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Game of Thrones Book Club | Spoiler Discussion of No One, Season 6 Episode 8

High Sparrow has the crown, but Cersei has a Mountain

High Sparrow has the crown, but Cersei has a Mountain

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Welcome to the Game of Thrones Book Club, the Post Show Recaps podcast that talks about HBO’s Emmy-winning series from the perspective of those who have read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels and related material. You are listening and proceeding further at your own risk.

While Terri Schwartz (@Terri_Schwartz) is eyeballs deep covering the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles, Josh Wigler (@roundhoward) chats with Alex Kidwell (@AlexKidwell), noted Ice and Fire enthusiast and the man behind the scenes on the Game of Thrones live podcasts, for his take on the latest episode of the season, “No One.” Warning: heavy amounts of Valyrian foil fan fiction ensue.

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  • GeekFurious

    Alright, since I’m listening while on my computer, let me listen and comment. This will be the last time I do this. Enjoy! Or don’t.

    “Anything George RR Martin has written iiiiisssss…” superior in every way shape or form. It’s okay, Josh. You can say it.

    Also, Alex Kidwell! A book reader who knows this season is a delicious cheese-fest. Delicious. But a festival of a lot of stinky cheese.

    Milk of the poppy is definitely more like opium. Adrenalin could be a valid argument except she’s showing little effects (maybe flinching a little) very quickly into her rehabilitation. She has severe stomach wounds… the most severe wound possible outside of a pierced brain or heart. It’s ridiculous. You can’t just stitch that up and be like “hey, you’re fine now. Just heal up.” Go Google stomach wounds… actually, don’t. You won’t like what you see.

    Stark = warg. It is known. Looking forward to the reboot in a decade when someone actually uses this important story element.

    The problem with the Bravos storyline, if this is all it amounts to, is that it took time away from more important things. She could have easily disappeared for 3 seasons and come back an assassin and it would have worked. Like Bran. Same could be said for Tyrion’s arc since he left King’s Landing. Sure, there are enjoyable moments, but what did his story contribute in the grand scheme? GRRM won’t waste our time like D&D. And it’s never been more frustrating than season 6.

    I am calling it now… Nymeria will return in the finale! At least a Nymeria.

    Of course the Starks will win at the upcoming battle… and of course Rickon is RIP. And while this won’t happen in the book, it will on the show because it IS now just VIKINGS in Westeros.

    I wouldn’t put it past D&D having Arya on Nymeria riding into battle… after all, the farther along we get, GOT goes from being adult-LOTR to teenage-The Hobbit quality. Maybe they are smart to end it in another 10 episodes because clearly they don’t have the creative stamina to not lean on horrible cliches and lameness.

    Man, I can’t wait for the next book… the story telling on the show is turning sour. But I don’t think it is spoiling anything. I don’t think there is much in this season that is anything like what will happen in the books.

    I also read the 4th and 5th books going “Why are we wasting time on this?!” But on repeat readings, I realized how important all of that is to the bigger picture and many people like me, who at first felt disappointed by them, are especially high on A Feast for Crows.

    I don’t think the Hound is coming back in any grand fashion in the books. If GRRM gives a character a complete arc, that’s it. The show is just using a popular character to do a thing that won’t happen in the books at all. And since they are fan-servicing the hell out of the series now, go for it. At least that character/actor is fun.

    The Hound pisses in the river on Lady Stoneheart… we’re not getting her. What we ARE getting is Frey revenge and maybe the Hound will be part of that.

    Terri is correct that this season is fan-service. A missing opportunity to fan-service it more doesn’t make that untrue. It’s like when people go “Hey, there is no correlation between gun ownership and gun murders in America because I own guns and I didn’t kill anyone!” Yeah, that’s not how that works.

    Jaime & Brienne scene was the best scene in the episode. So much great acting going on there. He sees himself through her eyes and it pains him to think he would ever do anything to lose her respect. She is the only person who sees him for who he thinks he is, or should be. She is the only person in the entire world who doesn’t automatically think “Damn Kingslayer, you can’t trust him.” She thinks “Ser Jaime, who keeps his word and is an honorable knight.” I would argue Brienne, not Cersei, is his constant (LOST reference!).

    I think the King’s Landing plot will lead Jaime to leave for good and go to find Brienne. They will both fight together in the north and die together fighting off While Walkers. Will that happen in the book? Hell no.

    Cersei thinking about poisoning Tommen was because she knew her enemies would kill them anyway and she wanted to spare him that horror. So, the idea she would kill him on purpose makes no sense. It would have to be by accident.

    And at this point my email could have been read… which touches on this, and Josh deciding not to read it feels personal. So I guess I will post part of it here:

    is a likely dabbler in the finer points of
    its power (wildfire) so I think it makes more sense for it to be a pinpoint strike
    on the Sept and all inside. I
    don’t see an accidental explosion happening, especially if the “rumor”
    is them discovering the truth about the stores of it (I want to think
    the rumor is about the Tyrells killing Joff).

    Cersei will then convince Tommen to stay away from
    the trial, then orders Qyburn to “burn them all” or something to that
    effect, and
    kills everyone inside (goodbye Tyrells).

    Now while the theory that she accidentally kills her own son
    is a great one, I think it is more powerful if she is gloating post wildfire
    murder spree and tells Tommen “don’t worry, I’ll find you an even more
    beautiful wife,” to which he says “But I loved her” and jumps to his death
    (giving a new meaning to King’s Landing).

    Blackfish deciding to die makes no sense. Edmure is still a hostage. Frey’s are not giving him up. They won’t let him stay at Riverrun where his army is, so they’d have to disband the army and send them home… which would give the Blackfish opportunity to reform, if he escaped. Why would he choose to die instead? Nothing about this character suggests he would. Which is why he doesn’t do it in the books. Because it’s dumb.

    Battle of Fire will probably be 20 seconds long. I hope I’m wrong. I want it all!

    Battle of the Bastards will be spectacular and pretty obvious. Rickon will die (how would it make any sense for Ramsay to let him live?). Jon’s troops our way outnumbered and will be about to lose (you can even see it in the trailer) when Knights of Vale show up and save the day (why else set that up?). Eventually Jon and Ramsay will have a boss fight that Jon will win.

    And since Lyanna Mormont is clearly there, I bet she’ll give some great speech and I would not be shocked if all 62 of her men are still alive at the end. It would be hilariously awesome.

    Sansa should be Queen in the North… but they set up this potential strife between Jon and Sansa for a reason. There HAS TO BE some kind of problem built up between them. And why would that be that she is declared Queen in the North? Jon would be happy with that. Perhaps Jon’s bravery gets him declared King in the North (though, he is a bastard, not sure how that works) and then Littlefinger would work to turn Sansa against Jon. Dundundun.

    The more I think about it… the more that is how D&D will play it. Meanwhile, in the books, none of this will happen.

    • Except, we are in a fantasy universe, where people can resuscitate, shape shift, fly on dragons back and create white walkers with dragon glasses…

      Stop watching E.R

      • GeekFurious

        A disingenuous response. We’ve already established wounds to the body are not magically cured, only death when affected by a Red Priest who has lost their faith. You’re just being an apologist for bad writing.

        • Absolutely not. I can be very picky about bad writing ( and there is a lot of bad writing this season), but this “miraculous” healing “can” be easily explained. If this actress was some Maesteress, a la Qyburn it could be possible.
          We don’t know the gravity of the wounds ( maybe the waif was playing around with Arya more than she was trying to kill her. Which could explain why Arya had escaped easily the first time she was stabbed, and why she didn’t kill her while she was sleeping in her bed…)

    • susan appleby

      Completely agree about the cliched storytelling pretty much every time they deviated from the book.

      I do think book readers sometimes miss the obvious- like expecting the High Sparrow to allow Cersei trial by combat when she is followed around by a huge silent man-and then being disappointed when it doesn’t happen.

      I think you are wrong about Tommen being influenced by Cersei at all. I’m guessing he must assume she is innocent because he will not have a right to be king if she is found guilty. Even he isn’t that stupid. But even so he will have to attend her trial, she should know that. She may have a plan to keep Tommen from attending but he goes anyway. Cersei will never intentionally kill her only remaining child. That’s crazy. She will kill him by accident, if at all. Tommen could die by suicide if he finds out the truth or if she is convicted because she refuses to attend the trial and he is removed from the throne.

      The High Sparrow’s plan is to abolish the monarchy completely by showing Cersei is guilty of invest and Tommen can’t rule. Neither Tommen nor Cersei have allies or an army without Jaime there.

      Jaime won’t stab Cersei. I think he has more self control as a master swordsman to do that.

      • GeekFurious

        I was only talking about Tommen being convinced by Cersei to NOT attend her trial, nothing else. Like she might say “I do not want my only child to watch his mother be stripped of all pride” or something, and he’d agree because he’s a pleaser.

        • susan appleby

          He has to go because he’s the King.

          • GeekFurious

            He recused himself from Tyrion’s trial. He doesn’t have to do anything… especially on the show.

    • kane

      u didn’t mention the fact that Ramsey has a valuable hostage in Rickon which he could use to blackmail them into surrender if he’s smart and I still think its ridiculous that littlefinger is going to move the vale army through the north without the Bolton’s notice but oh well. plot regardless its going to be epic

      • GeekFurious

        While that COULD be a tactic Ramsay would use, D&D are going to skip over that MASSIVE LOGICAL OPPORTUNITY and probably just have him kill Rickon because it would be shocking and because they obviously don’t think the kid can act for some reason because they’ve given him like two lines in six seasons.

    • I really do think the ‘book readers’ community has been really good about not shoving it down the throats of the ‘show only’ viewers that GRRM’s writing and story is far superior to the show. I feel like for the most part everyone has just let the show be its own thing and enjoyed it for what it is (which is still a quality show). I think there’s almost a quiet dignity in that.

      • GeekFurious

        My problem isn’t that the books are better but that the show USED TO BE BETTER THAN THIS. That it didn’t hammer the cheese button at every turn. That it was a LEADER in execution, not a follower in doing what has been done over and over before. GOT pre-season 6 was the elite. GOT season 6 is just a more expensive VIKINGS with dragons.

        • Vikings? You aren’t being serious. It’s liike comparing lord of the rings with the Shannara chronicles.

          • GeekFurious

            Yep. Serious. That’s how cheesy the plotting is this season. And no, it’s like comparing The Hobbit to LOTR. Which is accurate.

  • Now that the show has caught up to the books and left them behind, can we still talk about spoilers ?

    • GeekFurious

      This is a book podcast… we could always talk spoilers. And there are still elements from the books not yet covered by the show.

      • Now that the show has more or less strayed away from the books, any spoiler would have little to no impact on the readers. Or so I believe.

        • GeekFurious

          I think all book spoilers should be open for discussion on TV only recaps since they’ve departed so much… but people are still sensitive about it.

          • susan appleby

            The TV show should be possible spoilers for the books!

          • ;D
            Who would have believed it.

  • susan appleby

    In that prophecy that Cersei dies from the little brother, does it say it’s her little brother? There are a lot of little brothers around. I just don’t know if Jamie could kill her.

    • Little brother could mean a little sworn brother from the faith of the seven.

      this or it will be Tyrion. He is a little man.

  • Beefcake

    I’m more convinced than ever that Jaime kills Cersei.

    That speech he made to Edmure about how much he loves Cersei was the final nail, in my opinion. It emphasized how much he cares about her and what a sacrifice it would be to kill her for the greater good.

    Jaime has been getting the redemption edit for a while. What better final act of redemption than killing Cersei as she tried to destroy KL?

    • susan appleby

      I’m going with Jaimie doesn’t kill Cersei unless it’s for mercy somehow. But we may not know this season anyway.

      What does Jaimie become without Cersei and his children and relation to the crown gone? Will he go back to the Castle he is supposed to inherit? I think it’s Casterly Rock.

      • Beefcake

        We definitely won’t see the Jaime-Cersei story concluding in this season.

        The kids are all going to die. That’s part of Cersei’s prophecy.

        Maybe handsome Jaime lives happily ever after with a certain Lady of Tarth? ::swoon::

        • susan appleby

          The last two contexts with the two we have is how much Jaime loves Cersei. For him to kill her would be to destroy his character. I can see the show doing it because it’s lazy writing to do. My guess is that Jaime may not see Cersei alive again, that was the feeling I got from their good bye. But nobody else seemed to agree with me.

          The problem is the show has been incredibly uneven with Jainues character and only the solid acting by Nickilaj has kept him believable.

    • GeekFurious

      He may kill Cersei but I doubt it will happen by the end of the season. I feel season 7 is going to be the Mad Queen phase of her arc.

  • Beefcake

    I just had a horrible thought.

    I agree there has to be a major death in the next epi. But who? They can’t kill Jon again. Rickon is a non-entity. Ser Davos would be sad, but I think they need him to keep the story going. WunWun would be sad, too, but he’s just a CGI comedy relief character. The Hound? Meh. Plus his story has to continue with Sansa or Arya.

    But what if it’s a relatively minor character who doesn’t seem to have a place in the larger story, yet is a fan favorite who is beloved by everyone in the world?

    What if it’s Lyanna Mormont? :(

    • susan appleby

      Rickon dying will be pretty heartbreaking. He’s still just a little boy.

    • GeekFurious

      Nah, it won’t be Lyanna Mormont. They didn’t even know the character was going to be that beloved, so killing her off, from the writing room perspective, would have added nothing. However, killing Rickon would affect Jon and Sansa even if the audience doesn’t care about him.

    • Wun wun isn’t a cgi character. He’s played by a real actor.

      The major actor who will die will be Ramsay.

  • Emilia Gianova

    uff you guys are way too polite to the show

  • Christine Larivière

    After reading your bio, Alex, I must ask if Kidwell is really your surname.