Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 8

This week they stepped up the action – Walking Dead style – and I can’t say I didn’t love it.

The Good

  • While I might find their reasoning for having Tyrion meet Dany ridiculous at best, years of textual frustration over the fifth book have led me to accept this change with arms wide open. For those wondering what their reasoning was: “Creatively it made sense to us, because we wanted to happen.” Amazing.
  • The moment Tyrion starts talking to Dany, he tries to manipulate her. He uses the surprisingly effective trick of making Dany feel like she has to impress him and basically ensures that Jorah will live the second he says that the reason the traitor hadn’t come forward was that he didn’t trust Daenerys to be wise enough to forgive him. This Tyrion seems far removed from the bitter Tyrion in recent episodes and hints back to his earlier outlook on life with just a touch more bitterness, though he remains steadily on the playful side of abrasive. Maybe it is the change of scenery and a new desire to live. Maybe it’s shoddy characterization. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Whatever the reason, this Tyrion is much more palatable psychologically than the one in the books and I can’t help but feel we might be missing out, but happy to enjoy the respite.
  • Jon continues to surprise us all with his political acumen. What seems like a very rash declaration that he killed Mance Rayder, is actually a calculated risk that stems from him knowing his audience. He counted on Tormund stepping in to support him and spoke from a position of strength, with no intention to trick them, or defend his actions. Or he just likes being unbelievably dramatic, even if it costs him his life, which is something I can also respect.
  • Karsi was incredible. She was powerful, funny and pragmatic. A character I genuinely loved after only a few minutes of screen time. It would be a shame if something bad happened to her. Oh, wait.
  • Wun-wun spoke to Edd and now I can die happy. I hope they get a procedural spin-off.
  • I have long believed that Valyrian steel is technically dragon steel and on the same level if not better than dragon glass, so tonight was a nice confirmation that added to a scene that was already very satisfying. It also opens some interesting doors now that they have placed a Valyrian sword-wielding Brienne in the North, which may or may not be a random coincidence.
  • Given the ending of the episode and how word travels around within closed communities, it seems highly unrealistic for any of the brothers to still cling to the idea that the Free Folk are their greatest enemy. I’m interested to see how that will play out though I still doubt Jon will get a warm welcome.

The Bad

  • The exclusion of the Martells from the conversation about possible Targaryen supporters is painful. Other big houses were excluded (the Greyjoys have been effectively written out of the show), but the fifth season was supposedly Dorne’s season and the Martells are not only historically a Targaryen ally, but also pretty much hate the Tyrells and Lannisters. Either Tyrion is deliberately keeping things from her, or the name Martell brings up too many painful memories for him. Me, too, buddy.
  • While Sansa does have a violent streak, for the most part it does not go past a malicious thought nor manifest itself physically. That being said, her claiming she would do to Theon what Ramsey had done to him, is out of character and a frightening reminder that her threat does not come from a place of strength if she is liking herself to her abuser.
  • Despite Qyburn pointing out that the Faith doesn’t really care for evidence, the entire situation still seems utterly contrived and frustrating. For someone as paranoid as Cersei to trust in a group of people that hold the witness to some of her greatest crimes goes against everything we know of her and still begs the question as to why this particular deviation happened, since the results are the same in the books, only now Loras is also imprisoned and nothing makes sense.
  • Tormund attacking the Lord of Bones seems like a very Wildling thing to do. As a person living in the 21st century, however, I wish the rampage hadn’t happened right after the implication that performing oral sex makes someone subservient. I’d have much preferred Tormund brushing off his comment by referencing his famed genitalia in some way or another (is a Tormund without dick jokes even Tormund?).
  • Karsi, a formidable fighter, someone who is fighting to protect her children, one of the only women that were given screen time during the battle and the only woman that was developed as a character gives up the moment she sees wight children. She doesn’t run, she doesn’t fight, she doesn’t even freeze up with shock. She just resigns herself to her fate and refuses to fight the children. After such a great build-up, to see her reduced to one of the most misogynistic and boring tropes around is disappointing to say the least. And to anyone saying it wasn’t a sexist trope we’re so used to seeing that we sort of accept it, try replacing her with the Thenn dude and if the scene still makes sense to you peace be with you.
  • When you have a terrifying army of undead soldiers, you don’t stop at the edge of the water and flex your muscles at your retreating enemy. You send your horde into the icy ocean and kill everyone. That’s necromancy 101.

The Worrying

  • Ramsey is going after Stannis and, though I’d like to see him get what’s coming to him, I’m not keeping my hopes up.
  • Sam just told an upset teenager that sometimes you make terrible choices that turn out fine in the end. I smell heap-loads of trouble.
  • Winter is actually coming and it has a spiky crown and a terrifying army no one stands a chance against.

This post is brought to you with help from the lovely Nikki who saved us all from the typos.

Come support me on Patreon!

PS: To the surprise of no one, slavery and the fighting pits were not a topic of discussion. I’m still waiting for them to do what I’ve been saying for weeks.

So I want to address a certain group of people who are crying out about the rape on Outlander versus Game of Thrones. As we all know, this season, Game of Thrones showed a non-canon rape against Sansa Stark. There was outrage about this. I was one person that was outraged about the backward character development and shock-value violence against a woman on screen. Game of Thrones is all about violence and politics and has had a lot of gratuitous rape scenes not canon to the books (Daenerys and Drogo on screen, Jaime and Cersei Lannister in Season Four). This rape of a main character was obviously a last straw for several people. There was reason for the outrage. It was seen as a lazy plot device meant to further along the story of Theon Greyjoy and ten steps back for Sansa Stark. Now people are complaining that Outlander fans who complained about the Sansa rape should be decrying the rape shown on screen of Jamie Fraser by Black Jack Randall. Calling those of us that aren’t rallying against it, hypocrites. Why? Because we aren’t screaming out about it.

The thing is, what happens between Black Jack Randall and Jamie Fraser is in the books. It’s described in great detail, all of the things that happen between these two men. In the books, it was very visceral and difficult to get through. It was disturbing and gut wrenching. It was sob-worthy. It was also very key to the character of Jamie Fraser, who is influenced by this event for the rest of the series, most especially in book two, three, and four. It was cannon where the Sansa scene was not.

I think the real issue is, while Game of Thrones used a gratuitous scene of sexual violence against a woman, the focus was not on the victim, but rather on the man forced to watch the exchange. The camera did not show the graphic depiction of the horror taking place for Sansa Stark, instead focusing on the tears rolling down Theon/Reek’s cheeks at being forced to watch the exchange. He was the victim we were supposed to consider in that episode. Not Sansa Stark. Her rape was just a plot device to further Theon’s story.

Outlander handled rape differently. Instead of just panning away, it shoved it down our throats. It showed us how rapists get off on the power they have over their victims. It showed BJR trotting away from a broken and shattered Jamie with a look of satisfaction on his face. It showed BJR breaking Jamie down piece by piece by piece. Not only did it show the power of BJR, but it showed the vulnerability of Jamie. Sansa Stark’s character was very weak in the beginning, spoiled, selfish and impulsive and she was on her way to becoming stronger before being victimized yet again in one of the worst ways a woman can be victimized. Jamie is shown as strong and manly and stubborn from the very beginning. From what I can tell this episode was meant to show how even strong men, who are stubborn and proud can be broken down and waste away into a shell of their former selves. It shows how rape, at it’s most violent, can utterly destroy someone. Unlike nearly every other rape scene on television, it shows the gritty repercussions of what rape can do to it’s victim. The haunting looks, the PTSD, the emotional and physical trauma of losing your will, and having someone else degrade you in the worst way possible.

You will get no outrage from me over what happened in Outlander. It was in the books and honestly, while terrible and horrible and disturbing, I knew that it was something that had to happen. Honestly though, it was handled better than what I thought it might. To take that scene from the books and barely look at it, or pan over it quickly, cheapens that scene somehow. By showing it so much, by showing the screams and the torture and the breakdown, we are deeply affected by it. Jamie is deeply affected by what’s happened to him, and by seeing it, we too, are left with that impression of him losing control and losing his pride and his strength. We understand how truly horrible he was treated, and his reasons for wanting to end his life.

If it had been handled differently, it might well of been a joke. Just like male on male rape has been treated as a joke in the past (think the jokes made about Deliverance). Hell, even male on male love scenes are poked fun at or treated with disgust by some of it’s audience (outrage over homosexual scenes in Game of Thrones, and movies like Brokeback Mountain). It’s very difficult for viewers to poke fun at this, to make light of it. And in a way that’s good. From what I have seen, sexual assault victims of both genders, have said the scene portrayed is very similar to how they felt. That it was a terrible thing to watch, and perhaps triggering to some, but ultimately they appreciated it because it was a very honest representation of their own personal nightmares and was not treated lightly.

So there will be no outrage from me for the honest portrayal of how rape affects it’s victim. There was nothing gratuitous in this finale episode of Outlander. The violence and the rape, necessary if not hard to get through. It was a very real depiction of rape and violence. And for non-book readers, we tried to warn you without giving it away. We understand that you might want to not watch any more after this, that it might be to much for you. But for us fans of the books, it’s part of the story. A necessary evil that was explored in a very respectful and honest way. At least that is my humble opinion on the matter.

Don’t call us hypocrites though, for not crying out in rage and anger over the depiction of rape when we did so in Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is an entirely different entity, geared more toward a male audience than a female one. While they are both rated M for mature, and fantasy shows on premium cable networks, that is about where their similarities end.

Follow Me on Twitter: @GracieMac91
Join our Outlander Discussion Group on Facebook: OutlanderSassenach

anonymous asked:

"Varys is the person I trust the most next to my brother" said Tyrion to Daenerys. Talk about ~small book changes in season 5~

In the past, I and others have accused the show of always going “to extremes”. Like, by turning grey situations into black and white ones. Their treatment of the Wildings springs to mind.

But in this situation, they seemed like they were afraid to go to extremes and instead sanitized the while thing. 

In the books, Tyrion hits ROCK BOTTOM. I mean, he’s suicidal, constantly drunk, and raping people. That’s pretty bad. And it’s not because his girlfriend cheated on him with his dad, (god…) it’s because of Jaime. He killed his father because of Jaime. Because Jaime was the one person in the word who he always believed loved him. 

It was Jaime, he thought, despairing. He was my own blood, my big strong brother. When I was small he brought me toys, barrel hoops and blocks and a carved wooden lion. He gave me my first pony and taught me how to ride him. When he said that he had bought you for me, I never doubted him. Why would I? He was Jaime, and you were just some girl who’d played a part. I had feared it from the start, from the moment you first smiled at me and let me touch your hand. My own father could not love me. Why would you if not for gold?

As far as I can tell, for all their purported love of Tyrion, they simply don’t understand his aDwD arc. Which is, like, complete nihilism. Tyrion thinks no one loves him, literally, and doesn’t see the point of being alive or caring about anything. He behaves like an asshole just to make others uncomfortable, revels in the pain of those even worse off than he is, and just kind of goes along for the ride because, like, whatever. Let’s just fuck with fAegon for shits and giggles. 

The turnaournd is Penny and the voyage on the Stinky Steward.

“I miss him so much. My brother. I …”
“I understand.” He found himself thinking of Jaime. Count yourself lucky. Your brother died before he could betray you.
“I thought I wanted to die,” she said, “but today when the storm came and I thought the ship would sink, I … I …”
“You realized that you wanted to live after all.” I have been there too. Something else we have in common.”

So given this lack of basic understanding, I think they just really don’t get what a huge change it was to have Saint Tyrion and Larry part on friendly terms, or to change the motivations for “wherever whores go”. Sure, Saint Tyrion feels betrayed by Shae, (with far more justification than in the books) but being spurned by your lover is not quite like losing the only emotional certainty you’ve ever had. And this is made a good deal worse by the fact that they never could get anyone to buy TyrionxShae in the show in the first place.

And we’ve already discussed how much they whitewashed his behaviour on his Essosi road trip, so it was less rock bottom and more like a shitty few weeks after a break up.


“There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.”