Open Thread

Second time through Game of Thrones, I am a touch more sympathetic to Sansa Stark. Before I was just overtly hostile to her, but this viewing, less so.

Also too, fucking Lannisters.

77 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Not really excited since they killed Sean Bean’s character.

  2. 2
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I too am much more sympathetic to Gregor Samsa, oh wait, the masses are asleep

  3. 3
    Tim F. says:

    Huh. I never felt that. From what I can tell Sansa’s purpose in the series is to illustrate how moronic little girls’ fantasies about princesses and true knights are in the real (or simulated) context of the time when such creatures walked and talked. If anything GRR Martin is too kind to the institution of knighthood. In a similar vein Ned exists to illustrate how little storybook nobility wins you when you try to apply it in the presence of (simulated) actual people with realistic motivations and capabilities.

  4. 4
    Steve in DC says:

    Blue-Ray or DVD? I got the Blue-Ray edition. Can’t wait for season two!

    The audio doesn’t seem to stack up to lossless standards though, sadly. I’m going through an oppo blue-ray player, dennon receiver, and klispch speakers and it just seems… off.

    And the smaller lannister rocks.

  5. 5
    Groucho48 says:

    She’s always been one of my favorite characters. Sweet, dreamy, doing her best to live up to her romantic ideals of nobility. But, gradually maturing and starting to take charge of her life.

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    BBC America premiere of Whitechapel, which I’ve never seen.

  7. 7
    Loneoak says:

    I think the actress overplays her snootiness, at least in relation to the book. In the book she come across as more naive and then pulled along by cruelties of fate into an abrupt adulthood, and less of a Valley Girl.

  8. 8
    newhavenguy says:

    Antonin Scalia, Brilliant Legal Mind. Was just comparing him to Brilliant Legal Minds Luca Brasi and Stringer Bell on Facebook when I thought to piss in your punchbowl too.

    A brilliant Conservative jurist. Yeah, maybe in a parody of a real great power. Electrolytes!

    Suspect most of you have heard of Steve Benen, but damn he’s good. Not a writer on the TNC level (Well, who is?), but between the policy chops and short/sharp political news, the guy is a national treasure.


  9. 9
    AA+ Bonds says:

    So how is your knight rapist show, are there plenty of rich people interacting with poor people to show that the poor people are special

  10. 10
    Hal says:

    Sigh. I used to rush home to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek: TNG, ER, The Practice (like when the nun killer turned out to be what’s her faces boyfriend.) I grew up loving LA Law, The Cosby Show, and Will and Grace. Now I find myself uninterested, and it’s depressing. I want to love Game of Thrones and Mad Men, but it’s just not there. I’ve taken to drinking bottles of wine while watching box sets of the Golden Girls to keep my Tv watching spirits up.

    One of these days I’m going to force myself to sit in front of the TV and watch all of these shows from start to finish. Oh well. Maybe I’ll read the Hunger Games and try to get some of the magic I felt when reading Harry Potter.

  11. 11
    Monala says:

    The Trayvon Martin case is blowing wide open. Police surveillance video taken the night of his killing shows him arriving at the station with no grass stains, brusies, blood or injuries. In other words, both his story and the police report are complete fictions.

  12. 12
    newhavenguy says:

    Excuse moi, I just realized that open threads are topical. Funny, given that I am aware of all internet traditions.

  13. 13
    tweez says:

    Say what you want about the Lannisters, they always pay their debts

  14. 14
    Cacti says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Not really excited since they killed Sean Bean’s character.

    If Sean Bean’s in it, you just know he’s gotta die.

  15. 15
    Tim F. says:

    BTW: Jaime gets much, much more interesting, to the point that I can grok his perspective about almost everything. The incest makes some sense since 1) actual nobility openly practiced it during the period Martin used as a model, and 2) if anything it is even more cool in his fantasy world. The ruling dynasty frowned on any other kind of procreation for hundeds of years. Other than the cheating on the king part the pantsenjammer twins had every right.

    The defenestration of Bran, though, still sticks in my craw. That was a jerk ass thing to do. In for a penny in for a pound of course, but they could have kept their pants buttoned until they got to a more controlled environment.

    Then again, realistic people make dumb mistakes.

  16. 16
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Cacti: Yeah, but he was carrying it. Without him, it’s like Balloon Juice without John. Yeah, Anne Laurie is fucking hot and worth looking at, but everyone else is mediocre, villainous or a second fiddle.

  17. 17
    Steve in DC says:


    Be cautions about that. For one the video is low def so we wouldn’t see “grass stains”, for another brusies take time. Ever boxed or taken martial arts? You don’t bruise up during the fight or right after, it takes a bit and then you’re all black and blue. Blood is also more common with gashing or gaping wounds, not a light beating that causes a bit of it which is quickly wiped off.

    The fact that they didn’t take him to a medical facility to verify things and get them in paper work is far more damning than then the video which is a giant “meh”, unless you’ve never been in a fight before.

    Other stupidity, people on MSNBC “why are they searching him, that means they didn’t search him at the scene” which is utter bullshit. You get searched at the place of detention, at arrival at the station, and usually again before placed in a cell or an interrogation room.

    Which is to say, all the arm chair commentary about that video smacks of people that have never been through the legal system or a fight.

  18. 18
    Steve in DC says:


    No, he doesn’t always die ;) He’s lived through a few movies.

  19. 19
    burnspbesq says:

    R.I.P., Earl Scruggs.

  20. 20
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Cacti: obligatory Sean Bean death reel.

  21. 21
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Yesterday I saw Nemesis, the last TNG movie, could not finish it. It was so bad, not one of the franchise’s finest moments. So utterly unconvincing.

  22. 22
    kindness says:

    I’ve already got the DVR set to record this season. Can’t wait for the 1st.

  23. 23
    Tim C. says:

    ***Spoilers for the Novels*****

    After reading all the novels, I’m much more sympathetic to Sansa. I think she’s being set up for a crowning moment of awesome by the end. Also the Lannisters, even Jamie and in a small way Circe seem human by the end of book five. Massively screwed up, but human.

  24. 24
    Mike in NC says:

    Sean Bean was a major badass in “Bravo Two Zero”.

  25. 25
    Rob Bush says:

    The invitation that went out to our Game of Thrones Premiere Party:

    Festivities will start at 6:30ish with those interested playing the Game of Thrones board game, the Battle of Westeros board game, or the Game of Thrones card game. As Season 2 of the Game of Thrones starts at 9:00p.m. it’d be preferable for people to familiarize (or re-familiarize) themselves with the game rules prior to the Fest.

    Here is the price of admission: Every guest needs to represent a Major House and bring a drink that corresponds to that House. Each House can only be represented by 1 guest (unless you have a +1 which you both can represent a House). E-mail everyone here with your claimed house, first come first serve.

    Some examples of easy House themed drinks would be Kraken Rum and Coke for House Greyjoy, Red Stag and Coke for House Baratheon, a SnakeBite for House Martel, etc.

    Happy Thronesfest!

  26. 26
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m rooting for the White Walkers now.

  27. 27
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Were you surprised? Sean Bean always dies. Sometimes more than once.

    I’m sorry I read spoilers. Joffrey’s comeuppance is a long way off.

  28. 28
    piratedan says:

    @Cacti: hey now, I have some Sharpe series that show that he’s perfectly capable of defying all odds and managing to last more than a season :-)

  29. 29
    Valdivia says:

    I hate the Lannisters. And that fucking evil little king. Ugh.

  30. 30
    Valdivia says:


    I saw season 1 which was great. I love the lead guy from his days in MI-5

  31. 31
    Mark S. says:

    Ugh, I had the hardest time finding this thing, and the best I could find was this tiny image, but here’s to everyone who thinks Ned Stark is honorable to the point of stupidity.

  32. 32

    @Tim C.:


    Cersei has been set up for a major cautionary tale, hasn’t she? The lady you loved to hate is about to become genuinely tragic after the fifth book, on the order of “I would not wish this on my worst enemy.”

  33. 33
    Bnut says:

    @Mike in NC: Which was half fiction. The book has been panned by every SF group out there. Not that it’s not a good movie. I don’t even know why I brought it up.

  34. 34
    celticdragonchick says:


    Say what you want about the Lannisters, they always pay their debts

    I noticed that. I was playing the card game of Game of Thrones a few months ago(I was House Stark), and I had a Lannister character executed for some such other. The woman (a good friend of mine) playing the Lannisters gave me a sweet smile and said “A Lannister always repays their debts” before assassinating Sansa just as I was about to give her a dire wolf that would have made her untouchable. One of the better game geek moments, even if at my expense.

  35. 35
    Skipjack says:

    Sansa’s actually more sympathetic in the show than the book, sometimes Martin can lay his characterization on a little strong. I personally can hardly wait for season 2. I’ve read the books and I know that here is when the story really starts, the first season was prologue.

    It took a few books for me to become sympathetic (and then retroactively so) to Sansa, but when you measure what an ass Joffrey is you should also remember that she’s just a kid.

  36. 36
    James Hare says:

    Sansa is Catelyn’s daughter. Arya is Ned’s. Sansa has to learn that Arya knew or thing or two. I don’t know what Arya has to learn from Sansa.

    In many ways, Sansa has one of the hardest roles to play. Unlike Arya, Robb, Rickon or Bran she has to swallow her father’s murder and act like it was right. Sansa’s mother and septa at least taught her enough to survive in the terrible situation she has been thrown into.

  37. 37
    Valdivia says:

    I don’t know how many of you saw, many years ago I Claudius. but never having read the Game of thrones novels and just having seen season 1 in one sitting on sunday I came away not only totally hooked but also feeling like there were strong parallels between the Claudius and this. Which in my mind it is a compliment.

  38. 38
    lamh35 says:

    NBC Rock Center has some of there on air African American talent including Tamron Hall, Lester Holt, Toure & Ron Allen on Trayvon Martin case and race relations as AA themselves.

    If u find the video please post it.

  39. 39
    freelancer says:

    You people need to check out this GoT/Arrested Development mashup tumblr.

  40. 40
    Tim F. says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Not in the least. Do you remember Ceresi’s last line of dialogue so far? (it’s inner dialogue.). Not foreshadowing the kind of fall that you have in mind, unless you mean the fall that characters like Hans Gruber take after a long and eventful fight.

  41. 41
    Rp says:

    “fucking lannisters”

    Yeah, but arya hit Joffrey, so both sides do it.

  42. 42
    Sophia says:

    @Rp: That is awesome.

  43. 43
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    @Valdivia: I love I, Claudius. Best acting ensemble ever assembled for a TV movie.

  44. 44
    Loneoak says:


    Oh shit, there goes my night. Fire up the ole’ Photoshop machine!

  45. 45
    Valdivia says:

    @Mouse Tolliver:

    It so made a mark in me. And talk about ruthlessness, evil and conniving. Glad to see someone else who saw it and loved it.

  46. 46
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    @Valdivia: I have it on DVD. And I’m planning to read the books this summer.

  47. 47

    @Tim F.: I don’t remember right here, but I’ll get back to it on the reread I’ve just started. Perhaps what I’m feeling is not horror at what Cersei will become as to what it means for King’s Landing.

  48. 48
    Valdivia says:

    @Mouse Tolliver:

    ha! me too. I have the dvd’s because I wanted to see it and the netflix version totally sucked. very old and scratched.
    I read the books first. You will love it!

  49. 49
    Sasha says:

    The lesson of GAME OF THRONES is this: If there’s a poncy blond kid who would place or show in a Draco Malfoy lookalike contest, kill him. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble later on.

  50. 50
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in DC:
    I am just about to pull the trigger on the Oppo BDP-93. I’m particularly interested in using it as my main audio CD player. Talk me off the ledge or push me over, please.

  51. 51
    Marked Hoosier says:


    I just wish the new book was coming out too.

  52. 52
    Cluttered Mind says:

    Jaime is easy enough to understand. He wants to be a hero who everyone loves, but when he performed what he considered to be his most heroic act (killing a murderous psychopathic tyrant who had been terrorizing the kingdom for decades), everyone hated him for it instead. He’s naturally quite a bit jaded about that and as a result he behaves the way he does. The malice and cruelty of Tywin and Cersei really isn’t a part of Jaime at all, he’s just bitter and cynical.

  53. 53
    Steeplejack says:

    Well, he did get a dishonorable discharge in Ronin.

  54. 54
    Steve in DC says:


    DO IT DO IT DO IT. Do you have a quality HDTV? If yes it WILL improve the image quality. And fuck that LCD shit, high end LED, plasma, or projector or piss off. Also the DACs kick the fucking shit out of most devices, I have the BDP-83 and it honestly slaughters my 4k CD player. If you haven’t heard DVD audio it truly has to be heard to grasp, amazing, you won’t go back to MP3 players, or at the least will get quality (ie not an ipod, and at least etymotic er4-p class IEMs).

    There is one catch, and it’s a doozy, what sort of speakers do you have? I’d always advise to dump more into speakers before pushing a higher end blue-ray player. I use different speakers for audio and home theater.

    Pushing two of these for music

    My HTC speakers were a custom kit out, but it’s all klipsch, this is pretty close

    Good, but not all that high end.

    Go with the oppo, you won’t regret it, just keep in mind your system is only as good as it’s weakest link. Also keep in mind it’s better to buy right once, than buy wrong a few times. Check AVS forums, might find some stuff used an on sale, I get most of my gear there.

  55. 55
    redshirt says:

    Everyone needs to watch Spartacus. OMG!

  56. 56
    Ridge says:

    War of the Roses with dragons.

    I swear I tried to read the series, but the plot moves at a glacial pace. I skipped a whole book and picked up with no loss in plot line.

    I’m sure the HBO series will be faster, but I’ll wait until season 2 ends before looking at. Will it make it to season 10 to finally finish?

  57. 57
    Arundel says:

    Really great to see Dan Rather on Rachel tonight, looking well, smart and insightful and with a long memory. Always liked him; I don’t think he was ever a Villager. Which is probably why he was thrown to the wolves. Hope she invites him back soon and often.

  58. 58
    Steve in DC says:


    Been watching it, but I am less interested since the loss of the main actor, now it’s just something I tune in for.

  59. 59
    Steeplejack says:


    I’ve taken to drinking bottles of wine while watching box sets of the Golden Girls to keep my TV watching spirits up.

    This is making me feel so much better about my recent shameful addiction to NCIS reruns. Never watched it before, accidentally got hooked a month or two ago. I think I need an intervention.
    On the other hand, I am delighted that some Hallmark channel is showing the old Perry Mason series in chronological order, two episodes a day (noon and 1:00 p.m. EDT). It’s up to December 1959.

  60. 60
    Nicole says:

    I felt bad for Sansa since episode 2, when her pet got killed for something Arya’s pet did. She’s the whipping boy of the series.

  61. 61
    CT says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    At the end of book 5, I’m still inclined to think Cersei is getting off easy-but I’m one of those who think Casterly Rock should be nuked from space.

  62. 62
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in DC:
    Good job–consider me pushed!
    My speakers are very mediocre but sufficient for my studio apartment. I have a (pretty good) subwoofer, which helps a lot, and I did (semi-)splurge for some good headphones for serious listening.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yeah — having been a pretty average teenage girl myself, Sansa strikes me as an average kid stuck in a horrible situation. She’s trying to make sense of everything around her, but she’s been (essentially) deserted by both of her parents and is under the control of a sadistic freak. You can’t really blame her for basically going catatonic.

  64. 64
    Steve in DC says:


    You’re probably going to want a speaker upgrade then. I have an oppo in my smaller apartment and it runs fine off a 2.1, cheaper, easier, doesn’t cause noise complaints from a block away. Just make sure your speakers are up to the task.

  65. 65
    Karl The Crap Blog Detective says:

    I think this should be linked here.

  66. 66
    Ellyn says:

    Yeah. I felt some hostility toward her when she betrayed her father to the fucking Lannisters but then I realized she was just a kid who dreamed of marrying her prince, that antisocial freak, Joffrey.

  67. 67
    Ellyn says:

    @Cluttered Mind:
    He did throw Bran out the tower window.

  68. 68
    Uriel says:

    @Mouse Tolliver:

    I love I, Claudius. Best acting ensemble ever assembled for a TV movie.

    You are not wrong. It is, in fact, awesome.

  69. 69
    sherparick says:

    @Cluttered Mind: As the books develop no character changes more than Jaimie’s. And of course Tyrion the lynchpin character of these books, although this change will not start to become manifest until season 3. Butthe Lannisters, even Cersei and Tywin, are complicated. Martin’s characterization is his strength in the series. Nevertheless, Martin needed a better editor for these books, far to many story lines, and and he need to think through and concentrate the timing of the plotting. Tolkien used chapter 1 of LOR to lay out a quick 30 years of background, then the rest of the book basically takes place over six months with only two story focus points, Frodo and Aragorn. Martin is basically writing the fantasy equivalent of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in ten volumes.
    I hate how he ended book 5, everything up in the air. Without giving any spoiler, I will just say that Arya Stark will not be so likeable by the end of book 5 and Sansa Stark will have learned a lot (although I also think she is doomed – her wolf is dead).

  70. 70
    AnnaN says:

    Agree with the I, Claudius comparison. As far as character comparisons go, Livia and Circe are definitely cut from the same cloth.

  71. 71
    AnnaN says:

    Agree with the I, Claudius comparison. As far as character comparisons go, Livia and Circe are definitely cut from the same cloth.

  72. 72
    twiffer says:


    jamie actually becomes quite human and sympathetic. the poor bastard.

  73. 73
    twiffer says:

    @sherparick: spoilers—

    will sansa completely succumb to the dark side? i think she will. wondering if jon is going to be dead, undead or somehow still alive. i’ve a feeling bran is secretly the main protaganist. or not so secretly.

  74. 74
    Joe K says:


    Read “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.” It’s a bit precious, but way better than the original IMO. Harry isn’t an idiot, which just makes everything better.

  75. 75
    Raenelle says:

    I’ve read all five books, and Sansa will become increasingly important–and, IMO, sympathetic. She’s in a precarious position (the whole plot is the machiavellian Game of Thrones, and after Rob Stark, she’s the heir of Winterfell). In the first book, her insipid innocence gets completely shattered when Joffrey kills her father. After that, she does what she has to to survive. Where Arya is belligerent, leading with her chin, Sansa keeps her true thoughts to herself. She goes along to survive. Over time, we’ll learn that, like the rest of her family, she is gifted with intelligence and, given that, and her instincts to stay in the shadows unnoticed, she is pretty clever at figuring out the machinations behind the machinations.

    Oh, and spoiler. Don’t read the next sentence if you don’t want a spoiler. Watch out for Littlefinger.

  76. 76
    Luzeelu says:

    I’m almost finished with the fifth book, which I really don’t want to finish because it’ll make me crazy waiting around for the sixth book!

    Looking forward to Season Two, however.

    And I’ve gleaned a new phrase, thanks to this series. In Winterfell, “Winter is coming” foreshadows doom.

    Here on planet Earth, it’s “Summer is coming.”

  77. 77
    samara morgan says:

    the bloody Lannisters have Republican Brains.

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