Episode 108: The Climb

Episode 108 for the week of May 5th, in which we review the sixth episode in the third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Notes: Like almost all episodes of APOIAF, this episode has spoilers for all published books in George RR Martin’s ASOIAF series. Pokemon of Ice and Fire by Vaarsuvius (Dickon Manwoody):

43 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Rhys

    Not sure if this happened for anyone else or what but the download from iTunes of episode 108 was just a repeat of episode 106. Was this just me?

  2. Harry

    Yeah the iTunes version of this is episode 106 instead of 108 🙁

  3. Lezuzius

    The one from the “Download” link is fine.

  4. Tubsy

    Bryan Cogman is writing 2 episodes for season 4, so i think D&D are getting the message that his episodes are badass

  5. direhound

    Don’t know if you guys heard about Cogman and D&D met with GRRM earlier this year to discuss the end of the series to know how to setup plotlines. D&D were already aware of the general ending but now Cog knows what’s up and even Jon Snow’s parents. Cogman discusses this on Game of Owns podcast over at wicnet.

    Since some of the speculation theories refer to events from this episode which was written supposedly before that meetup it’s not clear if these particular moments were discussed with GRRM or not.

  6. sillent

    George was saying he’s already written his S4 episode. Not sure if that means the other writers have written theirs (i.e. if S4 will have stuff setting up for the end game or if it will come S5 and onwards).

    PS. I think Rickon will split up with Bran after they have the run in with Jon & crew (like too dangerous so we need to split — that coupled with Meera & Osha not getting along it’ll be the cue to have Reeds and Osha go separate ways each with one kid

  7. direhound

    In reference to the comment about Sansa wanting her family at her wedding to Loras, I was thinking this was a little dumb but if she thought they might have the wedding in Highgarden, I’m not sure it’s such a “dumb” thought for them to invite their family but definitely shows off her political naivete.

  8. Shellfish

    I want Amin to write all of Tormund’s dialogue from now on.

    I completely disagree with Kyle that Thoros is using R’hllor magic in “a beautiful way to bring back life to his best friend.”. I always saw it as necromancy through and through. Thoros wasn’t doing it out of maliciousness, but the result was still thoroughly unnatural and wrong. We really see how wrong it is with Lady Stoneheart, but even Beric is resentful of Thoros for bringing him back and grows increasingly despondent.

  9. Kyle

    Ah yes true true. I can certainly see that being dark and creepy. I was blinded by the hot bromance.

  10. direhound

    Thoros intentions were pure. He wanted to bring back his friend.

  11. Sel9724

    did anybody think when they made it to the top of the Wall about how on earth they’re going to attack Castle Black with only 4 people? I’m pretty sure everyone else fell to their deaths right?

  12. Pod's Plight

    I believe they secured a rope at the top and then threw it down so everyone else could make up and over. That’s how they did it in the book and you can see that Jon and Ygritte finished the climb on a rope that was tied up top.

  13. ShadowStalker

    I think originally Mance told Tormund to take 50 men with him. We only saw 4 crews of 4 climbers… 2 crews died… so that should still mean 42 men left….

  14. GreatScott

    I think Kyle summed up the episode pretty well, in that nothing really change in this episode. I usually get so caught up in how well acted and well produced this series is, that I’m usually riding pretty high by the end and I hadn’t noticed that nothing really happened besides Jon climbing the wall. But every show has a few off episodes, so you can’t really hold it against them, as long as the rest of the season pans out well.

    I will say though that I completely agree with you guys on the disappointment that is the TV Blackfish. I rarely have a problem with character stand-ins, fusings, or minor to moderate deviations, but I really don’t care for how much of a angry brute they’ve made him in the show. In the books he’s always came off as disciplined and respectable, who cared about his family even if he got frustrated with them. He was somebody that Jamie looked up to as a child, which included people like Arhur Dayne, not the Great Jon. In the show, I think that Edmure actually comes off as the more level headed, practical, and likable of the two Tullys.

    I had similar problems with Qhorin last season. Apparently in the show, you can’t be a great fighter without being an unlikable hard ass. Even Brienne kind of has this to a lesser degree, but I’m not as bothered by that for whatever reason.

  15. Matt

    I agree that the killing of Ros will lead the Tyrells to the conclusion that they cannot control Joffrey and need to kill him, that is always where I imagined their storyline going given that the purple wedding wont happen until next season.

    With regards to Osha and Meera, I believe that this initial mistrust of each other makes sense in the show. In the books they had a chance to get to know one another while hiding in the crypts, but in the show it had to be different.

    Finally, while I realize that Littlefinger has been changed in the show (although it really never bothered me besides his awkward scene with Cat last season), this is the first time I really feel they have a grasp on his character. He IS that malicious in the books, he just hides it well. His speech about chaos and Varys comment about being king of the ashes are on point. LF is a watered down version of the Joker, his weaknesses being that he actually cares about his position, his life, and Cat/Sansa, which is why he will fail and end up receiving a serious case of sword through bowels from the Hound or Harry the Heir (or Aegon if Sansa marries him instead) at Sansa’s behest.

  16. Kyle

    I’m curious if there is proof that the purple wedding isn’t happening till next season? I haven’t heard any but I certainly could have missed it.

    I’m still guessing that the red wedding will be episode 9 and then episode 9 will be the purple. Viewers are going to be livid after the RW. I really think they need the PW right after or risk losing viewers.

    My episode 10, end of season guesses are;

    Purple Wedding
    Sansa leaves KL
    Tyrion arrested

  17. ShadowStalker

    Purple wedding is not happening.

    Winter is Coming has the Episode Synopses for the final 2 episodes… there is no mention of Joff and Marge getting married. (which I would assume would be included in that kind of thing since it doesn’t spoil anything)

  18. Dave

    Where the hell all this the show will lose viewers if PW doesn’t come straight after RW this season coming from? After Baelor, they should expect that the good guys don’t always win, hell they even die. So if those babies are whinging after RW and don’t want to watch the show anymore let them. I doubt there’s going to be a drop in viewership. People acting like there’s no one left to root for after RW.

  19. Phil

    The difference between Baelor and the RW with no PW right after it is tthat there wouldn’t be much hope shown. In the finale for Season 1, there was Rob being crwned king and fighting the lannisters, sansa saying rob will bring her Joff’s head, dany and her dragons, and Arya maybe going back to winterfell. I don’t think PW will be this season, but what glimpse of hope does that really give. it would seem like the only person people have to root for now is stannis.

  20. Dave

    “Glimpse of hope.” LOL. I suggest to those people to watch another show. I disagree with only Stannis to root for, there’s Dany, Tyrion (anyone who thinks he’s the same as Cersei, Tywin & Joffrey just because he’s a Lannister should have their heads examined), Bran, Jon, Arya, Brienne and even Jaime, people I know are starting to warm up to him. Not everyone needs to have the “good guys” to win to get them tune in to the show. When I read RW, I wanted to find out the aftermath and how the rest of Westeros will response to such event. But if those ppl are going to throw a bottle after RW, I pity them, as they are missing out on some amazing stuff that will happen afterwards.

  21. Matt

    Yea there is not enough room to put all the PW stuff in. I think it is necessary to have both Jaime back in King’s Landing and the Red Viper there as well before you can have that wedding. Season 4 should open with Dornish representatives arriving, and the wedding will happen around episode 4 (as that is where Dany’s climax was this season).

    Episode 10 has enough material as is with Dany’s ‘Mother’ moment and probably some version of the attack on Castle Black (and maybe Ygritte’s death). I do agree that the season should end with Stoneheart being revived by Beric though, that would be sick.

  22. kadayi

    PW next season. There’s not remotely enough time to pack in all the necessary events. I’m not sure where your pulling this FUD from over viewers leaving from, there’s still plenty of characters to root for afterwards. Plus they need to build up to the PW.

  23. Kyle

    Just my opinion that the good guys need a win or viewers will start giving up.

    What other events do we need before the PW? I don’t think we need the Red Viper there. In fact I could see the Red Viper arriving at King’s Landing for nothing more than being Tyrion’s champion, getting revenge on the Mountain, and introducing us to the necessary sack of KL information.

  24. Matt

    True, I guess, but it would significantly diminish the characterization of the Red Viper to like Qhorin Halfhand levels, and no one wants that. He should be in as many episodes as possible as he is clearly a one season character.

  25. Dave

    Kyle, I say this in the nicest way possible to do who will tune out because the “good guys” didn’t win, screw them. There’s still plenty of interesting characters who are still alive after RW. The two that will bite the dust are not as interesting or well-developed in the show, as other characters have.

  26. Lex

    Increasingly, Kyle has been echoing my exact thoughts on many scenes. Thanks, Kyle!

    Also, I agree that it was the weakest episode of the season so far, and pretty slow overall… but I’m not sure I agree with the idea that none of the scenes changed anything. In fact, they all seemed like pretty important set-up scenes for upcoming events (wedding plans, etc.). So, I was okay with the episode overall because it still felt important.

    Also, thanks to Ashley for finally admitting that she has an irrational hatred of any/all changes. I’m so glad I don’t have the same problem, because it would really ruin the show for me. Instead, I focus on loving the 80%-90% that they’re getting right.

  27. ShadowStalker

    Also a thought… That what we as book readers take as slow can be character building for the TV show. We “know” these characters, so it doesn’t add anything for us… but for the millions of casual viewers it adds something…

    The biggest problem is that some of this character building scenes are not building the character in ways that we book fans appreciate… i.e. Blackfish and Sansa being stupid.

  28. Pod's Plight

    Is it just me, or has Kyle upped his swearing quota lately? It seems that he has a lot of fucking emotion about various fuckin things. I’m not complaining or offended, but I was struck by the multitude of fucks he had give.

  29. Kyle

    Fuck. Sorry for swearing so much.

  30. Ranjitb

    Random thought : Elio and Linda hating anything about anything earns it an extra 3 lemoncakes from me.

    Great episode as always, and nice to get some detail about why Ashley hated it so much.

  31. aryastark7330

    Great episode guys! Anyone complaining about how ‘harsh’ you guys are really need to get a grip, since this is a podcast from the perspective of the books, you’re going to discuss changes and whether they were for better or worse. I will also put my hand up as one of the pathetic humans that got all excited when Jaime touched Brienne’s hand … despite the relative weakness of this episode, and the failure of some of the storylines to make an impact (Jon Snow I’m looking at you) I don’t think you can really fault how they’ve handled the Jaime/Brienne relationship.

    Also loved Ashley’s point about how they’re not addressing the whole Blackfish refusal to marry/gay speculation, which would go a long way towards deflecting some of the criticism that they’ve made Loras too stereotypically gay … and I also with they’d kept how Sansa found out about the wedding the same as the books with Cersei would have been a great acting moment!

  32. kadayi

    Personally I found the whole “stereotypically gay” conversation faintly whiffy. Just because the guy talks about the spectacle of a wedding doesn’t make his ‘fabulous’ suddenly. If anything he was more enthusiastic about the tournament aspect of the whole affair.

    Also I couldn’t believe the crew didn’t get the point of the scene. The whole reason it was there was to highlight that the Tyrells were proceeding with their plan and that Loras was actively doing his part (albeit somewhat distractedly) to follow through on Varys & the Queen of thorns plans. The scene was necessary in order for the audience (98% of whom probably aren’t book readers) to witness Sansa’s dreams being shattered.

  33. Iván

    Speaking of Northmen, what about Robb’s declaration that names his successor and the quest for Greywater Watch? In the books those were Maege Mormont & Galbart Glover’s missions from Robb. But they don’t appear in the series. So how do you think they’re going to solve that?

  34. Iván

    And they should have introduced Wylis Manderly aswell. He’ll be an important plot device when the thing with the Manderlys in White Harbor goes on.

  35. Lord Littlefinger

    @Ash: I don’t think Littlefinger was too bad this episode. Yeah he was a a little “villanous” but he’s not really any more in giving Ros to Joffrey than he was in giving boys to Ser Lyn Corbray or send Jeyne Poole off to Ramsay. Meanwhile, he was taking a serious victory lap. All Varys can say is “Lysa Arryn of chairs”, to which Littlefinger replies “early days” ie: Lya Arryn is not long for this world. Basically as Kyle said, Littlefinger has now officially won this round, as compared to every other house in the kingdom, he holds two liege lordships while everyone else is worse off than they started except Bronn. And littlefinger knows he has Sansa now, as the final joke. All he has to do now is rid the world of Joffrey.

    I say again, littlefinger is the hero of A Song of Ice and Fire.

  36. Phil

    Never thought I would do a pro-Ros so let me start off by saying I don’t like or hate her. Never felt like she was there for anyone to be compelled to root for her or like her. She served as a way to reveal other peoples back story (Theon & Littlefinger in S1), show the results of others actions (Joffery’s cruelty & Cersei finding tyrion’s whore in S2), or at the very least to give other actors screen time. Granted, all of what i mentioned could have be done in a different way (the whole “play with her ass” thing wasnt needed), it was a easy way for D&D to meet there HBO nudity quota while saving on the number of actors (imagine if the end credits had whore #1,2,3 and joffrey victim #1,2,3,….,100 after every episode). my final comment is that with littlefinger leaving king’s landing, she was bond to come to some terrible demise sooner or later. never saw her lasting pass sansa leaving kings landing. i think this was the best way for her to go out (a season 4 arc of her running the whore house would have been stupid lol).

  37. nemui

    You’re a bit too hard on the lack of Bolton’s involvement in the Red Wedding to come. Everything’s supposed to be have been happening behind the scenes – as it should have been – since the end of season two. Since Robb married Not-Jeyne people have been writing letters and pushing him toward Episode 9 or whenever. They certainly didn’t’ need Edmure’s consent to plot ahead. (I just hope Roose makes it to the Twins and delivers Jaime’s regards somehow… some time…)

    I’m more pissed off by the fact that Tywin keeps shipping Cersei+Loras for some damn reason. What the hell are the Lannisters gaining by marrying her off here? Really? Sansa’s marriage is already prevented here. I’m kind of headcanoning the Queen of Thorns reverse-psyching Tywin into offering them a place on the Kingsguard.

  38. nemui

    Shit. That was supposed to go to The Climb, Episode 108. Sorry about that, gyus 🙁

  39. jesicka309

    They need to marry Cersei off, and get her to have babies, so that the rumours about Joff etc. being bastards are put to rest. I also think Tywin wants an excuse to remove Cersei from the regency, and send her away from Kings Landing before Joff and Tommen are ruined further.

  40. jeremy

    I may be in the minority here but I don’t understand how you can say the queen of thorns/tywin convo was meaningless.It shows that tywin has put his plan in action and that the tyrells don’t want it to go through.We did not come into the conversation “knowing” these marriages by tywin were going to go through only that he wanted them to.And by the looks the queen gave she has made it appear this isn’t over yet.the only people who knew this scene amounts to little is us book readers but at this point it makes perfect sense.

  41. Kyle

    I just felt that if the Tywin/QoT scene had been cut and we went directly to the Loras/Sansa scene followed by the Tyrion/Cersei scene followed by the Tyrion/Sansa scene we would arrive at the same point. Sansa is going to marry Tyrion and Loras is going to marry Cersei.

    It was a lot of fun to watch though. And letting characters breath is something a show this dense certainly needs.

  42. I think you guys need to abandon your discussions on the series. All most of the panel do is moan about how it’s different to the book and doesn’t “advance the story”. Prime television is not a book. Audiences crave humor (Loras and Sansa) and suspense (Theon). Take it for what it is or stop talking about it.

  43. S

    There is a screenshot floating around of Blackfish and Talisa at the RW FYI

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