I personally thought Sansa thought Jon would react badly to any invocation of Littlefinger, and distrust the information. I didn't necessarily read it as distrust of Jon, but wanting to do things her way without interference.
I forgot Arya! I've tired of her storyline over the last year-plus because to me it was clear Arya would and should reject the way of the Faceless Men and take back her name and her family and find her own path. She came close to this last year but failed, and here we are again so my interest is finally piqued - I felt like that was all this was leading to this week and I hope they finally get there soon, because she needs to move on. Essie Davis, star of The Babadook, played the actress Arya is tasked to kill - she's incredible. (Also cute: The Faux Joffrey twink with the big dick. Thanks, HBO!)
That was fantastic BTW, from head to toe. Especially Sansa and Brienne, lady strategists and HBICs at Castle Black.
The opening scene with Littlefinger and Sansa may have been a very deliberate choice by the showrunners to make right the issue from last year, but it was also very, very good. I wish Carl was still watching because Sophie Turner has become the heart of this show and its true queen of the North and Westeros, and she carries it effortlessly. What an amazing woman she's become, and Sansa too.
A few other interesting swerves: Jorah apparently not consigned to death just yet, being ordered to find a cure. I didn't expect that. Daenerys' handling of him was touching and beautiful. Whether or not he survives, the show is choosing life and change and evolution in a lot of ways with a lot of people this year - Sansa, Brienne, Jon, Bran, Jorah, even Arya (more on her in a minute) and it feels very right for the show.
I didn't think anyone could shake Varys, and was shocked this new fire priestess did. I hope all this [!@#$%^&*] with the Lord of Light is leading somewhere real, since this woman and Melisandre are clearly true believers.
The Kingsmoot was different. I love that Theon and Yara's bond is so tight, and I want to see where it's all going. That they tied the Iron Islands in to Daenerys is especially interesting. A picture is forming.
I will sheepishly admit i misread the leading headlines on EW.com - I thought Bran was going to bite it tonight and was pretty pissed, while watching that great final scene just waiting for the bottom to drop out. It didn't feel right for him to go yet and thank god he didn't. I had expected Hodor's origins to be something like this but I didn't expect it to happen here - I was so worried for Bran I didn't see it coming. Wonderful exit, and great work by the actresses playing the Children of the Forest, as well as Ellie Kendrick as Meera. And then there were two. As I have always been Team Bran, I am glad they're in it to win it.
Not even reading this page yet, but livid because I was reading post-finale articles on EW.com for another show - only to get an extremely leading 'careful' headline on tonight's GOT which basically telegraphed what to expect and for who. I am so angry. Not at the show, but at that [!@#$%^&*] website.
The sudden turns with Daniel, Nick and Chris are not nearly as well-laid out as the writers clearly think they are - Daniel's visions and hallucinations are cartoonish, Chris' mania is overwrought and far too sudden (Shane on TWD melted down over the course of a full season, not a handful of episodes) and while Nick was definitely becoming an adept predator, his immediately cottoning to Celia's worldview was nonsense.
I'll stick with this in the summer for the actors, but not forever. What a mess. And I'm really pissed that reading the post-finale interviews on this silliness (Daniel is not dead but Ruben Blades is gone for the rest of the season apparently, because apparently that's the best thing to do with one of the strongest actors on the show) led to my being inadvertently spoiled for tonight's GOT due to extremely inconsiderate and obvious headlines on EW.com. F__k.
At least Colman Domingo is great, as is Strand's bond with Madison.
Oh, forgot to mention: Pycelle's loooong walk out of Tommen's chamber reminded me of nothing less than the infamous scene of the old bank teller walking across the bank veeerryyyy slowly in the famous David Lynch-directed finale of Twin Peaks.
So a few other things - Speaking of exciting diplomacy: The 'not a Small Council meeting' Small Council meeting with Cersei and Jaime finally cutting the [!@#$%^&*] and getting down to the real business with Kevan and Olenna was the smartest thing the Lannisters have done in probably years. I didn't know Cersei had it in her, though I am sure she is planning a swerve. The grudging moment of respect, or at least grim understanding, between Cersei and Olenna was well-earned. I daren't hope that ever happen for Cersei and Margaery, but I loved when she told Tommen it didn't matter if she hated Margaery.
Robin Arryn is so damn crazy. I never tire of his wacky appearances, but I am glad Littlefinger made the shrewd move re: the Vale riding for Castle Black. Though he clearly plans to depose Jon and Sansa, his alliance of convenience is absolutely necessary for the moment to take Ramsay down. That's what all this is building to, that's why they've amped his evil up way past 11, that's what Osha died for. Speaking of Osha, I always loved her but I knew death would likely come sooner or later, especially if she crossed paths with the Boltons while protecting Rickon. Osha was a warrior and she died in service ot what she chose to stand for, which is the best death you can get on GOT - and not one many do.
The High Sparrow scenes with Jonathan Pryce were mesmerizing as always, even if I tired of this plotline almost from the beginning because it was so rushed last year. It's better this year, but I never want Margaery to break.
I have a difference of opinion on Loras though, which is not news to anyone. I liked Loras and saw potential in the character, but I also always saw him as a dilettante and somewhat flighty - heroic and dashing, yes, but he never shook off his privileged life and trappings with his family or his easy relationship with Renly (as evidenced in his earliest scenes) and their naive approach to winning the Seven Kingdoms. There are many, many characters on GOT who were simply not suited for the cutthroat world of Westeros, be they heterosexual, gay, or in-between, and Loras is just one of thousands who never been suited for the gamesmanship of King's Landing.
Do I think Loras could get there someday? Yes. Would I like to see more heroic gay characters on the show who are less flighty than Loras? Absolutely. And I do think it's unfortunate that the balance has shaken out that way but I have to put at least a good portion of that responsibility on the source text which gave us all of these characters. Further, that regret for lack of more options doesn't mean I feel that Loras' portrayal is wrong or unfair, or a joke - I don't think he's a joke character. I think he's just always been a somewhat privileged and naive person with a good heart, and he's far from the only character portrayed as that. I have laughed at his expense at times but it was never about him being gay. I don't find him a stereotype, just sometimes clueless; I don't think Oberyn was a joke, and I do think he was heroic. And I'd like to see Loras turn it around on the Faith Militant, sure, and prove his worth. But I think he's more likely just one of many characters on the show (including Tommen, at the moment, who rules Westeros) who is not equal to the task. And I don't find that phobic, I just find it real. I also have seen absolutely zero evidence that the show favors the Faith Militant's anti-gay bigotry. I think that's ludicrous.
Nobody needs to hear me add to the choir on Jon and Sansa - wonderful stuff, and I half-feared they wouldn't do it. I'm also glad they introduced the ticking clock on Davos and Melisandre re: Shireen and the fate of the Baratheon line. When he learns the truth he'll kill her on the spot. Also great was the Pink Letter, where the unsettling, childlike repetition ("come and see") reminded me of some of the old correspondence from the Zodiac Killer, or Son of Sam.
I am loving what they're doing here with Theon and the Iron Islands, not something I ever thought I'd say about the larger Greyjoy family. That scene with Yara and Theon was quite emotional. And yes, I am absolutely on the Tormund/Brienne train. Get it, Tormund! I do think there's a lot of real heroes on the show - Jon is one kind, Sansa and Brienne are another, even Tormund is one, and now so too is Theon, redeemed in his own way.
I am glad Daenerys finally ended the Dothraki roadshow. As she told them, what were they going to accomplish out there? Jack !@#$%^&*]. Her walking out of the fire this time was shades of Akira.
I think Season 5 was the show's weakest by far. While I think Jon's saga finally hit high gear there and was excellent throughout, the Faith Militant story was far too rushed and cartoonish, elements of Sansa's story were definitely unnecessary, Arya's went nowhere and Dorne - just no.
I think this season is very, very good so far. Even scenes and stories too many people dismiss, like the crooked King's Landing/Lannister diplomacy Tyrion introduces to Daenerys' previously ideologically pure revolution in Meereen, then debates with Grey Worm and Missandei, crackle with impact and nuance for me. I'll talk more about the rest of last week's episode later (I'm just now getting to it), but I'll probably just be repeating everyone else re: stuff like Sansa and Jon, Daenerys, etc. Sophie Turner and Kit Harington were beautiful together.
So a TP press event is being set up on the Paramount lot in L.A. - I was told it was for an exhibition of the new series to foreign distributors, but I'm not sure on the details. There were doubts as to what they may or may not show, if any of it will leak to the public or the Internet; sometimes footage does get leaked from these events, as with the big comic book movies or summer blockbusters, other times only synopses get recounted by witnesses. I thought the event was next week, so I'm not so sure - seems like it may be on now.
Either way, this material is now circulating as are photos of several celebs and attendees, including Psych's Dule Hill (Psych did a TP tribute episode):
They have what seems to be a fine cast - Cole Sprouse has come a long way - and an interesting idea. Like a million other shows in the intervening 25 years, they also seem to be cribbbing very heavily and explicitly (they have, I think, acknowledged the debt) from Twin Peaks to update Archie, while also going off the very well-received new comics by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, which I keep meaning to read. They even have Mädchen Amick from Peaks as one of the kids' parents.
The problem is twofold: For one thing, most shows that attempt to emulate TP fail or are received tepidly at best. Wayward Pines has continued despite massive odds possibly due to financial and scheduling reasons in addition to some good reviews, but it hasn't been wholly embraced - and it's one of the relatively few debatable 'successes' to try TP's approach in over two decades. It doesn't usually work when you deliberately calculate a formula, which is what they seem to be doing here.
Further, so many CW shows or youth shows on network and cable in general these days seem to be so weirdly handled - unless there is a very solid, episodic genre hook that will play in syndication they seem to be either rejected and trashed, or embraced by a niche audience and then burned through fast by networks that can't seem to blow through them fast enough. Riverdale appears to be presenting as serialized but more of a soap than a genre show. I think an audience might love it but the network may, once again, bore quickly. Or they'll try to rush it and turn it in into an ADHD-paced show, which is what happened to the sad 90210/MP revivals on the CW a few years back. Or the audiences will hate it too. I don't know.
I'll give it a shot because I like the idea and the cast, but I have little no faith in basic cable or network programming these days, especially for the youth market. They always want it fast, cheap and relatively bland. But we'll see.