Everyone knows how much we love reading here at Knockin' Books. But what you may not know is that we sometimes grudgingly put our books down and watch a little quality TV. (Note how we said quality. You’ll never catch us stooping to the level of reality TV)
With that in mind, here’s the weekly Westeros wrap-up, aka, a discussion of Game of Thrones, Episode 8 (No one) between Scott (the Design Dude) and Jennifer (Editorial Staff).
Time to get this party started!
Jennifer: First of all, I thought this episode was going to be the epic battle between Jon Snow and Ramsey Bolton, and I was psyched about the possibility of seeing Ghost disembowel Ramsey, so the whole episode (while really awesome overall) was a bit of a letdown for me.
That being said, I’m SO glad The Hound is back. When he told the guy with the bow and arrow that tougher girls had tried to kill him, I actually laughed out loud. I love that guy! And I thought The Brotherhood was being stingy and should’ve let him kill all 3 of those dudes however he wanted.
DesignDude: The Hound is like that really scary dude in high school everyone thought was actually like 20 years old and a little crazy. My favorite Hound-ism from last night was "Fuck You? Those are going to be your last words? You're not very good at dying." Everyone on the interwebs is speculating about the Hound going at it with his brother, zombie Mountain but I don't see it. I think there's a good chance he runs into Brienne again. Wouldn't that be interesting?
This is a minor point but, of all the things they could have had those guys doing before the Hound walks up and slaughters them, does anyone else think the kissing lesson followed by the finger down the ass thing was a little weird? Besides being super gross, it just seems strange. Were there other ideas tossed around before all the writers decided "Yup, the finger in the ass is definitely the way to go." Just curious.
Jennifer: I would totally watch a Hound spin-off show where he just travels around Westeros, reluctantly, grumpily & violently helping people. And I’m going to show my ignorance here, and I’m sure the fans out there who debate minutiae are going to jump all over me, but I’m a little fuzzy on who The Brotherhood serves. I get that they want The Hound to join them because winter is coming (bringing with it scary ice zombies), but will they care about any of the little land wars that are brewing? Will joining them put The Hound back in contact with Brienne and Sansa? ‘Cause that’s what I really want: The Hound fighting to help Sansa reclaim Winterfell (and kill Ramsey).
And yes, I thought the whole “kissing lesson” thing was weird and gross. More importantly, it was a waste of valuable screen time. With limited episodes in a season, I have no tolerance for wasted screen time.
DesignDude: I believe the Brotherhood serves the same Lord of Light as the Red Witches. And, if I recall correctly, the smokin' hot Red Witch who shook up Varys said they're all about serving Dany in the "great war to come". My guess is the Lord of Light followers have figured out that it doesn't matter who rules the Seven Kingdoms if the white walkers come through and kill everyone. They've clearly gone "all in" with Dany which seems like a smart move on their part.
Moving on to Bravos, clearly this is the end of Arya's time there. I have to say, it seems like they could have been a little more creative with the storyline. The interwebs was filled with all kinds of interesting potential plot twists about how this was going to play out. One of the more interesting ones is that the waif wasn't real. She just existed in Arya's mind and killing her was the last step in her training to become no one. There were others that were equally imaginative but it turns out the writers went with the most obvious idea possible. Arya-waif showdown. Arya uses her blindness skills as a weapon to kill the waif. Tells the faceless man to get fucked. Maybe it's just me but I thought it was kinda anticlimactic.
Jennifer: It was difficult to watch Arya getting beat up again. Hated that her actress helper had to die, too. I thought using her experience as a blind person to gain an edge over the waif was brilliant on Arya’s part. I’m glad she’s finally Arya again, and not “the girl.” That was getting old. Also glad the faceless dude doesn’t seem to have any interest in killing her anymore. Now she can go home and kill Ramsey (everything goes back to killing Ramsey for me at this point).
On another note, I loved the Bron & Podrick reunion (“assume everyone wants to hit you, because they do”…awesome), as well as the Brienne and Jaime reunion. I think if Cersei weren’t around, Brienne and Jaime would make a nice couple. Lots of chemistry there. And I think she brings out the good in him, which he desperately needs (especially as he’s threatening to shoot babies out of catapults at the castle…yikes).
DesignDude: Like the Hound, Bronn is another one of those guys you could do a complete spin off series with and people would watch. Love how cool and funny he is but also love the fact that he's completely honest. Doesn't try to hide that he's a mercenary and has no problem telling the mighty Lannister brothers exactly what he thinks. Let's hope he sticks around for the rest of the season at least.
No question Brienne brings out the best in Jamie. Also thought it was interesting how Jamie came full circle with his "The things I do for love" comment. The same line he used at the end of Season 1, Episode 1 before pushing young Bran out the window and shocking millions of viewers. Wasn't buying the idea of the Tullys turning on Blackfish like that. He was able to rally them to take back the castle but as soon as Edmure shows up (clearly under the direction of the Lannisters) they turn on him? Sorry, but that seems completely implausible. Also disappointing the Blackfish sword battle happened off camera.
Jennifer: I thought maybe not all of the folks in the castle were down with fighting the Lannisters to save the Tully ancestral home, anyway. Jaime made a similar comment to Brienne before he allowed her to go in and talk to the dude. Maybe they were ready to turn on the Blackfish because they were facing a no-win situation, all to save someone else’s house. And, they’d been given 2 opportunities to lay down their weapons and go in peace, and the Blackfish pretty much spit on both of them.
I felt a little bad for Edmure. His choices were kind of bleak. Can’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same thing. Heck, I know I would’ve done the same thing for my kid. Can’t hate the guy too much. I feel bad for his wife, though. Daughter of Walder Frey (blech), got pregnant on her wedding night with Edmure while everyone who wasn’t killing a Stark watched (yuck), and has to raise the baby alone because her husband is in the Frey dungeon. It kind of sucks to be her.
DesignDude: Could be worse for her. She could have had a baby with Walder. Doubt the sick old bastard is above engaging in incest. But yeah, Edmure didn't really have much choice. Not sure what his next move will be, but anything is better than what Jamie Lannister was threatening.
Depending on how quickly Jamie can get back to Kings Landing, the quick end to the standoff might bode well for Cersei who got outflanked (AGAIN) as the High Sparrow convinced her snivelling little dough boy of a son to do away with trial by combat. That said, Qyburn's whispers to Cersei of the rumors she asked him to investigate being "much more" than mere rumors, certainly sounds intriguing.
Just throwing this out there...Tommen is now number two on my "He has to die" list behind Ramsay. I get that he's young and impressionable, but how can anyone be spineless and stupid enough to turn on their own mother and uncle (dad)? Joffrey was a monster, but he owned it. Tommen is just a pile of clay that is reshaped by whoever spoke to him last. The little turd deserves to die. Sorry if that comes across as harsh, but the Seven Kingdoms is not a friendly place.
Jennnifer: Tommen is number 3 on my “he has to die” list, behind Ramsey and Walder Frey. Totally agree that he’s a worthless little turd who doesn’t deserve to share air with his mother (who is horrible, but no one can doubt her love for her kids, and Tommen has pitched her under the bus several times now).
I was looking forward to watching zombie Mountain smash some more religious zealots. The look on that little Lannister cousin’s face was priceless. I’m bummed that Tommen did away with trial by combat (not as bummed as Cersei, but still).
And how about Dany showing up on her dragon in the middle of the battle? Talk about making an entrance. Her hair wasn’t even mussed! She has to be a little irked at Tyrion. I mean, she leaves the dude in charge while she’s away at her little Dothraki BBQ, and comes back to find slavers attacking her city. Damn, dude, couldn’t you prevent war for just a little longer?
And speaking of Tyrion, the whole thing with him trying to get Greyworm & the translator to drink, laugh and tell jokes felt like filler material to me (and I think I’ve been pretty clear on my feelings for filler material on this show). I want to know where Varys is going, for God’s sake! I don’t care if Greyworm can tell a joke.
DesignDude: All good points. Watching zombie Mountain tear that dudes head off with his bare hands was awesome. Loved Cersei's calm response "Tell the high septon he's always welcome in the Red Keep." It was a small victory but she needed one in the worst way. Noticed Qyburn smirking too which I kinda liked.
The Tyrion screw up storyline was a lot like Arya's. You could see it coming from miles away. I'm pretty sure he's the only one who thought that plan would work. As for Dany, it does seem strange for someone who literally just flew in on a dragon to have perfect hair. She must have a full-time royal stylist or something.
The screen time wasted on Tyrion's efforts to bond with Greyworm and the translator were a complete waste of time. What was the point? Why not show more of him and Varys. Their interactions were always far more interesting. For instance, does Varys keep up on what's going on in King's Landing through his "birds" or have all his connections been severed? Why does Tyrion almost never talk about his family or what he thinks about the idea of going back there? Instead, we're wasting time on knock-knock jokes.
Jennifer: All in all, it was a good episode, despite a few minor filler moments. Next week, I expect to see Ramsey’s intestines splayed out over the battlefield (Although, it looked like the Wildlings were a little befuddled as to how to fight soldiers with big shields and spears. Hope they can rally and get the job done). My bet: they’ll be on the verge of losing when Peter and his army show up to save the day (assuming that’s who Sansa sent the raven to last week) And I’m saying right now that if Ghost dies, I will be writing a VERY strongly worded letter to HBO in protest.