gone from where the story was supposed to be at that point to that particular scene.  It makes zero sense in terms of either's character arc and seemed designed only as a cheap ploy to try and get some sympathy up for Cersei who is the third most hated character in the show (behind her son and Ramsey Snow).  The trouble is, the death of Joffrey is one of the few times in the books where you can actually have some sympathy for her, since it is clear that her love for Joffrey (and her other children) is reflexive, unthinking, and total.  By turning the opportunity to show Cersei as the devastated mother she is, with only her brother/lover/father of her children able to break through otherwise catastrophic grief and rage, into a rape scene, IMO they have completely tossed aside a key part of who Jaime himself (as you say, he's beyond rational when it comes to Cersei, and certainly his love for her is far more consistent than vice versa) is and is becoming.


      At this point, I just want America to admit that it still doesn't want its Black citizens to live in any state other than terror, subservience and inferiority, under pain of death. I can handle American racism, but I can't handle American denial.

      by shanikka on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:25:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jamie is still self-absorbed (4+ / 0-)

        so it's not that far of a reach. See the comment I posted down below; I agree with Guest that the show is not actually that far from the book.

        •  At this Point, Yes (5+ / 0-)

          Sure, Jaime's arc of redemption hasn't really yet begun by the time Joffrey chokes to death.  But considering how low Westeros views the status of "rapist" (far worse than murderer) and knowing where the Jaime character is supposed to go if you are true to the books, even if he's not a choirboy it makes zero character sense for him to rape Cersei.  And, of course, in the books, it did not go down that way at all.  I disagree with the person who tries to say it was just because it was written "from Jaime's perspective and Cersei initially said "No."  She always said no, both because she knew it was the easiest way to control Jaime and more importantly whenever she thought she was at risk of being caught (as was evidenced by the very first scene in which we meet Cersei and Jaime, where Bran discovers them in the tower.)  Only by pretending that women never initially say "No" when they mean differently in the World of Westeros do you get to where that writer goes.

          And as far as Dani and Khal Drogo goes, I'm not one to say that their wedding night was consensual at all. After all, for a long time before Khal Drogo asked the specific "can I stick it in now" question (in Khal Drogo language, of course), it was clear that his touching of his new bride was nothing she had asked for, and it was only physical reaction to stimuli (that she didn't ask for, especially since she was a child) that changed the outcome.

          Reading the link you provided, it strikes me as someone who is trying to graft a particular (narrow) viewpoint about legitimate consent is onto these books, in which it is crystal clear that where women are concerned, in Westeros it is a far more complex topic.

          At this point, I just want America to admit that it still doesn't want its Black citizens to live in any state other than terror, subservience and inferiority, under pain of death. I can handle American racism, but I can't handle American denial.

          by shanikka on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:05:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  She's my #1 most loathed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GenXangster, shanikka, lyvwyr101

        in the books and on the show. Ramsey Snow is loathsome ( and he's probably my #3 w/ Joffrey still #2) but he was destined from the start to be a hot mess.

        We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

        by Vita Brevis on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:33:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cersei corrupted Joffery. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shanikka, Vita Brevis, lyvwyr101

          He might have been a better person if not raised by her.

          In that world, women are so desperate for power and sheer survival, it makes sons the pawns of their mothers. Feminism might have saved Joffery. Just sayin. :-)

          "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

          by GenXangster on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:51:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I should care, but I don't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Mainly because I hate Cersei and wish a thousand deaths on her. If it was one of the female characters I liked, I would have been distrubed, but she deserves everything she gets.


        I'm especially looking forward to next season where she gets full control and turns into a paranoid, druken fuckwit who wrecks everything.

    •  Perhaps the producers thought (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka, Doctor RJ, lyvwyr101

      That Jamie and Cersi having consensual sex next to their son's rotting corpse would be too disturbing.

      I do not get from the book that Jamie ever forced himself on Cersi. I think still most watchers are still sympathetic towards him while her.. not so much.

      The USA and the rest of the world face a dangerous enemy that not only threatens our freedom but our very existence. This enemy is deeply embedded within society and is actively working towards our annihilation. That enemy is ignorance.

      by Ex Con on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:48:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Men and Westeros... (9+ / 0-)

      I actually think that a lot of the point to this episode was to remind us that sympathizing with these men is a bad idea.

      Jaime. Littlefinger. Tywin. Stannis. The Hound.  All of them are cruel, self-serving bastards. Yes, they may be charming in the moment, they may even do things that appear to be admirable, but we shouldn't forget that they are also capable of anything, with little remorse and few moral constraints.

    •  Not exactly consent (you didn't include this) (4+ / 0-)

      “No,” she said weakly when his lips moved down her neck, “not here. The septons …”
      “The Others can take the septons.” He kissed her again, kissed her silent, kissed her until she moaned . Then he knocked the candles aside and lifted her up onto the Mother’s altar, pushing up her skirts and the silken shift beneath. She pounded on his chest with feeble fists, murmuring about the risk, the danger, about their father, about the septons, about the wrath of gods. He never heard her."

    •  To be fair, the books and the series borrow (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, Doctor RJ, RiveroftheWest

      heavily from medieval history; The War of the Roses (between the Yorks and Lancasters,) the Red Wedding (compare to the 1689 Glencoe Massacre,) the War of the 5 Kings vs the real life War of the 3 Kings, the ice wall in the North, vas Hadrians Wall.
        Medieval people were a lot like the Westeros characters. In those days nobody would consider a rape of a wife by a husband to be rape. Likewise, the incestuous rape by a brother of his sister would never have even been mentioned, as both the rapist and the woman would have been considered at fault.
         Also, in the series, there is no Catholic Church, which was the only unifying and (to the extent that there was any) source of morality.
        Barbara Tuchman described 14th Century historical figures as being like children in their lack of impulse control.

    •  while the scene was unfolding (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Doctor RJ, RiveroftheWest

      I expected it to play out like that passage quoted in the avclub essay. In your version of the quote you cut straight to the consent - in the longer version Cersei starts by resisting and protesting, only to melt, i.e., No, no! Stop! Oh. Oh. Ooh. More!

      But in the TV version Cersei never transitioned to the Ooh. More.

      I was rather surprised. The pro forma protest that changes to desire is a standard romance trope. The TV adapters decided not to reinforce the siblings' passion for each other but to deny it.

  •  They should call Dany "Breaker of Balls" (6+ / 0-)


    "Soylent Green is people too, my friend!" Guess Who

    by oldmaestro on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:15:59 PM PDT

  •  Daario is who I identify with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vita Brevis, rbird, lyvwyr101

    I'm actually good at throwing knives.  I practiced a lot as a kid.  And there is one more reason that shall remain confidential.

    In the final season I want to see the dragons eat all the Lannisters.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:20:00 PM PDT

  •  why is this a front page post? (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You are a living mockery of your own ideals. If not, you have set your ideals too low-Charles Ludlam

    by PatRiots on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:20:25 PM PDT

  •  HFS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GenXangster, Iberian

    There is no twin rape scene in the books.  That makes me think Hollywood has to be really, really committed to demonizing Jaime so something very bad can happen to him sometime later.

    Which hasn't happened yet in any of the books.

    In writing, Jaime isn't nearly as reprehensible as he sounds to be on TV.  But in the books, someone doesn't have to be a moral monster to get killed-off.

    Now shape shifting.  Has that happened on TV yet?  And is that actually how you control dragons once they're full grown?

    Danny doesn't seem to have much talent in the way of shape shifting.  But Arya and Brandon do.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:24:43 PM PDT

    •  If you ask me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Sumner

      every Lannister except for Tyrion has been set up as an unsympathetic character on the show. Because shows.

      "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

      by GenXangster on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:36:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He threw Bran OUT A WINDOW! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Jaime has been reprehensible from the first moment we laid eyes on him.  I think the audience conveniently forgot that Bran's useless legs are thanks completely to Jaime - yes, he behaved better when he was with Brienne, and we learned why he killed the old mad king which made us understand him better.  But don't forget, he killed his cousin to get out of that cage Rob Stark had him in, too.  

      A NYT blog, I think, said something good today on this - nobody in GOT, either the books or the show, dies because they deserve to. They die because it serves someone else's interest for them to do so.  It's not a just universe.  The Hound's speech at the end sums it up for me - how many Starks have to lose their heads for us all to understand.

      •  So (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vita Brevis

        If Jaime's already so bad, why make up a scene of him raping his twin and the mother of his children?  To show gratuitous, really naughty sex?

        In print, though he doesn't give a rat's ass about his kids, Jaime really loves Cersei.  He remains true to her and only wants to be with her.

        To have him rape Cersei is pretty out of character for him.

        It takes Jaime a long time to figure out (and to believe) that Cersei has betrayed him and one of the meaner things Tyrion does is to tell Jaime all the people who Cersei has been fucking.

        That whole exchange looms pretty large in the overall Dance of Ice and Fire series, at least as far as the fucking Lannisters go.

        This aggression will not stand, man.

        by kaleidescope on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:20:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He didn't think he was raping her (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania, EastcoastChick

          I have no doubt that either in the book scene or in the TV scene did Jaime consider what he was doing "rape".  I've read the books, in fact I recently re read that scene in SoS, and the differences are outlined in George RR Martin's blog post today that I posted below - it's really a matter of some dialogue from Cersei, but he pushed himself on Cersei in the book as well. Yet from his perspective, it was a moment fueled by rage, disgust, frustration, lust and, yes, love for the only woman he's ever had sex with - I am sure none of that meant "rape" in his mind, no matter how much it might look that way to us.

  •  A contrary view (7+ / 0-)

    I found this anonymous comment on TheWeek's analysis (which matches yours) to be really insightful. I can't link to the comment, so I will reproduce it in full (it is in this thread under "Guest")"

    This article is so very wrong.

    The scene the TV show got most incorrect was transforming the consensual sex between Daenerys and Drogo into a rape scene. That made Daenerys a woman who fell in love with her rapist instead of a woman who fell in love with a savage man who respected her.

    However, this scene is one that the TV show got right! You're ignoring the fact that in the books, this scene is all from JAIME'S PERSPECTIVE.

    Jaime persists in his sexual advances, even after Cersei explicitly says NO. That is definitely rapey behaviour. From Jaime's POV, Cersei then agrees to go along with it. Yet he sees she's upset with him immediately after it's all over. While Jaime might not think it's rape, the outside observer would see it very differently!

    The reader also knows that Cersei used to try and speed up Robert's unwelcome sexual advances so he would leave her alone. This could easily be what Cersei did during this incident too.

    By making this a rape scene, the show is saying any sexual advances after someone says no is rape. This is a positive message.

    Unfortunately, they got the Dany-Drogo scene so terribly wrong and I still haven't forgiven them for that.

    The only other thing I have to say is if you are getting impatient now, you are in for a long haul. The story only gets slower from here on out. :)
  •  I take umbrage to you calling Arya murderous (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, rbird, geordie, Cat Servant

    She's crawled through miles of Lanisster shit since episode 2, thinks her whole family has been murdered and has a little fun dispensing justice when she gets her "needle" back at the chicken shack. Okay, maybe she enjoyed that a bit to much but you can't say it wasn't poetic justice.

    I say, "You go, girl!"

    The USA and the rest of the world face a dangerous enemy that not only threatens our freedom but our very existence. This enemy is deeply embedded within society and is actively working towards our annihilation. That enemy is ignorance.

    by Ex Con on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:02:09 PM PDT

  •  George's take on this (6+ / 0-)

    From George RR Martin's blog today (hope it wasn't already posted above me):

    "I think the "butterfly effect" that I have spoken of so often was at work here. In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey's death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless. Though the time and place is wildly inappropriate and Cersei is fearful of discovery, she is as hungry for him as he is for her.

    The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime has been back for weeks at the least, maybe longer, and he and Cersei have been in each other's company on numerous occasions, often quarreling. The setting is the same, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why Dan & David played the sept out differently. But that's just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.

    Also, I was writing the scene from Jaime's POV, so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts. On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don't know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.

    If the show had retained some of Cersei's dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression -- but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.

    That's really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing... but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons."

  •  crossbow boat = crossbow bolt :-) typo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Dornish Dragon Quenching Sauce (0+ / 0-)

    Tywin is eager to secure the allegiance of the Dornish, partly due to their abilities to fight dragons. I haven't read the books so I don't know the extent of the Dornish secret. And Tywin doesn't explain it because both he and Prince Oberyn already know. Without an all-out spoiler, can anyone give a teaser as to the Dornish dragon quenching technique?

    The all knowing ... knows all

    by hypernaught on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:12:25 PM PDT

  •  Contrasting reactions this week vs last week (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jes2, northsylvania, Pi Li

    I find it interesting that such a huge negative uproar was sparked by the Jaime-Cersei scene this week, as opposed to the universal "hurrah! the little shit is dead!" reaction to last week's murder of Joffrey.  Compare and contrast -

    Joffrey - a true psychopath, murders women for sport, humiliates everyone he has control over, yet had some insights about the danger Danaerys posed long before his grandfather did.  So, a beast - but he was still a boy, 14 or 15 when he died painfully and horribly, suffering in his mother's arms.
    Audience consensus?  He had it coming, right on!

    Cersei - a self-absorbed schemer, truly a terrible person, fixated on murdering her younger brother (although she has a reason which I presume the show will reveal eventually), ruthless, uncaring about the people of Westeros, and has been lovers with her twin brother since both of them hit puberty.  Yet when he returns, injured, maimed, having suffered at the hands of his captors, what does she do?  She blames him for leaving her - she has no capacity for empathy, she only cares about herself and her children, even the monstrous Joffrey.  She rejects Jaime (and she's the only woman  he's ever had sex with, remember, always faithful to her unlike Cersei herself), yet when he comes into the crypt, the first thing she demands of him is to kill their brother Tyrion.  She is a hateful woman.  So Jaime, in a mixture of lust and hate and frustration, forces himself on her - and at least in the show I watched, she was more concerned about where it was happening than about the fact of its happening.  I'm not saying it wasn't some kind of rape from our outer perspective, but the context of their longterm relationship surely has to be taken into account here.  Mind you, this change in the event, as Martin discusses in his blog excerpted that I posted above, from the book to the show was probably somewhat compelled by the change in the time line.

    And Audience consensus?  Horrible, rape, despicable, how could they make our beloved Jaime a rapist?  To paraphrase what Arya said about the Hound in the first episode, murdering (or attempting to murder) young boys is ok with the audience, but forcing sex on the woman you've been having sex with for 25 years is beyond the pale.

    I think the showrunners were making a course correction here - reminding us, as someone said above, NONE of these people are wholly good or wholly bad (well, perhaps Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton excepted), and we shouldn't look at Jaime as our knight in shining armor just because he behaved decently toward Brienne.  I've read the books, and I don't think Jaime is any nicer there than here - Tyrion is the next one due for a course correction imo, as the show has homogenized him a bit.

  •  I think it was a big mistake for the show's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    writers to have Jaime rape his sister, Cersei. One of the good things about both the books and the series is the development of Jaime's character from that of a guy who carelessly pushes a child from a window to certain death (Bram was lucky, he only lost the use of his legs) to a man who begins to realize that his actions have consequences and who makes a conscious decision to try to be an honorable person. I don't think you can come back from raping your sister no matter how horrible a person she is.
    Jamie was one of my favorite characters. He no longer is.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:04:04 AM PDT

  •  I am FURIOUS at the Jaime change (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, Vita Brevis, RiveroftheWest

    It was creepy, yet unambiguously consensual, sex in the books, as Jaime was on the path to redemption. (A blog my friend runs that I write for)

    by General Goose on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 04:49:10 AM PDT

  •  My favorite scene. (4+ / 0-)

    My favorite scene of this episode is when Margaery frets that she has lost 2 husbands and Olenna comforts her by saying that they were both evil bastards and difficult bastards at that...but the next one should be very much easier for her.

    As delivered by Mrs. Peel, I chuckled out loud.

    "Next in line would have to be Olenna Tyrell, who we next see engaged in a conversation with granddaughter Margaery. Having wedded without being bedded for the second time, Margaery is a smidge concerned over her status. Gradmom assures her that no matter what, Margaery is better off than she would have been if Joffrey were alive to practice his joffreyness. Maybe Olenna should go back to the front of the line after all."

    •  Well - *serious death of Joffrey spoiler * (3+ / 0-)

      she's right there, hand in hand with Littlefinger. SHE it was who took the jewel off the necklace Sansa was wearing (that Littlefinger had made and gave Dontos to give to Sansa) and took it off the necklace while sympathizing with Sansa over the horrible death of her brother - AT A WEDDING!! how terrible! how unspeakably awful! (just like she's going to do!) And then Margaery placed Joffrey's cup in front of Olenna, where Olenna could easily and inconspicuously place the blue crystal (from Sansa's necklace) which was crystallized poison, The Strangler, to be exact, into Joffrey's cup of wine - and he drank it. The End. Finis.

  •  Eats Shoots and Leaves (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirk McQuigley

    Did anyone else read "Put me in coach. I'm ready to slay" as "Put me in coach [instead of business class]. I'm ready to slay" instead of the intended "Put me in[,] coach. I'm ready to slay"?

    Or rather, the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice. Melissa Chadburn

    by MrCanoehead on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:03:17 AM PDT

  •  Best use of defenestration since the Defenestraton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of Prague.

  •  Ser Dantos... (0+ / 0-)


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