Commentary on “You Win or You Die”

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Commentary on "You Win or You Die"

Ned Stark just doesn't grok this game at all.

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Loved the episode, still don't think that we needed Little Finger's soliloquy at the beginning. We know what sort of man he is. If anything, it betrays the moment where he turns on Ned. Ned and Petyr have two scenes together in this episode and the first one is pitch perfect with its characterization of Lord Baelish. Duplicity, cunning, politics. Everything is there. We know what kind of man he is.

We didn't need to see Petyr telling two naked whores that he wins by fucking. I'm all for boobies, but that scene was just pandering to the audience. I'd hope it would be smarter than that.

Old Ned's been pretty calm so far, but I think we're about to see him lose his head.

Ne1butme:

We didn't need to see Petyr telling two naked whores that he wins by fucking. I'm all for boobies, but that scene was just pandering to the audience. I'd hope it would be smarter than that.

I actually think the scene showed a good bit of his Character. He's a man who must control everything, and his whores are no exception. Yes it was pandering, but it's HBO, you're gonna have that. Any scene with Aiden Gillen is pure win, so I'm not complaining about the added scenes. He is quickly overtaking Tyrion as my favorite character.

rickthetrick:

I actually think the scene showed a good bit of his Character. He's a man who must control everything, and his whores are no exception. Yes it was pandering, but it's HBO, you're gonna have that. Any scene with Aiden Gillen is pure win, so I'm not complaining about the added scenes. He is quickly overtaking Tyrion as my favorite character.

I think i would like the scene more if his instructions on how to seduce a man was more relevant to the story. But i couldn't see that. He doesn't seduce Ned. He tricks him, but Littlefinger was very explicit in his instructions the man knows what he paid for, but wants to look beyond that fact to expose his greatness.

Tyrion and Littlefinger are my favourite characters in the books and they also happen to be the smartest.

I wonder if that's a coincidence?

rickthetrick:
Old Ned's been pretty calm so far, but I think we're about to see him lose his head.

Dam fool was always sticking his neck out.

One of my only complaints of the series was that the actress playing Cersei was not nearly enough of a cold bitch that you want to stab in the face. This episode she finally did it.

Going to really miss Ned from Sean Bean. I still miss him in every book and I think that is what makes the books that much better.

Drogo and Danny's relationship is finally looking more like that in the book.

Also loved Barriston's increased role in this episode, he remains one of my favorite characters in the series.

And Tywin's first appearance, woot! He might not shit gold but that scene was gold.

Ne1butme:

We didn't need to see Petyr telling two naked whores that he wins by fucking. I'm all for boobies, but that scene was just pandering to the audience. I'd hope it would be smarter than that.

Pardon us plebians for just enjoying the media for what it is, a tv show. I haven't read the books yet, because I didnt want to ruin the show with silly preconceptions, but the show needed that little bit of plot exposition if only to remind people of Littlefinger's carefully concealed insidiousness.

What I loved was how the Tyrion's trial by combat subtextually set the scene for the entire episode, especially when Lady Aryn said "You fought without honor" and Bronn said" No, but he did." Some people might think that as subtle, but for me it was like getting hit over the head with a hammer as soon as I saw the plot unfolding later on in the episode.

And I absolutely loved Tywin's intro where he was casual dressing of a carcass as he gave Jaime shit. Ooh, as a tv watcher it was a great opening to the wider elements of the plot yet to come (or so I assume).

rickthetrick:
Old Ned's been pretty calm so far, but I think we're about to see him lose his head.

Dohohoho.

So, the first player on the board has lost? Poor Ned :) Can't wait to see god Rohlololol take care of the 'other' one :p

monstersquad:

Pardon us plebians for just enjoying the media for what it is, a tv show. I haven't read the books yet, because I didnt want to ruin the show with silly preconceptions, but the show needed that little bit of plot exposition if only to remind people of Littlefinger's carefully concealed insidiousness.

We'll see how littlefinger's concealed insidiousness will play out after

in the next episode. If i recall, he doesn't like it, but then again, he also thrives on chaos.

Ne1butme:

We'll see how littlefinger's concealed insidiousness will play out after Ned gets his head cut off in the next episode. If i recall, he doesn't like it, but then again, he also thrives on chaos.

Thanks for ruining that for me. I hope you feel better for it.

monstersquad:

Ne1butme:

We'll see how littlefinger's concealed insidiousness will play out after Ned gets his head cut off in the next episode. If i recall, he doesn't like it, but then again, he also thrives on chaos.

Thanks for ruining that for me. I hope you feel better for it.

Considering that this is the spoilers forum and that someone mentioned losing his head before me, i don't feel good or bad. But that's just me.

But then again, i might have been a bit more careful before denigrating those of us with "silly preconceptions" because we read the book and are analyzing the series from that point of view.

Ne1butme:

monstersquad:

Pardon us plebians for just enjoying the media for what it is, a tv show. I haven't read the books yet, because I didnt want to ruin the show with silly preconceptions, but the show needed that little bit of plot exposition if only to remind people of Littlefinger's carefully concealed insidiousness.

We'll see how littlefinger's concealed insidiousness will play out after Ned gets his head cut off in the next episode. If i recall, he doesn't like it, but then again, he also thrives on chaos.

Ya gotta love Littlefinger. The women practically "fall" for him.

HankMan:

rickthetrick:
Old Ned's been pretty calm so far, but I think we're about to see him lose his head.

Dam fool was always sticking his neck out.

Bringing new meaning to a "close Shave".

I'm super nervous about the dragons, I hope they don't look bad. The quality of those beasties will determine whether this show gets a third season or not.

My only concern is how far the ratings will fall with Sean Beans exit from the series. He is one of the biggest movie actors in the series after all, a recognizable face for many, and without him in the show a large portion of its viewers may decided to switch off.

By the way? What is it with Sean Bean has playing Boromirs?

Ne1butme:
Loved the episode, still don't think that we needed Little Finger's soliloquy at the beginning.

I actually think we did needed the scene. Those of us that read the book have certain insights to characters because of the author's exposition, but any good TV show or movie has to show you this stuff and not just "tell" it to you, George RR Martin goes through great lengths describing the history behind every influential family in Westeros, but that sort of thing can't be done in the TV show easily.

That scene pretty much just establishes that Littlefinger fought for Catelyn's love against Ned's brother. I'm sure if I hadn't read the book that revelation would make me go "WTF? :-O "

There are many things that those of us who read the book already know about the characters at this point in the story, for example, we know that both Ned and Cate are very dutiful people, which is why they ended up married to each other. When Ned's brother died Cate was duty bound to marry into the Stark house and Ned was duty bound to keep his brother's commitment. Which is why Ned sees Jon Snow as a reminder if him failing his duty, not so much as him betraying the woman he loved (I think love entered that marriage long after Jon).

This and Littlefinger's motives is something that I believe those that are experiencing the story for the first time through the TV show need to know to.

And if your talking with an Accent, "Off With 'is 'ed"

El_Ganso:

Ne1butme:
Loved the episode, still don't think that we needed Little Finger's soliloquy at the beginning.

That scene pretty much just establishes that Littlefinger fought for Catelyn's love against Ned's brother. I'm sure if I hadn't read the book that revelation would make me go "WTF? :-O "

We already knew that Littlefinger dueled Ned's brother for Catelyn Tully. The very first scene that we meet him, Petyr and Ned mention the duel with Brandon, the scar, and that the object of desire was Catelyn. There's nothing from the naked whore soliloquy that we didn't already know.

And here's thing about Petyr. We never know what he's thinking. He hasn't been a POV character in the book. All we know is what we see him do and say. He's an enigma to everyone. His true motivations are fluid and hidden.

I'd put the Spider in the same category. We've seen evidence in the series that he is both working against and working for the Targaryens. He is seen plotting with Illyrio, but at the same time, his assassination order on Dany was carried out.

Now just imagine if we had a scene where Varys spells out all his motivations and desires to one of his little birds. It would be out of character and damaging to his character.

I have the same feeling watching Littlefinger bare his soul.

rickthetrick:
Ya gotta love Littlefinger. The women practically "fall" for him.

Ha!

I am enjoying the show so far. The extra scenes are usefull in explaining things about the characters a lot of viewers don't know. The Littlefinger training his new workers was a bit pandering but it also gave out important information regarding his history with Catelyn (and the Starks in general) - it also lets people know that Ned wasn't originally the one intended for Cat. The information needed to be made known at some point so that was a good way of doing it.

People actually like Littlefinger? The actor looks the part almost perfect, but his acting is so stale I'm not surprised they found it necessary to distract us from his soliloquy with lesbian sex.

Cersei continues to play it cool. I always imagined her coming off a bit "queen of hearts from Alice in Wonderland" even in the beginning. I don't mind it though. This cool and calculating Cersei will make her future insanity more exciting.

Natalie Tena (Osha) is, yet again, terribly miscast. But they love her in the UK so what the fuck.

I'm enjoying Theon's performance and the character building is fun. I just don't get why they're doing so much of it when he's really important in about one-third of one book.

theevilsanta:
I'm enjoying Theon's performance and the character building is fun. I just don't get why they're doing so much of it when he's really important in about one-third of one book.

Well he is still one of the more present PoV characters and the main way we know what is going on with Robb and Winterfell related stuff in the books.

When Ned was standing over Robert, I so wanted him to shout "Joffrey is Jaime's son not yours!" but he just stood there regretting the fate of his friend. The episode couldn't have ended on a bigger cliffhanger, damn it, I wish I had a whole season worth of episodes to go through at once.

El_Ganso:

Ne1butme:
Loved the episode, still don't think that we needed Little Finger's soliloquy at the beginning.

I actually think we did needed the scene. Those of us that read the book have certain insights to characters because of the author's exposition, but any good TV show or movie has to show you this stuff and not just "tell" it to you, George RR Martin goes through great lengths describing the history behind every influential family in Westeros, but that sort of thing can't be done in the TV show easily.

That scene pretty much just establishes that Littlefinger fought for Catelyn's love against Ned's brother. I'm sure if I hadn't read the book that revelation would make me go "WTF? :-O "

There are many things that those of us who read the book already know about the characters at this point in the story, for example, we know that both Ned and Cate are very dutiful people, which is why they ended up married to each other. When Ned's brother died Cate was duty bound to marry into the Stark house and Ned was duty bound to keep his brother's commitment. Which is why Ned sees Jon Snow as a reminder if him failing his duty, not so much as him betraying the woman he loved (I think love entered that marriage long after Jon).

This and Littlefinger's motives is something that I believe those that are experiencing the story for the first time through the TV show need to know to.

Right, but he could have say all this without two HOT women fingering eachother on the background, couldnt him?

theevilsanta:
People actually like Littlefinger? The actor looks the part almost perfect, but his acting is so stale I'm not surprised they found it necessary to distract us from his soliloquy with lesbian sex.

Snip.

I thought that there was something wrong with me. That I was the only person that noticed his acting problem and was bothered by it.

Thank you, theevilsanta.

theevilsanta:
I'm enjoying Theon's performance and the character building is fun. I just don't get why they're doing so much of it when he's really important in about one-third of one book.

Seeding future seasons, methinks. His story in Clash of Kings makes way more sense if they get his character established now.

vonseux:

El_Ganso:

Ne1butme:
Loved the episode, still don't think that we needed Little Finger's soliloquy at the beginning.

I actually think we did needed the scene. Those of us that read the book have certain insights to characters because of the author's exposition, but any good TV show or movie has to show you this stuff and not just "tell" it to you, George RR Martin goes through great lengths describing the history behind every influential family in Westeros, but that sort of thing can't be done in the TV show easily.

That scene pretty much just establishes that Littlefinger fought for Catelyn's love against Ned's brother. I'm sure if I hadn't read the book that revelation would make me go "WTF? :-O "

There are many things that those of us who read the book already know about the characters at this point in the story, for example, we know that both Ned and Cate are very dutiful people, which is why they ended up married to each other. When Ned's brother died Cate was duty bound to marry into the Stark house and Ned was duty bound to keep his brother's commitment. Which is why Ned sees Jon Snow as a reminder if him failing his duty, not so much as him betraying the woman he loved (I think love entered that marriage long after Jon).

This and Littlefinger's motives is something that I believe those that are experiencing the story for the first time through the TV show need to know to.

Right, but he could have say all this without two HOT women fingering eachother on the background, couldnt him?

Well they going for a Spartacus Blood and Sand type thing so the lesbian sex is required.

It not so much that Ned was being stupid. I'm pretty sure he's smart enough to see that he should have done a few of the suggested courses of action, it's just that he considers them dishonorable and beneath him. Moreover, he doesn't think that he needs to in order to save his own skin, because he's in King's Landing at the express request of and protected by King Robert. He can be as honorable as he wants as long as that's the case, even if everyone else loathes him for it.

After Robert's death, he didn't think that anyone would be so brazen as to openly disregard the King's last words. Or rather, that the minority who would want to would have the clout to do so. That would give him enough time to do the right thing by putting the rightful heir on the throne then wash his hands of the whole sordid business back in Winterfell. He didn't think he needed to play the politician's game, so he let his honor persuade him that it was completely unnecessary and wrong.

He sees the world through a simple lens concerned primarily with honor. He knows it's sometimes flawed (at least where protecting his family is concerned, as we'll see in the coming episodes), but he still clings to it. Even if his own death was certain, he'd still say that it was a choice between self-sacrifice and honor. When given that choice when he went to war, he took the honorable choice, and he's not going to forgo honor to save his own skin now.

Dash-X:

theevilsanta:
People actually like Littlefinger? The actor looks the part almost perfect, but his acting is so stale I'm not surprised they found it necessary to distract us from his soliloquy with lesbian sex.

Snip.

I thought that there was something wrong with me. That I was the only person that noticed his acting problem and was bothered by it.

Thank you, theevilsanta.

I third the motion. Littlefinger's an awesome character, but I'm not feeling this actor's delivery. Also, there's enough sex in the books already. HBO is overdoing it, IMO.

@Greg Tito: by the way, in Dune, it's *Baron* Harkonnen, not Duke. The Duke's on the Atreides side.

Sure, that's what Stark should have done if his goal was to outmaneuver Cersei by any means necessary. But what makes Stark the central pillar of the story so far is the fact that he doesn't give a flying fuck about power and politics - he wants to do the right thing in the most direct way possible.

I have to agree with people saying that Littlefinger's actor is subpar. There's not enough whimsy or suave to his performance. In my head I always imagined a younger Gary Oldman in the role.

I hate what's coming up. I loved Ned.

Ne1butme:

monstersquad:

Pardon us plebians for just enjoying the media for what it is, a tv show. I haven't read the books yet, because I didnt want to ruin the show with silly preconceptions, but the show needed that little bit of plot exposition if only to remind people of Littlefinger's carefully concealed insidiousness.

We'll see how littlefinger's concealed insidiousness will play out after Ned gets his head cut off in the next episode. If i recall, he doesn't like it, but then again, he also thrives on chaos.

If this seriously happens I hope you break a limb on the way to work for spoiling.

rwege:

If this seriously happens I hope you break a limb on the way to work for spoiling.

Greg Tito:
For a summation of the plot without much spoiling, head over to Susan Arendt's recap, but if you're a fan of the books and want more in-depth, spoiler-rich discussion of what happens in "You Win or You Die," read on, my friends!

In case that's not crystal clear, there are spoilers in here for both the rest of the TV show and the book series so please, tread carefully if you don't want to know the future events of either.

Deal with it. When you play the Game of Forums, you win or you're spoiled.

Ne1butme:

monstersquad:

Pardon us plebians for just enjoying the media for what it is, a tv show. I haven't read the books yet, because I didnt want to ruin the show with silly preconceptions, but the show needed that little bit of plot exposition if only to remind people of Littlefinger's carefully concealed insidiousness.

Why the hell would you say that? What is wrong with you?!?

Use a spoiler tag.

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