Game of Thrones S4E6 Book / Speculation followup for non-readers: "The Laws of Gods and Men"
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Game of Thrones!
Redditor lukeatlook summarizes:
Welcome to the weekly followup for non-readers! Here you can retain your blissful non-reader ignorance and yet step towards the enlightenment of reading the books. Without actually reading them. Which would be nice. But it's not mandatory.
Spoiler scope is more or less "You should be fine". This text will not spoil future events, but may or may not present backstory already known in the books, but yet to be revealed in the show.
TL;DR: Stay a non-reader, but feel like a reader - Useful backstory - Useless backstory - References in titles - Reddit Gold mine - STANNIS THE MANNIS
The Onion Knight of Wall Street
You may see why those numbers don't appear to add up to a happy ending - Mycroft Holmes posing as Tycho Nestoris, about the schedules and payrolls of Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch affecting the future of Sherlock
TL;DR of that post: Braavos is a unique city, hidden from the Valyrian Freehold and kept secret until the Freehold collapsed 400 years before the show's events.
Titan of Braavos is based on a real-life wonder Colossus of Rhodes. You've probably heard of it already, I hope - it's part of Wonders of the World, which was practically the Hellenic version of a Cracked list.
Writers hate Stannis. It's difficult to provide a TL;DR of why the book readers like him much more, but long story short book Stannis is a way different character not just in personality (he has a "personality of a lobster"), but in actions. He doesn't burn people for being heretics, he doesn't lust for Melisandre (he's rather asexual), he doesn't throw leeches into fire without hestitation (especially with Robb's name on his lips), he mourns for his brothers, et cetera. He's probably the most morally conflicted character of the series -- he does things because he feels he has to, but has a huge moral hangover about it. Renly's death keeps haunting him and he tells about his dilemmas to Davos, who's outright his conscience.
This week: Book Stannis never begs for money. Iron Bank approached Stannis on its own will, seeing a great opportunity. At least we got to see Braavos - which is nice.
Saaladhor San is a captain-for-hire who Davos personally trusts. He already fought alongside them in the Battle of Blackwater and rescued Davos from the site in the beginning of season 3.
Unleash The Hounds
rito pls nerf - Asha/Yara about Ramsay's trump card, even though she's the one playing the truly OP Miracle Rogue
IT WASN'T IN THE BOOKS. This is just infuriating, but I can't really say more than that. You can feel the plot hole's gravity when Asha has a Yara moment and cannot stop Ramsay from ostentatiously opening the cages.
Asha/Yara disappears from the narrative for the whole A Storm of Swords. This escapade had two purposes: reminding people that she exists and confirming that Theon Greyjoy is gone.
Have faith. Greyjoys will have their moment, just the storyline juggling postponed a key event in their plot, I would say by a good season now. ASOS is an incredibly intense book and the season split made some significant changes to the timeline.
Viva La Vida
This is the best job ever! - Daenerys, living her Disney dream
Worst. Job. EVER. - same, after realizing that crucifying people seems quite not Disney
Drogon is surely impressive, but he's got long way to go to grow as large as the legendary Balerion the Black Dread. Best fan estimates put Balerion's height at over 70 metres, which is larger than Smaug from the Hobbit, Saessenthis AKA from The Witcher 2, Alduin from Skyrim, dragons from Gothic 2, Harry Potter, or pretty much any other story. In real world terms: a jumbo jet.
The language spoken by the shepherd is either Ghiscari (the language of the old empire that build the pyramids) or Low Valyrian, which is heavily influenced by Ghiscari (Valyrians conquered most of Essos, and people from outside Valyria spoke the new language differently). Daenerys speaks High Valyrian, but occasionally throws in Low Valyrian phrases when addressing slaves.
Funny names are a commodity in Meereen, but luckily they're introduced in Valyrian, so we get subtitles. Hizdahr zo Loraq is a character from ADWD, so we see the plot accelerating. This is not spoiling Daenerys' lifespan - she doesn't appear in A Feast for Crows. But let's be honest, her plot armor at this point is just ridiculous.
Meereen is a city past its prime. Sure, Dany might (or might not) have brought its doom, but it's not like she blocked its march into greatness. The era of the Ghiscari culture is long gone. As a matter of fact, Meereen wasn't even the capital of the empire - it was Ghis. Unfortunately, Ghis got burned down to ground by Valyrians.
Let's Officially Ignore Important Stuff
Dragons haven't won a war in 300 years - Tywin Lannister, voicing a totally believable argument against worrying about endlessly growing firebreathing lizards
Master of Ships is a really empty title at this point. Lannister navy was completely destroyed in the battle of Blackwater - in the books, it wasn't just one ship loaded with wildfire, Tyrion baited Stannis with their whole navy, sacrificing it to bring down the Baratheon forces. Funnily enough, Stannis was the previous Master of Ships, and a very skillful one at that - he suppressed the Greyjoy rebellion, which took place after Robert's and ended with Balon's last son Theon being hostage in Winterfell.
Master of Coin, the title held formerly by Tyrion, could be ceded to Oberyn, but he doesn't seem to have much experience with finances.
Master of Laws is a title apparently written off from the show, even though it was Renly Baratheon's job in season one. In the book, that title, which gives power over the City Watch, is currently held by Kevan Lannister, Tywin's brother. Kevan appeared in season 1 and 2 during Tywin's war council and may come back to the show next season, perhaps, possibly recasted.
Jokes aside, dragons are fearsome, but not unbeatable. Meraxes, one of the three huge dragons that Aegon and his sisters rode, was taken down in Dorne by a ballista shot to the eye.
I should have let Stannis kill you all - Tyrion, realizing he chose the wrong side by opposing One True King
Trial by combat may be requested at any point during a trial by any party and as far as we know cannot be denied. Can be fought by the parties themselves or their champions. The most extreme version involves using seven champions for both sides, so far it has not been invoked for a hundred years.
Rickard Stark, Ned's father, demanded trial by combat to free his son Brandon Stark from Mad King's accusations. Aerys Targaryen decided that his champion will be fire, and that all Rickard has to do to win is to not burn. Spoiler alert: Rickard lost the trial.
Leaving the necklace to be found seems fishy, but fits Littlefinger's actions from the book - he is the one who organizes the dwarf jousting to ensure tension between Tyrion and Joffrey. I've already mentioned it in the previous posts, but the Strangler, poison used to kill Joffrey, is the same substance that maester Cressen used in his attempt to poison Melisandre.
One passage left from the book I missed was Shae telling about her calling Tyrion "Giant of Lannister". The audience erupted in laughter after that. I think that would make the scene even more powerful. What we got in return was Tyrion voicing his regret about saving the city, which in the book remains in his thoughts.
Overall book Shae seemed more plain and stupid. Believe me or not, but TV Shae has much more personality, even if it's annoying. I think I see the purpose of that change now.
Finally we got to see the darker side of Tyrion, but the book already has him having a man killed to protect Shae's secret. TV Tyrion is a little bit whitewashed compared to his book version.
In case you didn't figure it out, request for trial by combat completely wrecks Tywin's plan to regain Jaime and send off Tyrion. If Tyrion finds no champion or loses, he's dead.
You may feel like "Rains of Castamere" have been overplayed by now. You're damn right, and it fits the book very well. Joffrey's wedding had seven different minstrels playing the song. "Rains of Castamere" being overplayed is an inner joke in King's Landing, Olenna Tyrell says once "Play 'Rains of Castamere', I forgot how it went".
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