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Dept. of Back Up On the Bicycle Yada-Yada

Doing It Via Game of Thrones

Because I have thoughts about the most recent season of Game of Thrones, which just ended Sunday, and because I've listened to too many vloggers talking about the episodes WITH WHOM I DISAGREE AND THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY WRONG ON THE INTERNET, and because it appears to be the one thing that can jolt me into writing. 

Really.

By "writing" I mean disjointed thoughts presented in rather lazy and unpremeditated fashion, lacking the benefit of intellectual discipline or an editor. 

And of course, I judge the season with my Watsonian goggles on, because
I can't be trusted at all to be Doylist with books or live series that I love. More, I work with the faan's and fic-writer's eye for filling in plot holes. I love making sense of things that don't make sense, by figuring out how to make those things logical within the world I love. I love creating the necessary context to do so. I am, thus, a completely ridiculous and ultimately Cheap Date, when it comes to buying into the universes I love.

Also, I've read all the books (although I need to reread them over the next year), and have kept up obsessively with the show via recaps, reviews and YouTube clips until this season, so anything I say can be greeted with an extremely jaundiced eye. 

Plus, since I've already used the word "also," I might not be grossed out by things other people are grossed out by. Make of it what you will. 

So here we go:

1) To all the people who bitched about Bran knowing or not knowing everything, all the time, despite being the Three Eyed Raven, or who bitched about him being "mean" to people with his emotionless affect? FFS, this is a teenager who lost his mobility as a 10-year-old (or so) when he was pushed out a tower window, spent at least six or so years on the run from the people who killed his father, mother, and older brother, in the wintry North, while dealing with the confusing onset of brain-meltingly weird power, then got even more of that power info-dumped into his head when his supernatural mentor died sooner than expected. He's got powers in his head that he still doesn't understand or fully control, he's losing his own personality under the weight of that info-dump, but he can't regularly benefit from it. Of course he's not going to see, get, or understand everything that flows into his head the minute he gets it! Plus, a little reminder that he's one of the three surviving Stark kids - a phrase that translates from Westerosi and High Valyrian as "Most Seriously Fucked Up Cases of PTSD in Recent Fantasy History." Even his slip up with Sansa, telling her how beautiful she was in her wedding get-up, is understandable; he's going to focus on the beauty of the dress and not what happened afterward because he's still essentially a kid, and the rest of the vision would have been horrifying, but he blurts things out because he's, in the vernacular, fucked up. Give the kid a goddam break, oh-so-snarky vloggers!

2) I'm not grossed out by Dany and Jon falling in love and having sex. Yes, they're aunt and nephew; I don't care. In the world of Westeros, in House Targaryen, where rulers wed their sisters in order to keep their line pure (and perhaps so that dragons could smell their blood, hmmm?), in a world where there are very few Great Houses and therefore where Great House marriages between first cousins are probably not unknown, and with a couple of people raised on opposite sides of the world? That qualifies as NBD. They certainly aren't, say, a brother and sister raised in the same house by the same parents who've had a secret affair for years and generated three children (and possibly one more) out of that relationship. Ahem. So, yeah, aunt-nephew love affair in House Targaryen? Color me unsurprised and undisgusted. (As to whether the love affair will end well or badly? I don't know, but I expect it will cause heartache for all involved before a final decision gets made by the people involved.)

3) I assume that Arya handed the dagger to Sansa in her chamber, then went to the door, made sure it was locked, and sat Sansa down to tell her, "Look, Baelish tried to play me with an all-too-easy to find letter that you wrote. Just to throw him off the trail if he was listening in the hall, which he does a lot - and to do one last check of your courage - I pulled a little bit of play-acting for him. Now, here's my plan; let's go talk to Bran, shall we? And while we're heading to his bedroom, let's review what we've told each other about our lives since Father was beheaded - everything we've talked about since our reunion in the crypt. We'll use the information to strategize with Bran and his visions. Time to take Littlefinger down, don't you agree?"  Of course they'll have talked about those lives to each other - and Arya proves it after Baelish's death by telling Sansa that she, Arya, couldn't have survived what Sansa did. She wouldn't have known what Sansa went through unless they'd talked, no? Yes, I understand the writing should have handled that better, but ... WATSONIAN THOUGHTS ONLY, LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

4)
Also, I disagree with everyone calling Tyrion stupid this season, apparently because his strategy of taking Casterly Rock didn't work and because he proposed heading north to get a wight with which to convince Cersei. First off; it was a smart military strategy that didn't work, not a stupid strategy. It might not have been a brilliant strategy, but it was reasonable for him to believe that Casterly Rock would be a rich prize, and a great staging area for further southern incursion. For a non-military guy, he did a good job. You're not stupid just because you've been out-thought. His suggestion of getting a wight was, again, a smart one. He knew that if anything could convince his sister, something like that would. He'd had to switch horses from "Let's win the Iron Throne!" to "OK, we've all got to band together to fight the Night King" in mid-stream, and he had no experience of beyond the wall except what Jon told him. That Jon undertook the mission in such a reckless fashion is to be laid at his feet, not Tyrion's. As for meeting in King's Landing - that was the only place they could have convinced Cersei to meet, so he had to get in there and convince the one person who might coax Cersei into the meeting - Jaime.


Well, that was satisfying. Thank you for your patience. 
This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/671643.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
eaweek
Aug. 30th, 2017 11:33 pm (UTC)
More later,but this, all of it.
kaffyr
Aug. 30th, 2017 11:43 pm (UTC)
Hurrah! High-fives in High Valyrian!
eaweek
Aug. 31st, 2017 05:48 pm (UTC)
And a Dothraki fist bump!

A thousand times the "yes" on the whole Jon/Dany thing; at this point, they're not even aware they're related--and hell, by typical Targaryen (not to mention Jamie/Cersi) standards, they're not related at all. ; ) I thought their developing romance was handled incredibly well; it could have been so hokey and contrived, and in just a few episodes the writing and the acting completely sold it. I've been reading a lot of medieval English history lately, and am struck repeatedly by how closely related many of the royalty/ nobility were when they got married. It's no wonder so many kids died...

I would add to your list people who think Dany was a bitch for having Drogon burn the Tarlys. She (and Tyrion) offered both men, what, three chances to join her? If she didn't execute them, she would have looked incredibly weak and indecisive. Nobody in that culture would follow a military leader who couldn't follow through on their threats. And having the dragon burn them underscored her power and made an indelible impression on the surviving men. It was a brilliant moment, and yet I saw plenty of commentary to the effect that she was so horribly cruel. I really think people don't "get" the kind of society this show is set in. Genuine cruelty would have been promising to spare their lives, *then* executing them.
kaffyr
Sep. 1st, 2017 03:19 am (UTC)
I was just reading a bunch of stories that reckon their genetic connection is somewhere between 24 and 44 percent, which makes them pretty darned closely-related - and I still don't care. I agree that the relationship was developed pretty well, especially given the truncated length of this season. Mind you, it took me a while to get the chemistry between the two of them. By episode 5, I was feeling it.

Dany was in no way a bitch. By the standards of every other ruler and would-be ruler currently on the map of Westeros (and everyone in (ex) Slavers Bay and the rest of Essos), she is a marshmallow of gentleness. She did listen to both Tyrion and Jon, and didn't turn King's Landing into a lava pit, and she gave everyone more than one choice.

Genuine cruelty would have been promising to spare their lives, *then* executing them.

a la Joffrey, the sadistic little creep.
eaweek
Sep. 6th, 2017 05:17 pm (UTC)
I really felt the Jon-Dany chemistry when she lands the dragon in front of him, and he doesn't freak out. You can see her staring at him like she's starving and he's an ice cream cone. I've read several interpretations of that scene, but my personal one is that she knew he liked her, and she wanted to test his nerve. I don't think she expected him to pat Drogon bare-handed, though.

Dany seems to come in for harsh criticism in the fandom, while Cersi (oddly) and Arya (understandably) garner more sympathy (based on my admittedly limited reading of You Tube comments and a bit of the Previously TV forums). I don't get it, either. She could have flown right in and torched King's Landing (or at least circled the dragons overhead and forced the city into surrender). She's trying to be just and merciful, even if it doesn't always work.

Joffrey, or Ramsay Bolton.
kaffyr
Sep. 7th, 2017 10:10 pm (UTC)
Eurgh. I'd forgotten about Ramsey. It's not often that I cheer when dogs rip a man's face off; he was a different kind of awful in the TV series than he was in the books, but just as awful.

a_phoenixdragon
Sep. 1st, 2017 01:22 am (UTC)
LOL!! And here I don't watch GoT (the books turned me off).

*HUGS*
kaffyr
Sep. 1st, 2017 01:34 am (UTC)
If it made you giggle at all, then I'm happy. The series is definitely different, by this point, from the books, but I can understand people who ddn't like either. They're my cup of tea, but they're not other folks'.
flowsoffire
Sep. 2nd, 2017 10:02 am (UTC)
GoT thoughts! :D

Tbh, my interpretation of Bran in this season was that the Three Eyed Raven had taken up the majority of his persona, and Bran as a person (let alone a teenage, heavily-scarred person) was only lurking in the background. His interactions with Meera and his sisters seemed to indicate so, but it could also be more mixed-up, which would be even more interesting :)

Dany/Jon: I'm personally not really into the idea (because of both the incest thing and not really feeling their chemistry—there is a bond, I'm just not buying it as romantic attraction. Up to interpretation, again), but I'm with you on the Incest Is Not A Big Deal In This Damned World bandwagon. It will certainly be frowned upon by some characters more than others, and I don't think they will be so thrilled when they find out, but you're right to point out that the Targaryens did this wayyyy before the Lannister twins—so there is some history there ;)

She wouldn't have known what Sansa went through unless they'd talked, no?
Talking is a thing that characters (and people) should do more of as a general rule, so headcanons ftw! (And if the Doylist view makes suspense-till-the-last-minute a necessity and thus forbids important conversations from happening, we Watsonians can come up with whatever we please to make up for it ^_^)

Also agreeing on the subject of Tyrion—and again, from the Doylist POV it seems kind of abrupt and plot-convenient that the characters would all radically change their mind after seeing the wight… But from a Watsonian POV, if that doesn't scare the shit out of you I don't know what might, so it does make sense to suddenly rethink one's strategy and one's entire worldview XD

*hugs*

kaffyr
Sep. 2nd, 2017 09:26 pm (UTC)
but it could also be more mixed-up, which would be even more interesting :)

I think that's what we're looking at. The last true Three Eyed Raven, which I suspect would be the uppermost in Bran's mind, was, as far as such a creature could be, kind. He tried to teach Bran in a more humane way than he arguably could have, and, had Bran not made that mistake with the Night King touching him, might have trained Bran completely. The remains of that Three Eyed Raven would try, I think, not to obliterate Bran's own personality, or to do it as little as possible. So I think Bran would surface at various times, and one wouldn't be able to tell when that might happen.

*hugs back*
flowsoffire
Sep. 3rd, 2017 01:21 pm (UTC)
I think that's what we're looking at. The last true Three Eyed Raven, which I suspect would be the uppermost in Bran's mind, was, as far as such a creature could be, kind. He tried to teach Bran in a more humane way than he arguably could have, and, had Bran not made that mistake with the Night King touching him, might have trained Bran completely. The remains of that Three Eyed Raven would try, I think, not to obliterate Bran's own personality, or to do it as little as possible. So I think Bran would surface at various times, and one wouldn't be able to tell when that might happen.
I like that interpretation! :)
kaffyr
Sep. 3rd, 2017 05:05 pm (UTC)
*bows*

It's what I do as a fic writer, figure out how to plug the holes, or how to turn holes into lace.
flowsoffire
Sep. 3rd, 2017 06:54 pm (UTC)
how to turn holes into lace
I love you for that image actually :)
kaffyr
Sep. 3rd, 2017 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you - it was an image that came to me when I was trying to explain to someone all of the various reasons I love Moffat. I'm sure you'll understand that genesis ... heh ....
flowsoffire
Sep. 4th, 2017 02:59 pm (UTC)
*giggles* Oh dear, I'm afraid I do…
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2017 09:19 pm (UTC)
Heh ....
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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