Hello, friends and bannermen. On Sunday's Game of Thrones, Daenerys got lucky, Tyrion got a champion, and Arya got revenge (again). How did it match up with the books? How did it differ?
This weekly chat series is for fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, upon which HBO's fantasy drama is based. It's meant to be a safe haven to discuss spoilers and changes from the novels and how they have played out or will play out in the TV series. Hanh Nguyen and Sadie Gennis are longtime fantasy fans of varying levels of geekiness who will sound off on all things Westerosi (and beyond!).
[Warning: If you're a Game of Thrones fan who has stumbled upon this chat and haven't read the books yet, begone! Instead, check out our postmortem of "Mockingbird" for a spoiler-free discussion.]
Hanh: Well, Dany and Daario finally got it on!
Sadie: So underwhelming! It all happened so fast, and we didn't actually get to see any real action. Just one really long, out-of-focus butt shot. And now he's gone already? They just really didn't sell Dany's infatuation with him well enough for me. It was such a big part of her state of mind in the books.
Hanh: Yes, this was almost ... clinical. Can't they even show him kissing her? On a show that gives so much screentime to Oberyn's lustiness, I expected a bit more. Even Melisandre got more time!
Sadie: Little tangent about Melisandre: I rarely get frustrated over gratuitous nudity, but that was just ridiculous! But yes, I felt zero chemistry between Dany and Daario. And he's so hot! How is that even possible?! However, I always feel some delightful tension when she's with Jorah. I'm glad that they're postponing his exile so we can enjoy that for as long as possible.
Hanh: It was interesting that they're building up her trust in him before that inevitable falling-out. It was actually very out of character for her to listen to people.
Sadie: I'm glad she's listening to someone. Dany really got very unsympathetic for me once she settled in Meereen. It's nice that by listening to people like Jorah or seeing her get emotional last week with Hizdahr, she can seem a little more likable.
Hanh: Let's switch over to Brienne and Pod ... there were things I loved, things I hated and things I found intriguing there. Loved: Hot Pie waxing poetic about food and making a BETTER direwolf bread! Hated: Brienne blabbing about Sansa to everybody. Just because she happened to have met someone who knew a Stark I don't feel justifies her incautious behavior. She should listen to Pod. Intriguing: She now knows that Arya is alive and even the general direction she is heading. That is a huge departure from the books. This is no longer such a blind quest, thanks to Pod!
Sadie: I totally agree with all of that. It was really fun to see Hot Pie again, but Brienne's admission rubbed me the wrong way. She's so much smarter than that. Also, we've established that she is - understandably - very wary of strangers. She's a woman with idealistic honor, but she's no fool. I hated that they let Pod (who is a noted idiot, albeit an adorable one) have to school her on common sense. As for knowing about Arya, I'm very curious as to how that's going to play out. Either way, they're heading towards the Eyrie (which is where Sansa is), but in the books Brienne and Pod check out the docks (which is where Arya eventually leaves from). I'm very curious to see how that all plays out.
Hanh: Yes, although this isn't on the level of a Stark reunion tease, having Arya and Brienne meet would be almost as good.
Sadie: But what would happen then? I feel like that's such a huge departure from the books I don't want to see them meet. Arya needs to be so lost and alone for her to become the person she is in Bravos.
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Hanh: Ships passing in the night type of meeting I guess? But I'd also like someone to commission Hot Pie for a special occasion and make lots of wonderful breads with all the sigils. How cute would a little kraken roll be?
Sadie: You're making me hungry! And speaking of, do you think they get last meals in the black cells?
Hanh: Tyrion could have a 5-day feast/rager! I imagine they'd do that for their more upscale residents. But for the skinny guys who had to be sacrificed to The Mountain? I don't know. But we certainly saw enough of their guts. Cersei picking her way through the innards was hilarious.
Sadie: Oh, I loved that so much. Cersei is such a boss. And that new Mountain? Holy hell! He's insane. That battle is going to be epic. But I will be very sad to see Oberyn go. It was great to watch him call Cersei out on all her bullsh--.
Hanh: Yes, I was thinking perhaps that's why they gave him so much sex screentime, since they knew he would not be long for this world. But they could've just given him more verbal sparring scenes like the ones with Cersei. He is infinitely more interesting when he's showing off his brain. His ability to boil down that childhood interaction with Cersei and make grown-up Tyrion get misty-eyed -- Oberyn is effin brilliant.
Sadie: Even though Tyrion barely said anything during that scene, I was sitting there just clapping along to my new mantra, "All the Emmys." He doesn't even need to speak to steal a scene.
Hanh: True ... just train a camera on him. Wow. To be a prisoner for the majority of the season and still give us all that? Jaime was an interesting prisoner too. Maybe all the Lannisters should be locked up for a bit to bring out their characters. I'd love to see Cersei become a wily prisoner.
Sadie: Well, we will in probably two seasons. And I cannot wait! I love when Cersei goes totally bonkers.
Hanh: But also in jail, we got to see Tyrion's heart break over Bronn in all of his finery. It was a little sad to see the bromance come to a close. Bronn dressed up was ... weird.
Sadie: It really was! They've been such good friends this whole time, and far closer than they were in the books. But you are right. Those clothes did not suit him. I also hope he keeps his trap shut about just how bad Jaime is with a sword. That was one huge benefit of Ser Ilyn being his trainer. Mutes don't tell secrets.
Hanh: Yes ... well he'll be off trying to kill his sister-in-law so Bronn has other things on his mind.
Sadie: True. But we'll see how he feels after Tyrion's sister tries to do him in down the line. Why can't everybody just get along?
Hanh: Ha! Exactly, it's not like he's a real threat. Cersei needs to chill and maybe eat a Hot Pie-baked bread. Maybe that's why she's always in such a bad mood. She's always hungry and just drinks wine. Her brothers, on the other hand, had a really sweet bonding moment in jail. But again, it was interesting that even Tyrion mentioned their incest. It's such a big open secret on the show as opposed to the books.
Sadie: I feel like Tyrion called Jaime out on his relationship with Cersei in the books, as well. Maybe not as blatantly, but it was definitely directly alluded to.
Hanh: What do you make of the Arya and Hound scenes? Is Biter chomping into The Hound what gives him his septic wound that will do him in?
Sadie: Totally! I'm a little sad he didn't lose the ear (which would have been way more gruesome to see) and I'm also sad that this means the end of the round - for now - for him. (I still don't think he's dead. #picsoritdidnthappen) It was also interesting to have him open up so much to Arya with the story about how he got burned. I quite enjoyed it actually.
Hanh: Yes! Finally that story came out. That was the one he was supposed to tell Sansa originally in the book, but I guess they transferred it to his relationship with Arya. So no SanSan shipping but there is "Sanya"? "Ar-dor"? I kept thinking of my vague knowledge of medical lore from the medieval-ish era. If they don't have wine/alcohol to clean the wound, then could sort of mold maybe have worked? I think some have antibiotic properties. Just pouring on water didn't seem like enough.
Sadie: Well, that's exactly the point. Without any disinfectant, it gets infected and he "dies." I had no idea mold would work though. Gross!
Hanh: But man, Ayra's cold-bloodedness is getting really scary!
Sadie: Someone seriously needs to give Arya a chill pill. I love that she's a stone cold bada--, but damn. Does she even have a heart any more? In the books, since we were able to hear her inner monologue, we could still get glimpses of her vulnerability and her initial guilt over what she's doing, like when she fears what her family would even think if she saw them again. Here, she's just a killing machine. Which, I will admit, is so much fun to watch.
Hanh: Yes, I think the main thing that's enjoyable is that she's taking action and getting results. On a show where we know it's a long game, it can be frustrating when politics just keep going round and round. At least we see some sort of conclusion for a few or her vendettas. But I do mourn for the little girl sometimes. What will it take for her to feel again? I hope somehow Brienne drops that bread direwolf and that Arya finds it and is reminded of a friend.
Sadie: I just want a little glimpse of that Arya again. But while she's seemed to have already gone completely off the deep end, Sansa toughened up a little this week too. It was so satisfying to watch her slap that horrible little weasel Robin right in the face. I haven't felt that good since the last time Tyrion slapped Joff.
Hanh: Ha! I wanted more of a slap, but I guess with gloves on, it was muffled a bit. Also ... I know Robin loves his mother, but I feel he would have been interested in watching Lysa fall through the Moon Door.
Sadie: He's insane. Like, totally and utterly insane. And kind of looks like a Dark Crystal character.
Hanh: LOL. I'm assuming you mean a gelfling. Probably not Skeksis!
Sadie: I am not looking forward to his tantrum over discovering his mother's death. Though without anyone to pin it on, I'm curious as to how this will all play out.
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Hanh: Yes! We saw a glimpse in scenes from next week -- I mean, next episode. Damn you, HBO, and your one week off! *shakes fist* Sansa is bearing witness. That is another departure I can't wait to see. I assume she can't just give Littlefinger up, but not sure what she'll say. This will be a true test of those acting skills.
Sadie: I've made my feelings on Sansa abundantly clear and I feel like next week all the non-book readers will really begin to understand just why I love her so much. I have full faith she's going to come up with a clever way of getting her and Littlefinger out of it alive and prove that she really is worthy of being mentored by him.
Hanh: Let's talk about that kiss between Littlefinger and Sansa. That was a lot more linger-y than I expected it to be. I thought she would've reacted more quickly than that. Shock? Either way ... ew!
Sadie: I feel like that was an issue on the producers' part. Afterwards, Sansa seemed genuinely upset over the kiss and earnest when she said she pulled away. I don't know why they let it continue on for so long or didn't have her violently fight it.
Hanh: In the same breath he says "You could have been our daughter" and then "You're more beautiful than she ever was" and kiss. Double ew! Oh you perv, Petyr!
Sadie: That part killed me! "You could have been my daughter ... but you're not" is by far the worst pick-up line of all time.
Hanh: Yeah, and he wonders why maybe he never won over Cat? A schemer he may be, but a ladies man he is not except when it comes to Lysa.
Sadie: Yeah, he's such a smart guy, but everyone has their blind spot. His is definitely the ladies. It's bad, but at the same time I find him so alluring I would like to see him get a little action. Just not with a teenager...
Hanh: Yeesh. Seriously. OK maybe it's good we have a week off to build up the anticipation. So excited to see the Red Viper/Mountain fight and yet cringing at the thought of how Oberyn will die
Sadie: It'll be the best kind of sadness.
What were your favorite scenes/deviations from the episode? Were you gratified to see Hot Pie? Rewatch the episode "Mockingbird" here, and weigh in below.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.