John Podhoretz sits in for James Delingpole as he and Toby deconstruct this week’s episode as the season draw ever nearer to the series conclusion.

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Members have made 30 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Sonny Blount Thatcher

    Toby’s stuttering is making this very, very difficult to listen to.

    • #1
    • August 8, 2017 at 9:36 pm
    • LikeLike
  2. Profile photo of Mike LaRoche Thatcher

    Lyanna Mormont on the Iron Throne? Quite a bold prediction by John.

    • #2
    • August 9, 2017 at 1:03 am
    • Like3 likes
  3. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    The issue with Bran is that he’s seen too much. He basically knows everything that’s happened and is playing coy for some reason. That makes him a constant threat to be a deus ex machina by which they snip through every Gordian knot they’ve created for themselves.

    • #3
    • August 9, 2017 at 5:34 am
    • Like1 like
  4. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    The issue with Bran is that he’s seen too much. He basically knows everything that’s happened and is playing coy for some reason. That makes him a constant threat to be a deus ex machina by which they snip through every Gordian knot they’ve created for themselves.

    The problem with Bran is that he is [expletive] boring, and every time he shows up on screen I die a little inside.

    He is a pointless character as far as I can tell. He adds nothing to the plot except filler. Perhaps George R. R. Martin had some plan for him in the books, but now it is too late. Kind of like Little Finger who for the first 4 seasons was working on his evil plan then they ran out of book material and his character took a nose dive off of the character cliff. Does anyone remember the Vale and its little despotic Warden? Wasn’t Little finger angling to be in charge of it? Now all that is out the window as he tries to pick up jail bait.

    • #4
    • August 9, 2017 at 7:43 am
    • LikeLike
  5. Profile photo of Mister D Member

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    The issue with Bran is that he’s seen too much. He basically knows everything that’s happened and is playing coy for some reason. That makes him a constant threat to be a deus ex machina by which they snip through every Gordian knot they’ve created for themselves.

    I agree and I don’t. If we take his word at face value, he knows everything. But he has become so detached from reality that he may not be able to judge what is and is not relevant or when to reveal it (hint: never a good idea to talk about watching your sister get raped on her wedding nigh). It may be a matter of him adjusting and orienting himself properly, but it is still an artificial narrative limitation, and at some point “Bran knows all” will suck out a lot of drama.

    • #5
    • August 9, 2017 at 8:17 am
    • Like4 likes
  6. Profile photo of Mister D Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    The issue with Bran is that he’s seen too much. He basically knows everything that’s happened and is playing coy for some reason. That makes him a constant threat to be a deus ex machina by which they snip through every Gordian knot they’ve created for themselves.

    The problem with Bran is that he is [expletive] boring, and every time he shows up on screen I die a little inside.

    He is a pointless character as far as I can tell. He adds nothing to the plot except filler. Perhaps George R. R. Martin had some plan for him in the books, but now it is too late. Kind of like Little Finger who for the first 4 seasons was working on his evil plan then they ran out of book material and his character took a nose dive off of the character cliff. Does anyone remember the Vale and its little despotic Warden? Wasn’t Little finger angling to be in charge of it? Now all that is out the window as he tries to pick up jail bait.

    Littlefinger is still in charge of the Vale. It was just a couple of episodes ago (though over a year in our time) that he rode to the rescue in Battle of the Bastards, but the North is a bigger prize. He was hoping to manipulate Sansa (who’s biggest error IMO has been that she let Littlefinger know she’s on to him) against Jon. The sudden return of two more very capable Stark offspring has put a significant kink in his plans. I would be wary of writing him off so soon, though.

    • #6
    • August 9, 2017 at 8:22 am
    • Like3 likes
  7. Profile photo of Mister D Member

    On Tyrion – he is smart, and he is charming, and he has a knack for “the Game.” But he learned at Varys’ feet. He is not yet a master. He successfully defended the Red Keep in the Battle of Blackwater Bay because he had a predictable foe, a home field he knew very well, and wildfire.

    Last season he badly blew negotiations with the masters, and almost lost Mereen. He refused to heed the warnings of Messende and Greyworm. Dany and the dragons had to come to his rescue.

    He made a similar mistake this time. He is not a warrior at heart. He does not want to kill innocent people, especially the people he saved back in S2, so he will not go all out to destroy the Red Keep. He also does not know his brother and sister any more. The deaths of their father and children has changed them. Tyrion believed he understood them, and being Lannisters, would vigorously defend their family home. But they don’t care about legacy any more, and were quite comfortable letting Casterly Rock fall. Tyrion might have understood that had he spoke with Olenna, had he not again assumed he was the smartest man in the room, and did not need to listen to others who might have more recent intel.

    • #7
    • August 9, 2017 at 8:29 am
    • Like1 like
  8. Profile photo of BD1 Member
    BD1

    – Littlefinger: Check out the big brain on Bran!

    Bran: Redrum.

    – Will Benioff bring Drogon to his new show, for use against the Southern states?

    – I like to hear John Podhoretz talk. About television. And movies.

    • #8
    • August 9, 2017 at 9:03 am
    • LikeLike
  9. Profile photo of JeffHawkins Coolidge

    Mister D (View Comment):
    On Tyrion – he is smart, and he is charming, and he has a knack for “the Game.” But he learned at Varys’ feet. He is not yet a master. He successfully defended the Red Keep in the Battle of Blackwater Bay because he had a predictable foe, a home field he knew very well, and wildfire.

    Last season he badly blew negotiations with the masters, and almost lost Mereen. He refused to heed the warnings of Messende and Greyworm. Dany and the dragons had to come to his rescue.

    He made a similar mistake this time. He is not a warrior at heart. He does not want to kill innocent people, especially the people he saved back in S2, so he will not go all out to destroy the Red Keep. He also does not know his brother and sister any more. The deaths of their father and children has changed them. Tyrion believed he understood them, and being Lannisters, would vigorously defend their family home. But they don’t care about legacy any more, and were quite comfortable letting Casterly Rock fall. Tyrion might have understood that had he spoke with Olenna, had he not again assumed he was the smartest man in the room, and did not need to listen to others who might have more recent intel.

    He is not a wartime consigliere. He knows domestic policy, but this is a time where a guy like Stannis (book version) or Barristan Selmy would come in handy as Hand.

    Here’s where Podhoretz’s point is well made about Tyrion’s writing w/o the books. Tyrion was hand in Kings Landing. He’s very aware of the debts to the Iron Bank. Unless he’s purposefully holding back, he and Varys would have to know the Lannisters would seek to shore up finances to protect the empire if for no other reason to buy Sellswords.

    All these geniuses becoming dumb is a product of running out of the source material and relying on exposition.

    • #9
    • August 9, 2017 at 9:20 am
    • Like1 like
  10. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    JeffHawkins (View Comment):
    He is not a wartime consigliere. He knows domestic policy, but this is a time where a guy like Stannis (book version) or Barristan Selmy would come in handy as Hand.

    Here’s where Podhoretz’s point is well made about Tyrion’s writing w/o the books. Tyrion was hand in Kings Landing. He’s very aware of the debts to the Iron Bank. Unless he’s purposefully holding back, he and Varys would have to know the Lannisters would seek to shore up finances to protect the empire if for no other reason to buy Sellswords.

    All these geniuses becoming dumb is a product of running out of the source material and relying on exposition.

    I actually disagree with this analysis.

    Every battle plan is inherently a casualty of war in that it never survives contact with the enemy. Throughout history, things like “bad luck” and “the weather” have been decisive factors in historical hinge-point battles and I think this situation is no different. This happens in the real world and Westeros isn’t immune. More fleets have probably been wiped out by storms than sunk by opposing navies in military history.

    Besides, if Tyrion were so brilliant that if Dany just did everything he said and it all came out correct, wouldn’t he just be Hermione, and this whole thing would be very, very boring?

    • #10
    • August 9, 2017 at 9:41 am
    • Like2 likes
  11. Profile photo of Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Wouldn’t the first thing Sansa would say to Arya be, “Hey, Bran’s here too!”

    • #11
    • August 9, 2017 at 9:53 am
    • Like1 like
  12. Profile photo of Could Be Anyone Member

    The whole issue is that they decided to finish a show that at the least had 2 seasons (10 episodes long) left of material. They have had to cram the story into 7 episodes (the last one not being even an hour long). This has created numerous issues as noted by other individuals on this thread. Building up the fight with the Army of the Dead while covering the War for Westeros with Dany and Cersei is simply too much politicking and war to be put into only 7 episodes.

    Things are matured too quickly and it makes the story less and less “real” (which is what any fantasy is supposed to do, its meant to be different but just real enough to buy into it and especially Martin’s novels since they focused heavily on the real difficulty of a medieval like existence) as battles occur without any reconnaissance, characters are not given enough time to develop in their arcs, and ultimately valuable scenes that connect the story and make the show immersive are cut. More movies and shows are ruined by being short and crammed than by being long (Jackson’s abomination of the Hobbit is an exception) and drawn out in my opinion.

    • #12
    • August 9, 2017 at 10:44 am
    • LikeLike
  13. Profile photo of JeffHawkins Coolidge

    Majestyk (View Comment):

    JeffHawkins (View Comment):
    He is not a wartime consigliere. He knows domestic policy, but this is a time where a guy like Stannis (book version) or Barristan Selmy would come in handy as Hand.

    Here’s where Podhoretz’s point is well made about Tyrion’s writing w/o the books. Tyrion was hand in Kings Landing. He’s very aware of the debts to the Iron Bank. Unless he’s purposefully holding back, he and Varys would have to know the Lannisters would seek to shore up finances to protect the empire if for no other reason to buy Sellswords.

    All these geniuses becoming dumb is a product of running out of the source material and relying on exposition.

    I actually disagree with this analysis.

    Every battle plan is inherently a casualty of war. It never survives contact with the enemy. Throughout history, things like “bad luck” and “the weather” have been decisive factors in historical hinge-point battles and I think this situation is no different. The real world and even Westeros are no different. More fleets have probably been wiped out by storms than sunk by opposing navies in military history.

    Besides, if Tyrion were so brilliant that if Dany just did everything he said and it all came out correct, wouldn’t he just be Hermione, and this whole thing would be very, very boring?

    I’m not saying Tyrion should have known Jamie was going to feint. I’m not even saying he should have been prepared for an attack on House Tyrell (although with Varys there he would have to know Cersei’s hatred for Olenna Tyrell)

    I’m saying he should have known Casterly Rock held no strategic value for the Lannisters other than housing Tywin’s old regiments and given that Cersei doesn’t seem to be the nostalgic type she would have secured provisions in Kings’ Landing and let her old home rot as it had little strategic value other than soldiers. Casterly Rock meant a lot to Tyrion, it was his legacy, and his by right if you think about it (With Jamie having renounced all property to join the Kingsguard)

    I’m saying perhaps Tyrion was a bit blinded by personal vendetta rather than seeing a big picture, and that combined with lack of wartime planning experience is hurting him. Tyrion is perfect if dealing with the other Houses diplomatically.

    • #13
    • August 9, 2017 at 10:49 am
    • Like1 like
  14. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    Things are matured too quickly and it makes the story less and less “real” (which is what any fantasy is supposed to do, its meant to be different but just real enough to buy into it and especially Martin’s novels since they focused heavily on the real difficulty of a medieval like existence) as battles occur without any reconnaissance, characters are not given enough time to develop in their arcs, and ultimately valuable scenes that connect the story and make the show immersive are cut. More movies and shows are ruined by being short and crammed than by being long (Jackson’s abomination of the Hobbit is an exception) and drawn out in my opinion.

    This same phenomenon happened with the Harry Potter movies. Even though 3 and 6 are my favorite episodes, they were nonetheless sullied by creative license taken by the director and Screenwriter who hacked critical bits out of the story in favor of cramming it with pointless vanity pieces.

    Some mention of the Marauders in PoA might have been nice but Alfonso Cuaron was too busy making artsy shots with Dementors and the Whomping Willow. Somehow, this bizarre, non-canonical scene got crammed into HBP where Bellatrix Lestrange sets fire to the Burrow… instead of seeing a critically important flashback where Tom Riddle cons Hepzibah into revealing that she had Hufflepuff’s Cup or where Marvolo Riddle confronts Tom about the Ring. Just foolish.

    • #14
    • August 9, 2017 at 10:54 am
    • LikeLike
  15. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    JeffHawkins (View Comment):
    I’m not saying Tyrion should have known Jamie was going to feint. I’m not even saying he should have been prepared for an attack on House Tyrell (although with Varys there he would have to know Cersei’s hatred for Olenna Tyrell)

    I’m saying he should have known Casterly Rock held no strategic value for the Lannisters other than housing Tywin’s old regiments and given that Cersei doesn’t seem to be the nostalgic type she would have secured provisions in Kings’ Landing and let her old home rot as it had little strategic value other than soldiers. Casterly Rock meant a lot to Tyrion, it was his legacy, and his by right if you think about it (With Jamie having renounced all property to join the Kingsguard)

    I’m saying perhaps Tyrion was a bit blinded by personal vendetta rather than seeing a big picture, and that combined with lack of wartime planning experience is hurting him. Tyrion is perfect if dealing with the other Houses diplomatically.

    Human weakness is a recurrent theme throughout this show as well. Stannis, Renly, Robb and Catelyn… all of them were felled because of pride, hubris or foolishness in whom they trusted.

    Tyrion isn’t immune to this, and I’m glad that he’s not the omniscient, magical dwarf.

    • #15
    • August 9, 2017 at 10:58 am
    • Like2 likes
  16. Profile photo of Petty B Member

    I think Sansa will end up on the throne after becoming a quasi-Cersi.

    • #16
    • August 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm
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  17. Profile photo of Arizona Patriot Member

    JeffHawkins (View Comment):
    I’m saying he should have known Casterly Rock held no strategic value for the Lannisters other than housing Tywin’s old regiments and given that Cersei doesn’t seem to be the nostalgic type she would have secured provisions in Kings’ Landing and let her old home rot as it had little strategic value other than soldiers. Casterly Rock meant a lot to Tyrion, it was his legacy, and his by right if you think about it (With Jamie having renounced all property to join the Kingsguard).

    I think that it is shocking that Jamie and Cersei would allow the fall of Casterly Rock. Not because of any sentimental attachment that they might have to the place, but because in war, it’s a really bad thing to let you capital fall.

    I know, you could argue that King’s Landing is Cersei’s capital. But the heart of her power remains the Lannister army, and that army is based in the Westlands. The Lannister bannermen and common people have remained loyal to Jamie and Cersei, and losing their capital would be a severe psychological blow.

    • #17
    • August 9, 2017 at 4:37 pm
    • LikeLike
  18. Profile photo of Arizona Patriot Member

    I am troubled that John and Toby don’t seem to understand Jon Snow’s potential claim to the Iron Throne. I know it’s a complicated show, but if you’re going to host the ThronesCast, you need to understand these things.

    It’s simple. Here goes.

    The last Targaryen King was Aerys II, the Mad King. He is the one overthrown by Robert’s Rebellion and killed by Jamie.

    The Mad King had 3 children: eldest son Rhaegar; second son Viserys; daughter Danaerys.

    Unknown to anyone except Bran and maybe Howland Reed (Meera’s dad), Jon Snow is actually the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark. Rhaegar and Lyanna may have been married — we don’t know — so Jon may even be a legitimate son.

    If so, then Jon Snow is the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. Even if he is illegitimate, he has colorable claim because all of the other Targaryens are dead, except Danaerys. Do you accept a bastard, or a ruling queen? This looks like a tough call under the law of Westeros

    By the way, Rhaegar had 3 children. He had a son and a daughter by his known, legitimate wife (Elia Martell, a princess of Dorne). They were both killed in the sack of King’s Landing — or at least, it appears this way in the HBO series. In the books, the son of Rhaegar and Elia is Aegon, aka “Young Griff,” who is the legitimate Targaryen heir and who has invaded the Stormlands. He was believed killed in the sack of King’s Landing, but was actually spirited away to Essos. However, this plot line is completely absent in the HBO series.

    • #18
    • August 9, 2017 at 4:52 pm
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  19. Profile photo of Arizona Patriot Member

    A minor correction to the above. One of the GoT wikis says that the Mad King had several additional children, other than Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenarys. These were the only three that survived infancy.

    • #19
    • August 9, 2017 at 5:02 pm
    • LikeLike
  20. Profile photo of LC Member
    LC

    I’m going to post this here just like I did on the other discussion regarding this episode. Because it’s cool.

    • #20
    • August 10, 2017 at 12:49 am
    • LikeLike
  21. Profile photo of LC Member
    LC

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    The whole issue is that they decided to finish a show that at the least had 2 seasons (10 episodes long) left of material. They have had to cram the story into 7 episodes (the last one not being even an hour long). This has created numerous issues as noted by other individuals on this thread. Building up the fight with the Army of the Dead while covering the War for Westeros with Dany and Cersei is simply too much politicking and war to be put into only 7 episodes.

    Things are matured too quickly and it makes the story less and less “real” (which is what any fantasy is supposed to do, its meant to be different but just real enough to buy into it and especially Martin’s novels since they focused heavily on the real difficulty of a medieval like existence) as battles occur without any reconnaissance, characters are not given enough time to develop in their arcs, and ultimately valuable scenes that connect the story and make the show immersive are cut. More movies and shows are ruined by being short and crammed than by being long (Jackson’s abomination of the Hobbit is an exception) and drawn out in my opinion.

    I wish there’s a great middle ground. I do agree that things are happening quickly because the showrunners have a set schedule in mind. However, book 5 drove me crazy (just like book 4 but for different reasons) because nothing was converging. How is it possible that I read that bloody, huge book and the storylines are still not converging? There has to be a middle ground between the show’s escalating speed and GRRM’s lack of one.

    Overall, I still prefer the show over the books as opposed to say the HP movies vs the books.

    • #21
    • August 10, 2017 at 12:57 am
    • LikeLike
  22. Profile photo of Mister D Member

    JeffHawkins (View Comment):
    He is not a wartime consigliere. He knows domestic policy, but this is a time where a guy like Stannis (book version) or Barristan Selmy would come in handy as Hand.

    Stannis erred by putting his faith in Melissandre, and he was waaay too bound by rules, but the fact that he dropped his fight for the throne the second he heard about the White Walkers tells me he might have been the best one to run the kingdom.

    • #22
    • August 10, 2017 at 8:04 am
    • LikeLike
  23. Profile photo of Mister D Member

    JeffHawkins (View Comment):
    I’m saying he should have known Casterly Rock held no strategic value for the Lannisters other than housing Tywin’s old regiments and given that Cersei doesn’t seem to be the nostalgic type she would have secured provisions in Kings’ Landing and let her old home rot as it had little strategic value other than soldiers. Casterly Rock meant a lot to Tyrion, it was his legacy, and his by right if you think about it (With Jamie having renounced all property to join the Kingsguard)

    I’m saying perhaps Tyrion was a bit blinded by personal vendetta rather than seeing a big picture, and that combined with lack of wartime planning experience is hurting him. Tyrion is perfect if dealing with the other Houses diplomatically.

    I believe Tyrion believed the Lannister legacy meant more to his siblings than it did. And it probably was more important to them when their father and two children were still alive. Cersei is considerably more coldblooded now than she was (and that says a lot). The problem is a lot of water has passed under the Red Keep while Tyrion was away. He doesn’t know who his sister is now, and would be surprised to see how my Jamie is supporting her madness. Because he believed the Lannister army would defend Casterly Rock, he did not believe Cersei had the forces to pose a credible threat to High Garden. Bad intelligence led to bad analysis which led to a bad plan.

    • #23
    • August 10, 2017 at 8:12 am
    • LikeLike
  24. Profile photo of Mister D Member

    LC (View Comment):
    I wish there’s a great middle ground. I do agree that things are happening quickly because the showrunners have a set schedule in mind. However, book 5 drove me crazy (just like book 4 but for different reasons) because nothing was converging. How is it possible that I read that bloody, huge book and the storylines are still not converging? There has to be a middle ground between the show’s escalating speed and GRRM’s lack of one.

    I have not read the books, but there is a broad consensus of those I have spoken with that the later books drag on too long, and introduce too many addition plotlines. There are many who also feel that there were too many storylines that dragged on in seasons 5 and 6 (Arya’s training, Dany in Mereen, and anything Dornish). When a common complaint is “get on with it already”, I cannot fault them for getting on with it. They have spent 6 years setting up the dominoes. Once they fall, they fall fast. Or did we really want to see three weeks of Jon Snow sailing to Dragonstone?

    • #24
    • August 10, 2017 at 8:20 am
    • Like2 likes
  25. Profile photo of JeffHawkins Coolidge

    Mister D (View Comment):

    JeffHawkins (View Comment):
    He is not a wartime consigliere. He knows domestic policy, but this is a time where a guy like Stannis (book version) or Barristan Selmy would come in handy as Hand.

    Stannis erred by putting his faith in Melissandre, and he was waaay too bound by rules, but the fact that he dropped his fight for the throne the second he heard about the White Walkers tells me he might have been the best one to run the kingdom.

    The moment he said “I was trying to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I should have been trying to save the kingdom to win the throne.” in a Sonny Bunch kind of way, I read the books and came to the conclusion that Stannis is the real hero. Selfless in defense of the realm, comes to leadership with a moral code (Albeit a bit stringent) and has Davos there to teach him empathy. Has no need for familial titles, but thinks status should be earned (“We will make new lords”). The problem is every other leader in ASoIaF is doing it out of pride or ego and leads from emotion. Stannis out of duty, and had rules. You can learn people skills, morality is a better base.

    He’s also the only one to suspect anything amiss about the Lannister geneology.

    • #25
    • August 10, 2017 at 11:00 am
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  26. Profile photo of milkchaser Member

    Why shouldn’t the zombies win? Watch “The Girl With All The Gifts“.

    • #26
    • August 12, 2017 at 10:49 pm
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  27. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    milkchaser (View Comment):
    Why shouldn’t the zombies win? Watch “The Girl With All The Gifts“.

    Or maybe they will have a surprise ending and the real winner is SMOD! Now no one would see that coming.

    • #27
    • August 13, 2017 at 6:47 am
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  28. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):
    the son of Rhaegar and Elia is Aegon, aka “Young Griff,” who is the legitimate Targaryen heir and who has invaded the Stormlands. He was believed killed in the sack of King’s Landing, but was actually spirited away to Essos. However, this plot line is completely absent in the HBO series.

    And thank God it was, because that whole plot line came out of left field in the books.

    • #28
    • August 13, 2017 at 6:50 am
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  29. Profile photo of milkchaser Member

    I almost made it to the end, but I just couldn’t take Toby’s irritating stutter. JPod’s irrelevant name-dropping aside, that stammer does not work very well in a podcast or radio. I-I-I-I think is something he k-k-k-k-could work on a-a-a-a-and let me know when he’s k-k-cured. This podcast was the opposite of GoT – boring as hell.

    • #29
    • August 13, 2017 at 6:58 am
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  30. Profile photo of BD1 Member
    BD1

    That must have been what the “Highway of Death” was like at the end of the Gulf War.

    • #30
    • August 13, 2017 at 10:36 am
    • LikeLike