Escapist Podcast: Bonus: Game of Thronescast – S3E5 and E6

Bonus: Game of Thronescast - S3E5 and E6

Warning: This podcast will contain spoilers for episodes 5 and 6 from Season 3 of Game of Thrones!

In this special bonus podcast, The Escapist crew talks about the most recent episodes of Game of Thrones - "Kissed by Fire" and "The Climb."

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Personally, I love the theon torture scenes just because the show is so *nailing*

character.

Is it just me or is Jon Snow part of the story growing increasingly boring especially in the books? It's like reading about the jedi order without light sabers and the force.

First thing I thought when they were talking about wall.

Q: "Why did the wildlings climb the wall?"
A: "To get the other side."

Sorry, I'll leave now.

itunes not up yet :( bandwidth too slow at work to DL the RSS feed or stream the vid ;_;

About Jamie Lannister's bathtub exposition scene, and the whole question of Ned Starks being a good guy.

I think Jamie sees Ned as a good guy, whom he hates because he could never live up to Ned's standards. Jamie to be is basically in love with the idea of being a knight and the principles of honor, duty and chivalry, which Ned embodies so perfectly. Being a knight all Jamie ever wanted to be, it's what he was raised to be, and it's all he's ever really been good at. I think he sees knighthood as a way for him to earn respect from everyone and thereby feed his narcissism but perhaps especially it's a way for him to earn the respect of his father, which all the Lannister kids crave so desperatly. But on top of that he also respects knighthood itself and he takes his vows seriously. Then he proceeds to join the kings guard, partly as a way to gain respect or fame as a knight, but he also joined the kings guard against his fathers wishes. I read this as his way of rebelling against his father and sortof signalling to his father that the things he values are not the same as what his father values.

Jamie then is in many ways justified in killing The Mad King, as is explained in the series and the books alike, but no matter how much he can justify his actions he did break his vows. He has no doubt he did the right thing but he is also aware that what he did wasn't entirely honorable, so he is conflicted. At this point he doesn't quite know how he should feel about what he did, should he hate himself for breaking his vows, or should he feel entirely justified in his actions. And then the first person to walk through the door, the person to whom he'd have to explain himself, is the honorable Ned Stark. He then decides to keep silent about the reasons for his actions. Partly because he knows it would be futile since the facts wouldn't matter to Ned Stark whom he knows would still judge him an oathbreaker, regardless of the circumstances. And partly because he truly does feel bad about breaking these vows which meant a lot to him, both because his status as a member of the kings guard was something about himself he truly liked and respected and because it's the one thing he himself chose to do, and which wasn't chosen for him by his father. He start so hate Ned, because Ned is so unflinchingly honorable while he himself could not be. Jamie respects Ned, and hates him because of it. And he hates Ned, because Ned, even unknowingly, sent him down a path that leads him to lose his self-respect and the respect of the people around him.

Jamie's keeping silent about the reasons behind his actions then becomes a sort of self-flaggelation. The Kingslayer badge becomes a mechanism by which he can make the world hate him as much as he hates himself despite the fact that he knows he did the right thing. And his oathbreaking and the following self-loathing and despair over losing all this respect from the people around him, which he really wanted becomes a downward spiral which leads to him to break his vows again and even do things that goes against even more deep seeded principles, as for example throwing Bran out the window. By the time the series begins he is essentially in a state of total nihilism.

It isn't until he loses his hand and he begins to trust and even like Brienne that he start to dig himself out of this hole of despair he ended up in.

Anybody else got any different takes on this?

I think the dead babies in jars thing was more of a "show don't tell" sort of thing.

Because a big part of Selyse's (sp?) character is that she feels like she's failed Stannis in giving him only still borns and a disfigured daughter. The only other thing they really could have done is have her do an "As you know I gave you a bunch of still born children" exposition thing which wouldn't have been near as effective in showing how the experience of having most of her children be miscarriages/still-borns has made her kind of fucked in the head as just having the dead babies in jars sitting there in her room did.

Here's my take on Littlefinger's ladder. He sees chaos as an opportunity. The more chaos he can unleash, the power more he can grab. He revels in the uncertainty. Some people can't handle the chaos, the constantly shifting political landscapes. They stumble and fall off the ladder.

This is another instance of the difference between Varys and Littlefinger. Varys wants what is best for the 'realm'. He wants stability. In an earlier episode, Varys notes that Littlefinger would see the whole world burn if it gives him more power. Another website described Littlefinger as the Joker from Dark Knight, with the added distinction of wanting money and power as well.

I didn't like that bit with Joffrey in the end to be honest. Sure he's evil but he's too much of a weakling to ever kill anyone himself. I'm sure it's just to show how much of a monster he is and justifiction for what's to come but I rather liked it when he was just a little brat with a bunch of guards.

Regarding the climbing of the Wall: Snow, the warg and Barbarossa[1] talked in ep5 (I think) about the Wall, its castles and how many Crows are manning those castles. Or rather witch castle has the least men defending it. And I'm pretty sure that Barbarossa[2] said that that's where they would climb up.
So with that scene in mind, I think that they're setting up a surprise attack from inside the castle or sneak up on the gatehouse in the middle of the night and open the gate for the main army.
Maybe even a little trojan horse action with Jon wearing his old Crow colors?

I think it was a good decision not reading the books yet. I don't know where things are going right now; but once the show is over I'm gonna pick up the books and find out what "really" happened. :-)
From my experience I get more enjoyment from watching the adaptation first and reading the books afterwards.
That's what I gathered from Harry Potter and Legend of the Seeker on the one hand (books first); and LotR, Dune and Night Watch/Day Watch on the other hand.

[1] I really suck at remembering the wildling's names
[2] please help me out, I really have no idea what his real name is

ExtraDebit:
Is it just me or is Jon Snow part of the story growing increasingly boring especially in the books? It's like reading about the jedi order without light sabers and the force.

I actually enjoyed his story in books 3 and 5. I can't really describe in detail why without going crazy spoilers which i'm sure many people would not enjoy

One thing I disagree on is how they praise Arya in the podcast as this strong and growing heroine. This is of course a bit of a change from the books, where I see her as a total subversion of the stereotypical plucky adventurous child hero so common in fantasy.

Spoilers for book 2 below.

Spoilers for book 4/5 below.

In the series, much of that has been lost. Also, since she is even younger in the books, it becomes clearer that even in the ruthless world of Westeros, this is not healthy development for a child of her age.

Ne1butme:
Here's my take on Littlefinger's ladder. He sees chaos as an opportunity. The more chaos he can unleash, the power more he can grab. He revels in the uncertainty. Some people can't handle the chaos, the constantly shifting political landscapes. They stumble and fall off the ladder.

This is another instance of the difference between Varys and Littlefinger. Varys wants what is best for the 'realm'. He wants stability. In an earlier episode, Varys notes that Littlefinger would see the whole world burn if it gives him more power. Another website described Littlefinger as the Joker from Dark Knight, with the added distinction of wanting money and power as well.

Exactly, Littlefinger knows that chaos creates opportunities, and he knows that he's very good at taking advantage of that, so he goes out of his way to allow chaos to emerge, so he can take advantage of whatever goes down. Varys, I think, really admires Littlefinger's skill at that, and his intelligence and flair for doing it, but also knows that he's entirely self-centred, and might well destroy the realm, so he knows he's an enemy, but he can't help but admire him.

Regarding Stannis' daughter's grayscale, in book 4 or 5, while most of the realm believes grayscale to be marring, but non-lethal and non-infectious in children, the wildlings believe that it's not mundane, just dormant - Mance's daughter brings it up when she's at the wall.

Regarding the Karstarks, taking him as a hostage would have been the right call, except that Karstark right out said that Robb was a coward who wouldn't kill him. And yeah, the little Lannisters are meaningless to Jaime. When Jaime killed Karstark's son, he ALSO beat one of his own cousins to death, AS A DISTRACTION. I mean, damn.

Love the podcast, definitely agree that the season might have had a rocky start but has been pretty damn great since Episode 3 or so. Sorry if this gets long winded but here we go:

On Queen Selyse: Lysa Tully called, she says to turn down the crazy. I really hope those fetuses weren't preserved in wildfire. Just saying, that stuff looked really green.

Shireen, Greyscale, and the Baratheon Familiy: Shireen is just so sad child in a big lonely castle with no friends and parents that don't really have time for her. So far as we know, the form of Greyscale that she has doesn't affect her mind, by all accounts she seems clever and goodhearted, just lonely :(. The more lethal adult version of Greyscale (the Grey Plague) does cause victims in the last stages to go insane. It's the wildlings that are of the opinion that children who suffered from Greyscale are unclean and should be killed. But what the hell do they know, they think kidnapping and rape is a great way to meet a nice girl so screw them. Also, Shireen seems to be filling in for Patchface, singing creepy and oddly prophetic songs. Ok, I can work with that.

I DO get the impression that Stannis loves her, at least as much as he's able. Slight spoiler for events between book 2/3

What might have been cool is a scene where he sits down with her and explains, not unkindly perhaps, why he has to keep her friend, Davos in prison. I also liked how Stannis apologized to his wife for committing adultery. It seems in character that Stannis would feel guilty but in the books, it never seems to come up.

Edmure: Speaking just for myself, I think Edmure Tully gets a bad rap. Yes he IS kind of a screw up, but he fought the Battle of the Stone Mill because he wanted to keep the Mountain from trekking across the Riverlands, raping and burning as he went. Yes, it did throw a wrench into Rob's grand strategy, but he never TOLD anyone about his grand strategy. Fuck you Rob! Lay off your uncle.

Arya's Story Arc: So in a fight between The Hound and Beric Dondarrion, I'm going to have to put my money on the guy who hasn't been killed six times.
In the books I didn't really care for the idea of a relationship between Arya and Gendry, I feel that if she NEEDS a love interest it shouldn't be someone orders of magnitude less interesting than she is. Even so I found the scenes with Arya and Gendry kind of endearing, so I guess that's the best I can ask for.

So I LOVED the scene with Melisandre, Beric and Thoros. It isn't in the books, but it's a nice change. I really like Melisandre, though I think I'm the only one. I loved that the two red priests get a chance to meet, it sets up a nice contrast between their characters. Even I have to admit, Melisandre isn't overburdened with self doubt, I think her having to come to terms with Thoros being able to do something that she can't could make for an interesting character development, provided they decide to pay it off at some point. Not sure if the plan is to sacrifice Gendry or fuck him. Either way, he's got an eventful couple of weeks ahead.

Theon Scenes: If my reading of the books is correct, then [Redacted] is going to be a major antagonist for some time to come. They're taking a "show don't tell" approach to the horrors Theon is going through and [Redacted]'s frankly scary mind games. The story sets up Joffrey as a warped, sadistic monster, then decides to top itself with [Redacted]. That said, the series is eternally pressed for time, so perhaps Theon's story should be wrapped up faster.

Daenaerys: When I listened to everyone rail against Daenaerys in the first podcast of the season, I was a bit put off because for me, she doesn't come into her own until the sack of Astapor, before that she just kind of pitters around in both the books and the show. On a similar note, I expect some of the frustration with Jon Snow will vanish by the end of this season. I just wish it were all up hill for Dany... Side note: I notice that Missandei is noticibly older in the TV series and gorgeous for that matter. If they decide to have her fill in for her handmaidens in certain scenes I'd be quite happy. :D

Bran: Apparently the universe is about to explode because Bran had a scene that was engaging. I also like how Jojen's visions take the form of an epileptic fit. Magic in this world is a pretty nasty thing, that really came through.

"The Climb" I don't get the hate for this bit. It's a little weird that Littlefinger is laying all his cards on the table so to speak with Varys, but I guess with Varys he doesn't have to pretend to be everyone's best friend. Anywho, the bits with Sansa weeping and Roz being... well dead are pretty good visual aids. He's saying his personal philosophy is "I don't care who I have to throw under the bus to get more power and influence for myself" while the visuals are showing you two people he threw under the bus to get what he wants. As for linking the metaphorical climb to Jon and Ygritte's literal climb, I guess it's a bit on the nose, maybe it's a "see what we did there?" moment, but I'm cool with that.

Calling it now (Big spoiler regarding Tyrion for end of Book 3)

I'll miss Ros. She was one of those odd characters there that was a witness to the events going on around her without really being a direct participant, a surrogate for the audience. She was there when Robert came to Winterfell. she was there when Ned became the hand, then later for Ned's beheading, the culling of Rob's bastards, up to the subsequent events that led to her being beaten and later killed by Joffrey. Through it all she wasn't corrupted by outside influences, which made her a great spy for Varys. It was when she whispered to Shay about her boss I kinda guessed something bad might happen to her.

Remus:
I'll miss Ros. She was one of those odd characters there that was a witness to the events going on around her without really being a direct participant, a surrogate for the audience. She was there when Robert came to Winterfell. she was there when Ned became the hand, then later for Ned's beheading, the culling of Rob's bastards, up to the subsequent events that led to her being beaten and later killed by Joffrey. Through it all she wasn't corrupted by outside influences, which made her a great spy for Varys. It was when she whispered to Shay about her boss I kinda guessed something bad might happen to her.

My best friend Gina never read any the books, but she latched on to the character of Ros throughout the series for exactly the same reasons you pointed out. So you can imagine how grief-stricken she was at her ultimate fate, to the point of nearly swearing off watching any further episodes. Thankfully, she still plans on watching... I'll have to remember to bring a HUGE box of tissues for her for whats coming up later in the season.

Patshiv:
And then the first person to walk through the door, the person to whom he'd have to explain himself, is the honorable Ned Stark. He then decides to keep silent about the reasons for his actions. Partly because he knows it would be futile since the facts wouldn't matter to Ned Stark whom he knows would still judge him an oathbreaker, regardless of the circumstances. And partly because he truly does feel bad about breaking these vows which meant a lot to him, both because his status as a member of the kings guard was something about himself he truly liked and respected and because it's the one thing he himself chose to do, and which wasn't chosen for him by his father. He start so hate Ned, because Ned is so unflinchingly honorable while he himself could not be. Jamie respects Ned, and hates him because of it. And he hates Ned, because Ned, even unknowingly, sent him down a path that leads him to lose his self-respect and the respect of the people around him.

Jamie's keeping silent about the reasons behind his actions then becomes a sort of self-flaggelation.
Anybody else got any different takes on this?

I am fairly close to you on this one. I applaud your way of describing your perception, and frankly, I think you are spot on with J-dog. However, I am unaware of any indication that Ned would judge him. While Ned is a good guy and holds himself to a high standard, that does not mean that he condemns others who falter. For instance, good king Bobby B is a bit of a whoremonger and is even shown being physically violent with his wife. However, Ned is still a stedfast friend to him. Also, don't forget that Ned is either the father of a bastard he got while cheating on his wife, or he is/was lying to everyone for the sake of a greater good. I believe the latter, and that makes Ned a little more like J dizzle than at first glance. I think Jamie feels like Ned would still look down on him, but I am not so eager to jump to this conclusions. Although, maybe I like Ned too much.

Theon's torture scene: While I did not love the scene (it went on a little long and was rushed... it should have been chopped up into several in my opinion), I strongly disagree with calling it gratuitous. That scene served 2 purposes. 1.) It shows that _____________ is a sadist. Yes, the whole bit where ___________ tricked Theon was harsh, but it was done to obtain information and could be interpreted as part of the interrogation. However, in this scene _____________ has nothing to gain showing that he is purely and simply a cruel jerk who gets off on hurting people. 2.) This one is a bit of a spoiler soooooooo yeah. But the scene shows that the _______________'s sigil is not just for show and that they really do flay people.

The Climb: I actually kind of liked the monologue. I'm not saying that the montauge was the greatest, but it was cool. First, it emphasizes what Lil' Finga is good at, exploiting chaos and playing the game. Second, I rather liked how the scenes matched up with what he was saying.

"Many who try to climb it fail. Never get to try it again. The fall breaks them."
Ros is dead. She "climbed the ladder" then got her hand caught in the cookie jar. She was just a lowly whore from Winterfell who climbed her way up, becoming a madame of one of the most prominent whorehouses in the capital. Then she fed information to the spider, got caught, and "fell."

"And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm or the gods or love, illusions. Only the ladder is real."
Sansa crying as Littlefinger's ship (It has his sigil on the sail) sails away and with it her hopes of escaping an unfortunate situation. She was hoping to marry LT. She had a chance to go with Littlefinger and "climb the ladder" but she turned it down as she clung to "illusions."

Get it? See, isn't that kind of cool?

So my fiancée and I watch this together. After Joffery killed Ros, she has a new found respect for Theon.

Any sign of this being uploaded to itunes? Or can someone describe how to download the audio from the rss feed?

I really like the Theon torture scene(s). Is something wrong with me? I also don't think it's pointless at all. It develops the Boy's character.

I think Joshua sums up the show best with one word: "gratuitous". All the violence and sex has just become part of the style, a way of making it seem more realistic. But to keep that same kind of shock value, the show needs to continually outdo itself. And since the first episode of season two I never doubted HBO's ability to do that. I was watching that first episode and thinking it was kind of mild. But then at the end a few (dozen) babies get slaughtered by Joffrey and I thought: "Yep, this is a Game of Thrones™ season alright." Having the dead babies in jars and flaying Theon's finger is just to keep that level of gratuitousness up. But I agree that I would have rather seen that last example have purpose for the plot as well/instead.
As for what Janelle mentioned, I wouldn't worry about Arya. The prophesy - in which she's basically told that she'll kill people with brown eyes, green and blue - pretty much means she'll be around and a lot tougher for a while to come.

Winterbird:
I really like the Theon torture scene(s). Is something wrong with me? I also don't think it's pointless at all. It develops the Boy's character.

It depends really... Did you like that scene because you see Theon suffer or did you like it for another reason? If it's the first, seek professional help. If the other reason is because you enjoy the Bastard of Bolton's glee, then see 'first'. If any other, you can rest easy, because then you're probably not a delusional psychopath at all.

DugMachine:
I didn't like that bit with Joffrey in the end to be honest. Sure he's evil but he's too much of a weakling to ever kill anyone himself. I'm sure it's just to show how much of a monster he is and justifiction for what's to come but I rather liked it when he was just a little brat with a bunch of guards.

Shooting someone who's tied up isn't exactly strong either. Don't worry, it's not like you're at risk of seeing Joffrey do any real fighting any time soon.

bdcjacko:
So my fiancée and I watch this together. After Joffery killed Ros, she has a new found respect for Theon.

How does that work?

Farther than stars:

DugMachine:
I didn't like that bit with Joffrey in the end to be honest. Sure he's evil but he's too much of a weakling to ever kill anyone himself. I'm sure it's just to show how much of a monster he is and justifiction for what's to come but I rather liked it when he was just a little brat with a bunch of guards.

Shooting someone who's tied up isn't exactly strong either. Don't worry, it's not like you're at risk of seeing Joffrey do any real fighting any time soon.

Plus at this point in the books Joffrey's already a serial cat murderer, and has taken his crossbow up to the walls to shoot at protesteting citizens. And let's not forget, he gave the impression of being about to do something horrible to Mycah the butcher's boy before Arya stepped in. Sure he'd never dare face someone in a straight fight, but if the other person is tied up/on the other side of a wall/petrified with fear/much smaller than he is, he's only too happy to get his hands (metaphorically) dirty.

With regards to Edmure's reluctance to marry a Frey daughter, a point the book makes is that he's not just annoyed that he doesn't get to pick his bride, he's worried that Lord Frey will deliberatly choose his ugliest daughter just to spite Edmure and the Starks. Cat reassures her brother that Frey wants grandchildren who will inherit Riverrun, he's not going to saddle Edmure with a wife he'd never want to impregnate.

Uncle Comrade:

Yeah, except there's the problem that book three is split into 2 seasons and book 4 will probably be as well. So by your logic we wouldn't see Theon again until [correction:] season 7. Personally I think the writers will take a more creative approach and try to shift that story line ahead of the books.

Farther than stars:

Uncle Comrade:

Yeah, except there's the problem that book three is split into 2 seasons and book 4 will probably be as well. So by your logic we wouldn't see Theon again until [correction:] season 7. Personally I think the writers will take a more creative approach and try to shift that story line ahead of the books.

True, but book 4 and the fisrt half of book 5 take place at the same time, and I'm pretty sure I read that the writers are going to combine storylines from both. Otherwise we'd have a whole season without Tyrion, Daenerys, Stannis, Jon or Bran, followed by another without Arya, Sansa or anyone in King's Landing.

The relationship between show and books seems to be going;
Season 3 = Book 3 part 1.
Season 4 = Book 3 part 2 + Possibly some early chapters of Book 4.
Season 5 = Books 4 + 5 part 1

That way, Theon would only be out of sight for season 4, which would make room to focus on other plotlines. That's how I'd do it, anyway. We don't really need to see the guy getting tortured for five minutes every week.

Farther than stars:
It depends really... Did you like that scene because you see Theon suffer or did you like it for another reason? If it's the first, seek professional help. If the other reason is because you enjoy the Bastard of Bolton's glee, then see 'first'. If any other, you can rest easy, because then you're probably not a delusional psychopath at all.

I don't hate Theon nor enjoy the Bastard (although I like them both as characters), so it's probably not that.
I think it's because of the mind games involved, not the actual physical torture. I loved it even in the book because it completely changed Theon's psyche. Although we don't see the actual torture in the books, just the aftermath.

Farther than stars:

bdcjacko:
So my fiancée and I watch this together. After Joffery killed Ros, she has a new found respect for Theon.

How does that work?

I'm glad you asked. Basically it boils down to how both Theon and Joffery have done horrible things, but Theon does them for human reasons.

bdcjacko:

Farther than stars:

bdcjacko:
So my fiancée and I watch this together. After Joffery killed Ros, she has a new found respect for Theon.

How does that work?

I'm glad you asked. Basically it boils down to how both Theon and Joffery have done horrible things, but Theon does them for human reasons.

Well, I'm glad I asked. That is some fine analysis.

Winterbird:

Farther than stars:
It depends really... Did you like that scene because you see Theon suffer or did you like it for another reason? If it's the first, seek professional help. If the other reason is because you enjoy the Bastard of Bolton's glee, then see 'first'. If any other, you can rest easy, because then you're probably not a delusional psychopath at all.

I don't hate Theon nor enjoy the Bastard (although I like them both as characters), so it's probably not that.
I think it's because of the mind games involved, not the actual physical torture. I loved it even in the book because it completely changed Theon's psyche. Although we don't see the actual torture in the books, just the aftermath.

So... basically this puts you on the level of psychopath roughly equivalent to Jigsaw, yes?

Farther than stars:
So... basically this puts you on the level of psychopath roughly equivalent to Jigsaw, yes?

I supppose it does. I think I just learned something about myself. Excuse me, I want to go play a game...

Ne1butme:
Here's my take on Littlefinger's ladder. He sees chaos as an opportunity. The more chaos he can unleash, the power more he can grab. He revels in the uncertainty. Some people can't handle the chaos, the constantly shifting political landscapes. They stumble and fall off the ladder.

This is another instance of the difference between Varys and Littlefinger. Varys wants what is best for the 'realm'. He wants stability. In an earlier episode, Varys notes that Littlefinger would see the whole world burn if it gives him more power. Another website described Littlefinger as the Joker from Dark Knight, with the added distinction of wanting money and power as well.

This is exactly how I took the scene as well, I must be wrong about the following but i felt it was bluntly obvious/honest with him. I felt the point was clear ._. to the point where it kind of annoyed me that all three of them didn't understand it. As for the montage it showed how things were going wrong for every as the chaos of it all affected their plans, and yet Baelish was doing better than he ever has.

For when Podcast for episode 7 and 8?

And more important, for 9 :D

 

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