Fandom Friday: The Only Way is Up?

I don't know about you, but the last two episodes of Game of Thrones have really brought me down, and nearly put me off the show altogether.

I don't want to belabor the now infamous sept scene between Cersei and Jaime, but I'd like to just quote GRRM on the issue:

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.

He's taking the diplomatic approach here, but IMO, it reads as if he disagrees with the showrunners on the issue and implicit is the view that this is not how GRRM wrote it. For whatever reason, the Benioff and Weiss seem preoccupied with violence against women on the show. If they're doing this to serve some larger narrative end, I sure hope we find that out soon.

The sept scene becomes even more worrisome when contrasted with Jaime's scenes in the next episode, "Oathkeeper," where he is cast in a more heroic light, whether it's Bronn reminding him that he was meant to be Tyrion's champion, Jaime reminding Cersei of his knightly virtues, or Brienne promising to keep Jaime's honor vicariously. There was literally no fallout from Jaime's conduct with his sister. Are we meant to forget all about it?

The big surprise of the season for me has been how much better the Daenerys subplot has played out on screen versus in the books. The Meereen stuff is still pretty dull, but the sunsplashed scenery and the theme of freedom are a welcome contrast to the darkness of the rest of the show.

I'm also a bit surprised by the pacing of the episodes. It seems like the show is running through the second half of A Storm of Swords at breakneck speed, so I'm wondering what they have in store for the end of the season, and whether we'll get well into A Feast for Crows territory before it's over.

Finally, the White Walker scene at the end of the episode had a lot of people surprised at the reveal. IMO, it was no more than a visualization of what Craster's wives (and Old Nan) had already suggested, so it was not a particularly earth-shaking reveal. However, this does sort of set up the White Walkers as more than just an evil/supernatural force in that world. What if they're really the good guys engaged in a sort of purge of all that's bad in Westeros?

What are your thoughts on what's left of the season? Where are we headed with the Wall subplot, for example? Do any of the original characters here really make any sense?


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