Episode 110: Second Sons

Episode 110 for the week of May 19th, in which we review the eighth episode in the third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. We are joined by returning guest hosts Elio and Linda of Westeros.org in the aftershow to chat about the episode and the crazy theory of the week session.

Notes: Like almost all episodes of APOIAF, this episode has spoilers for all published books in George RR Martin’s ASOIAF series.

34 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Lezuzius

    This was fast, made my day. Will listen to it on my way to work.
    thank you!

  2. With regards to Melisandre, keep in mind she misunderstands the nature of her own visions. She thinks she’s seeing *possible* futures, futures that can be either ensured or averted if she does the right thing. In that light, I believe that she saw the deaths of the three kings in the fires, then concocted the leech ritual to make it happen — even though we readers would know, based on everything else we’ve learned about her visions, that it was a fait accompli. Whether she’s knowingly bullshitting or sincerely believes she’s making these events occur is up in the air, but I think the latter’s at least as plausible as the former.

  3. Kyle

    Interesting. I never stopped to think that she may have done the leech voodoo after having already seen the deaths in the fire.

  4. Lord Littlefinger

    Seriously kyle? She’s totally faking it. Its so blatantly a ploy for her to get deeper in Stannis’ graces.

  5. Kyle

    I never saw it that way.

  6. Lord Littlefinger

    If she can really kill people with leeches then, she can take out Cersei and Tommen and the entire Lannister army. I mean there’s not a lot of blood in a leech she has a whole boy, plus Stannis too.

    I mean how would she have even made this happen? She can control faceless men and Walder Frey and Littlefinger from miles away? If she can control so many people why not just have all the kings kill themselves? And why did she need to use a shadow baby on Renly?

    I mean which one is more likely? That Melisandre can strike down people at will, or that she just saw them die, that same way the Ghost of High Heart did?

  7. Alias

    As Elio said, I think its a foregone conclusion that she saw the deaths in the fires and decided to react. The question is whether or not she thinks she’s having an impact on the success of the visions with the leeches or its just intentional smoke and mirrors. I personally lean toward the latter, I feel she’s far less devout than she appears, purely based on the insight we get in the singular Melisandre chapter in Dance.

  8. Ranjitb

    Well, since everything Elio says can be prefaced with “I read an advance copy of what happens next and….” its always hard to disagree with him isn’t it ?

  9. Interested to hear what your answer is (maybe a boiled leather post?) to the major question in the aftershow (book vs show progression and what you would do)

  10. jesicka309

    Exactly this. The axe was already dropping for both Robb’s and Balon’s deaths, and in the books Sansa already had the hairnet for Joffrey’s death. I am almost certain she saw the deaths in the flames and devised the leech burning to show off her power (because Davos didn’t believe it).

    In the books, she’s almost dismayed when Davos goes Debbie Downer and points out that since Joffrey isn’t dead yet, they can’t kill Edric Storm. Almost like she knew Joffrey’s death was a certainty, but because of the stupid agreement they have to wait, ugh how annoying! Really, you want to wait? FINE.

  11. Usurpationblitz

    Great episode, thanks to you both and for Elio and Linda for showing up.

    I juts wanted to give a quick thought on what all us book fans are going to do if HBO catches up and starts to pull ahead of A Dream of Spring.

    I said this is the topic on the forums, but I thought I would share it here a well because of the listeners (glares at you) don’t visit the forums at all. I wouldn’t want to watch the show if that happens, but I would feel like I had to. With the media society that we live in today, there would be no way to avoid spoilers.

    Places like Youtube have spoilers right in the names of videos. “OMG Ned Stark just got killed!!!!!” That type of stuff would happen all the time. You see images online every day now that could spoil key events for when those episode start to air. I made the remark how could you avoid seeing a real screen shot, a fan drawing, a review name, and just people talking on public forums when, let’s say, Aegon kills Dany?

    So I wouldn’t want to watch it, I REALLY wouldn’t want to watch. But I would feel that I would need to because I might as well get some enjoyment out of being spoiled then just spoiled with no joy at all.

    It would really depend on how long I would have to dodge spoilers.

  12. Dave

    Am I the only who thinks that a few leeches, even on your junk, is a small price to pay when you get to do it with Melisandre? Come on, what’s the big deal? Anyone? Oh okay…

  13. Usurpationblitz

    She should have went after Roose, he would have been really into that.

  14. “It burns when I pee.”

    “That’s just R’hllor nuzzling your manhood, Gendry.”

  15. Arnel

    Sophie Turner is 17 I think. And in the first season she’s 13. Cersei asks her her age at the feast in Winterfell

  16. jesicka309

    Yes this. They created a problem when Sansa outright says her age in the pilot – if we assume that at least a year has gone by, yes, 14 would be right. But realistically, it’s been certainly longer than a year since they left Winterfell. They could have easily made her 15, 16 in a moon’s turn or something.

    Catelyn says she hasn’t seen Bran or Rickon in over a year, and Jaime says he’s been locked up for a year (both said early this season). Add another, I don’t know, 6 months, and you could say it’s been about 18 months since S1E1. They could have easily said she was 15, and my eyes wouldn’t have rolled so hard.

  17. Jon

    Sam and Gilly take a long time because he gets them lost. Straight from the book.

  18. Jon

    Excellent podcast BTW!

  19. Phil

    if they split feast/dance into 2-3 seasons, how would they have a satisfying arc for each character each of those seasons? or give each season a proper conclusion?

  20. I have a secret:
    I am Q. Aurelius Symachus.

  21. gsdg

    As I am one of the fans that rallies around more male nudity in the show on the forum, I feel that I should respond: for me, it is about the point of it all. If they are going to insist on having female nudity, then they should have comparable male nudity in terms of screen time, focus of the shot, and area shown, as well as primary identification of the camera.

  22. Zeyik

    Great episode!
    I have been thinking about this for a while and I have come to the conclusion that Mel isn’t really that religious. It seems like she is more about proving herself right that Stannis is Azor Hai and not following what R’Hollar shows her. First vision, she kills Renly to prevent the vision from coming true. It still comes true and she looks stupid because she was the one who said Stannis would win if Renly was dead but he still lost. She says it was because she wasn’t there but when really it wouldn’t have mattered. It doesn’t seem like she can change the future, but as Amin pointed out, she believes she can. If she saw the deaths in the fire, then the whole leech ceremony is pointless because they would have died regardless. The priest with Victoron takes whatever he sees in the flames as what is destined to happen and so far seems to be right. Mel to me seems more like a fanatic who fixates on a part of the religion and striking up her own notions about it. In the end, the religion is more secondary as opposed to point she is fixated on (Stannis is Azor A Hai reborn and I was right bitches :P)

    I don’t care if the TV show surpasses the books because I would just wait for the books. The show to me is more about seeing the scenes come to life, I wouldn’t want to see the ending on TV. I am more afraid that GRRM is going to feel the need to rush out books and the quality goes down.

    I think the reason why your itunes reviews change from country to country is because each one is put on separate servers. Music, movies and tv shows come out differently in every country so putting everything together would be a lot more coding and a pain in the ass just to regulate content release.

    Got a good laugh out of the Lancel & Cersei’s Wedding bit.

  23. brynden

    Thanks for the episode and Linda and Elio to join in. Lots of new ideas insights as always when I listen to the podcast.

  24. Jon

    I am a book guy since 1997 and despite all my time invested I would watch the show should it overtake the books.

    I already consider the show an alternate universe to be enjoyed on it’s own merits. Ned’s death was one of the ways the show has showed it can at times be even better than the books. Of course the depth of the story on HBO could never match the books. Making me actually like and be interested in an invented character like Ros despite HATING her in season one has given me faith that the story D&D are telling is their version of Martin’s magnum opus.

  25. Jojen

    Hi guys, I’ve been listening to the podcast for years and I just created a user name on the message boards yesterday for the first time. This week was another really good eps, thanks for still doing the show even when it’s just the two of you I loved it. Brining in Elio and Linda is always a nice treat, like someone above me posted everything Elio says should be prefaced “because i’ve read advanced copies…” LOL it really makes it hard to disagree with him.

    I loved the in depth talk about Mel and where her true motivation lies, it’s always been somewhat murky for me. I’ve always felt Mel is able to actually “see” into the flames and see the future, although it’s not always what it seems (I.E. NOT Arya coming to the wall to meet J. Snow). So when it comes to Stannis and Davos, I believe she is using her visions to convince them she has more power then she actually does. Mel sees the visions of the usurpers dying. Armed with that knowledge she does the leaching ceremony in front of Stannis and Davos. Now when the usurpers die from the POV of Stannis and Davos Mel’s ceremony killed them. When in actuality all she did was see the vision and then take advantage of it. Similar to her use of glamour, things are not always what they seem. It’s just a thought.

    To Kyle, I think I have the same understanding you did about Mel taking Gendry to begin with. I think Mel’s initial intention was to sacarifice Gendry, but then Stannis had his convo with Davos. I think off camera Stannis told Mel she couldn’t kill Gendry and she needed to come up with another way and leech dick is born. I feel Mel still is going to try and convince Stannis to let her burn Gendry.

  26. wills

    Yes, I think that’s right. Stannis tells Mel offscreen that she can’t sacrifice Gendry, so she gets him to allow her to perform a non-lethal demonstration of the power of king’s blood. That’s why Stannis and Davos come in to see the leeching. Once the kings die, she will try to use that success as justification for sacrificing Gendry being worth the loss of life.

  27. Jojen

    Yeah that is how I saw it. I think she will also try to play the whole concept of “see what I could do with JUST leeches? Let me sacrifice him for real power”. I’ll be interested to see how it plays out. I’ve really been enjoying this season a lot more than last season.

  28. easttexasdirewolf

    So all the Red priests and priestesses are dead and resurrected? Is this common knowledge and I just missed it cause it kind of blew my mind.

  29. Stuck in Line

    That’s an interesting theory and pairs nicely with the Drowned God the only problem isn’t doesn’t seem to work with Thoros maybe its sect or hierarchical thing to go up the ladder you have to under go the death rebirth ritual or different sects have different practices.

    Interestingly from what I can remember the Drowned Gods nemesis is the Storm God which is no longer worshipped but once was.Was this part of the old gods the only one identified?

  30. wills

    It’s funny to me that you guys are worried about the show passing the books. I am not even sure that I can watch the next two seasons because of potential spoilers. I wish the producers would come out more clearly with what kind of communication they have had with GRRM. I’d like to hear them say that they base the series off the books alone and that any deviations from the books are their own reinterpretation, but with GRRM on the writing team that might not be the case.

    Already this season, we have had things like Gendry/Edric merging into one person and Varys having his sorcerer in a box which have implications for what will happen in future books. You can probably explain these away by saying that the show can introduce Edric later if he and Gendry both are important later or that Varys was lying in that scene if the sorcerer reappears later in the books. As the show gets closer to the books, there are going to be more and more of these moments though.

  31. Ranjitb

    Thanks for the episode, even if it was just Amin and Ashley.

    Also, I know I am in a minority of one, but another aftershow skipped because of Elio/Linda. JUST. CANNOT. STAND.

  32. Jeremy

    love Amin’s iTunes rage

  33. TempyTempTemp

    The pacing at the very tail end felt like a school play lol

  34. TempyTempTemp

    Dang, I commented on the wrong episode…was meant for episode 111: The Rains of Castamere.

Reply to “Episode 110: Second Sons”