It is this time during GoT season when I get to use the words that only those who read the books understand.
These dumb as fuck showrunners, oh my God.
In a stroke of one episode I went from loving Stannis and hoping he never dies and hating Brienne for even considering killing him to begging, begging the gods to have Brienne put Oathkeeper through his heart so that I no longer have to witness the massacre of his character by the writers and Stephen Dillane no longer has to navigate the labyrinth of how shite Stannis' character development is. You could actually see him wonder what the hell is this mess during his scenes last night.
The worst part? Is that the writers are probably proud of themselves. They probably think they showed Stannis as this tragic figure who has to make a sacrifice. But here is what they are forgetting - there are times where their writing sucks ass so bad it actually makes all the good scenes pale in the comparison to its awfulness. And that is the most spectacularly shitty example of that.
We know Stannis held Storm End for a year. Starving, suffering. But he held it. We know Shireen is his only heir. We know he loves her. We know he intends to fight White Walkers and that his army is dying. But we saw one scene depicting the death march. 40 horses died. Yes, Ramsay attacked and there is no food.
But if you are trying to tell me that the man who held Storm End while starving would burn his own daughter alive because there is no food supply, that he would effectively end his house - there is no other heir, Gendry is fucking rowing somewhere - that he would kill his own daughter because psychotic nymphomaniac tells him it will help you must think I am fucking crazier than I am.
This is the dumbest thing the show has ever done. And worse they could make it work - they could show at least one scene with Shireen suffering and freezing so that Stannis deciding to burn her would almost look like mercy. But they didn't. Stannis burning Shireen makes Sansa getting raped by Ramsay look like a brilliant and well established storyline.
Yes, there were hints to this happening in the books and people long suspected Shireen will burn. But never that Stannis would be involved in it. In the grand scope of things he is saving the kingdom by committing enormous sacrifice and perhaps we will see the scenes of him grieving over his decision later on but the show is continuously committing the grave sin of terrible set up.
For example - had that scene been included in Hardhome where there was so much impact on the unstoppable threat of White Walkers it would soften the blow. Here we have Stannis sacrificing his own daughter so he can continue marching on in his campaign which is ultimately targeted at stopping the Walkers. But they chose to feature this scene here.
I'm not even mad at where that storyline went but that set up - the little time they spent showing Stannis' true intentions - stopping the Others, how much he must sacrifice and how difficult it is is just appalling. Instead of showing us more of his army dying and suffering and more scenes of Stannis talking of how grave of a threat The Others are they spent their time on boobs in Dorne.
Another thing - get your shit together HBO. The first four episodes of the season leaked. The Inside the Episode videos for at least two episodes leaked before the episodes air. There are people on facebook groups who watch the episode early and leak the storyline. And yesterday one of HBO on Demand sites fucked up and someone actually manage to upload screencaps hours before the episode aired.
In the books Stannis says to one of his knights that in case he falls in the battle he has to make sure that Shireen gets the Throne because 'he has a duty to his daughter'. In the show he allows burning her alive and in the promo for next episode he swings his sword all badass like 'fuck yeah burning my daughter worked'. I hate myself for finding that shot so goddamn hot.
How in good conscience could I possibly root for him now? And can we talk about how the scene played out? Shireen screaming for her father and mother, even the soldiers getting uncomfortable, Selyse, the woman who seemed to hate that child crying and begging Stannis to stop (amazing acting from Tara Fitzgerald here) and Stannis standing there doing nothing? Couldn't you fuckers at least have him cry? WHY?!
Apparently Martin told the writers of this scene. But I bet you that Martin simply told them she burns, not that Stannis does it. And they went and did this. I'm not surprised since Benioff and Weiss care - and know - very little of this storyline. They actualy said in the interview today that the first time we saw Stannis and Melisandre on the show they were burning people alive. That's so incorrenct.
And there was even a moment with Stannis talking that if a man knows what he is he must stay true to himself. You are a father! You are an honorable man! What the fuck have you done?
Yes, in season two we had Melisandre say " Thousands will die at your command. You will betray the men serving you,
you will betray your family, you will betray everything you once held
dear…and it will all be worth it, because you are the Son of Fire, you
are the Warrior of Light". But here is the thing BOOK SPOILERS Stannis is not Azor Ahai. Jon is. All of this is for nothing. END OF BOOK SPOILERS
Davos finds out what happened next week. Here's hoping he kills Melisandre. Or Roose captures her and flays her to death.
Why would the people care who wins the battle of Winterfell now? Do we really want Sansa next to Stannis and Melisandre? I'm hoping she manages to escape just by using corkscrew and Reek.
Also Stannis is basically a shell now. He has sold his soul to red crazy bitch, she has used up his dick so much that according to what she says he probably cannot have more children and he killed his only heir. He is not a King. He is the Lord of Light's plot device now.
You cannot sell what was done in any shape or form as the act done for greater good. Stannis sent Davos away. Because he knows killing Shireen is evil. There is no turning back now.
Echoing what Davos answered him when Stannis asked a while back, what's one life against a kingdom?
At least I laughed at one point of the day where I read the comment "Blackfish will burst in and pee on the fire to put it out."
Please just kill Stannis. Spare me and Stephen more misery.
Let's just move on from this abomination of a storyline.
Jon returns with rescued wildlings and Thorne reluctantly lets them all in. He mentions how Jon has a good heart and it will get everyone killed. The watchers are less than thrilled that Jon brought wildings to the Wall
In Braavos Mace Tyrell and Meryn Trant visit the dickish banker Tycho. While there Arya spots Meryn who is on her kill list. She follows him around and her storyline finally becomes interesting. He goes to the brothel, because it's Game of Thrones, and to add the reasons for us wanting him dead - as we didn't have enough already - it turns out he is a pedo. Arya returns to House of Black and White and lies to Jaqen about her mission.
In Dorne we get more pointless stuff but at least Alexander Siddig finally has something to do. He pardons Ellaria. She then goes to Jaime and talks to him abut love. I don't understand why the writers thought any of that story had to be included in the show. But the end result is that Trystane, Myrcella, Bronn and Jaime are going back to King's Landing.
And it's Daznak. One of the most iconic and anticipated moments for book readers but leave it for D&D to put it alongside the awfulness that is the burning of Shireen.
The pit looked awesome and the sequence was great, so great that it literally saved the episode.
Daenerys clapped her hands and the fight began, of two gladiators set to fight to the death for the enjoyment of the Queen and the crowd.
We got some Tyrion approved sass from Khaleesi targeted at her future husband. Daario gave a lenghty speech about how the quick win over the strong ones and the quick one got beheaded.
And then Jorah, the friendzoned, appears to fight for his Queen. Daenerys stars him down and claps her hands ordering him to fight to others. Jorah fights to the death and wins and then throws his spear next to Queen's head....
right into one of the Son of the Harpy who began attacking.
Dany's husband to be gets whacked, but no one really cares. Daario, Tyrion and Jorah try protecting Daenerys and Missandai. We got a lovely wordless moment between Jorah and Dany when she finally forgives him and takes his hand.
The group is in the center of the Daznak Pit. The harpies are closing in to them and as Dany takes Missandai's hand, readying herself to die...
...they hear a roar.
And then Drogon appears. He starts burning the harpies and fighting them off. He has arrived to rescue Daenerys. He lands next to her and the harpies are throwing spears at him, some of them hitting him. Daenerys yells out to him and comes closer.
Drogon looks at her and doesn't hurt her. BECAUSE EVEN DROGON KNOWS YOU DON'T BURN YOUR OWN FUCKING FAMILY.
Dany jumps on his back and in an awesome moment that would have make all of us go "fuck yeah" if our souls weren't crashed by the previous events of the episode, she gives Drogon a command to fly in High Valyrian and just like that, Daenerys Targaryen, the mother of dragons and Drogon take flight.
It was a short but glorious moment set to yet another version of Ramin Djawadi's Mother of Dragons theme. The episode ended with Tyrion, Jorah, Daario and Missandai looking at their Queen flying away.
This was a very good episode mostly thanks to Dany's scene and the brilliant acting from everyone. It is unnerving that the show has now put the entire dramatic weight in Northern storyline on Sansa. No one can really back Stannis now and I doubt many back Roose so now all we care about is Sansa and we know how the writers like to treat her like the punching bag. Hopefully both Sansa and Brienne give us someone to really root for in the finale. In the books at the time of the battle every reader prays for Stannis. Here, who cares anymore?
Benioff and Weiss chose the worst possible moment for Shireen burning. It is not coming off not as something done to fight the Others, but as something done to melt the snow to free Winterfell. They have deprived the audience of a hero to root for and gave the show more tragedy in the form of that scene. And given what's coming in finale? Just how much tragedy can the audience handle?
Arya's storyline improved and who knows where the show will leave her by the end of next episode. Dorne was largely pointless, I wish something just exploded there and killed everyone other than Jaime and Bronn.
Next week it's the season finale, Mother's Mercy. Stannis marches,
tensions at the Wall are getting even worse and Cersei asks for
forgiveness. Also watch the show jerk me around for the third year in
the row and most likely not introducing Stoneheart yet again.
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