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Watching Game of Thrones last night and it occurred to me that now that the books aren't being adapted we're getting something that George RR Martin always refused to give us; closure and satisfying resolutions.  

Sansa did seem satisfied.

This season also seems more "writerly," for lack of a better word. In this episode, we saw two women asserting power on opposite ends of the known world. In a previous episode, we saw at least three scenarios where a woman overruled a man of her house to go to war (Arya>Theon, Sansa>Jon, Cersei>Kevan Lannister). That's what I've noticed this season: a lot of parallel plotting.

But, yes, I felt like GRRM was deliberately upending expectations by having the "good guys" lose over and over, usually because they weren't venal enough to do something awful to hang on to power. Without the books as a blueprint, maybe the TV writers are giving us more traditional TV fare.

Although I have to say Jon Snow acted really stupidly, doing exactly what Sansa warned against: Letting Ramsay get into his head and make him do something rash. OTOH, why didn't Sansa mention that there was another army on the way? Unless she didn't know, which I hope they establish. Because otherwise she set Jon up to fail, so she'd have the only untouched army, which is too cold-blooded for me to contemplate.

I have to wonder what price Sansa paid for that army.  She might not have told him because he might not have wanted her to pay that price.  That being said John is not a great strategist.  He's a good fighter, but if the other army hadn't shown all his men would be dead.  And I think he was wrong, Ramsey was worse than anything he'd faced beyond the wall.  



Captain Comics said:

But, yes, I felt like GRRM was deliberately upending expectations by having the "good guys" lose over and over, usually because they weren't venal enough to do something awful to hang on to power. Without the books as a blueprint, maybe the TV writers are giving us more traditional TV fare.

Yeah, I've been getting the feeling lately that the writers have some of the same frustrations that I have with the novels and are sort of addressing them piece by piece now.

And at the same time some other plot elements do seem to be much more far fetched than Martin's usually more down to earth approach.  I don't see Jon Snow or any of his buddies surviving that battle if Martin writes that scene.

In The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco set out to essentially prove that Sherlock Holmes couldn't exist. his protagonist was a Holmes-like detective who makes shrewd deductions based on the mud on their feet, their callouses (or lack of same) -- you know, the sort of show-off thing Holmes would do on occasion. But Eco had his great detective be dead wrong on his every deduction about the murder mystery at the heart of the plot. As a reader, it made me a little irritated to have the tropes of detective fiction -- a genre I enjoy -- pissed on. And it was deliberately that. But moreover, I felt like he was wasting my time by having a protagonist who, at the end of the day, wasn't essential to the murder or its solution. I felt like he was entertaining himself, not me, and had suckered me into paying for his self-pleasuring.

Tellingly, when they made The Name of the Rose into a movie, that played it straight -- Sean Connery was a Sherlock Holmes-like detective, who solves the mystery by clever deduction. The end. Sure, it was the path more traveled, but it was a lot more satisfying.

Similarly, GRRM seems to be making a point about "good guys" and power -- that they don't mix very well, and all our stories about the good guys winning are the fantasies. And, yes, I get it, and he's most likely right -- but like with The Name of the Rose, it isn't very satisfying in the long run.



Captain Comics said:


Similarly, GRRM seems to be making a point about "good guys" and power -- that they don't mix very well, and all our stories about the good guys winning are the fantasies. And, yes, I get it, and he's most likely right -- but like with The Name of the Rose, it isn't very satisfying in the long run.

Agreed.


btw: Regarding Sansa's army: There was a scene in an earlier episode where Littlefinger tried to get back in her good graces by offering his army and she smartly rebuffed him. Then an episode or two later she is shown preparing a note for a raven after realizing that Jon Snow's army is too small. I'm assuming it was a note to Littlefinger requesting his aid. Maybe she didn't know if he would come so she didn't want to tell anyone. So I'm guessing the price she pays is that Littlefinger has now wormed his way back into her life.

Also there is a scene in a earlier episode where a mysterious figure approaches Bran in the woods. After seeing Jon resurrected my first thought was that it was somehow Ned returned to life. It turned out to be Benjen but I was wondering if anyone else had that same initial reaction or if it was just me.

Thinking of armies I wonder how many there are left?  We've had a few seasons now of armies being killed off.  The one thing this world won't have to worry about for a long time is overpopulation.



Detective 445 said:

btw: Regarding Sansa's army: There was a scene in an earlier episode where Littlefinger tried to get back in her good graces by offering his army and she smartly rebuffed him. Then an episode or two later she is shown preparing a note for a raven after realizing that Jon Snow's army is too small. I'm assuming it was a note to Littlefinger requesting his aid. Maybe she didn't know if he would come so she didn't want to tell anyone. So I'm guessing the price she pays is that Littlefinger has now wormed his way back into her life.

I remembered the letter-writing scene. But I thought it was accounted for when Brienne got a letter from Sansa via raven. So that was, evidently, a dodge. I realized when Littlefinger showed up that Sansa must have written two letters, and they didn't show us the second one.

But that doesn't answer my real concern, which is: Did Sansa know the Knights of the Vale were coming, and didn't tell Jon? Because that's a very serious thing, if true.

  She might have known that they were coming but didn't know when they'd get there.  And for all she knew Little Finger had another plan in mind.

I'm hoping it's something like that, and they'll set my anxieties to rest in the season finale.

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