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No one could have predicted that the sequel to the giant blue penis movie that restored the fake alien squid invasion from the books would be weird.
* The trapdoor gag with Laurie works for me because it's fitting for The Comedienne
* We see three explicitly racially constructed views of generational memory: white identification with a "heritage" of violent supremacy, an African diaspora of parents and children separated by that heritage and strict generational coherence of Asian immigrants. Each of these generational points of view (which we see in our own world) is warped in this one
* If the Klan became Dr. Manhattan, why would they remain white supremacists? Dr. Manhattan lost the ability to relate to human emotions and racism is driven by emotion. It's difficult to hold on to racism if you have even normal broadening experiences, let alone if you transcend spacetime.
* The real Lady Trieu rode an elephant, so you see...it all fits.
On the Brienne thing, this was a moment that I thought actually worked. I agree that the hookup back in Winterfell wasn't the best thing, but it's within Brienne's character that she would develop romantic feelings for Jaime. She developed a crush on Renly because he was kind and respectful to her. That's her soft spot. Once she saw how much Jaime respected her, it would make sense that she would develop feelings for him. Especially in the midst of a war to save humanity. Bit of a romantic milieu, that.
I don't buy that it got to "don't leave me" and "I'm hateful" and all that soap opera crazy that we saw, but I've always found it to be a nice piece of entanglement between Brienne and Sansa that Brienne actually harbors some of the girlish feelings Sansa had (especially in the early chapters) and that Sansa actually harbors some of the courage and nobility that Brienne has. They pair well as supporting heroines.
So I'm good with her getting a little choked up and giving Jaime his redemptive final statement. It fits.
Except that if she had been pushed into choosing between burning innocents or withdrawing from battle and went with the path of mercy over wrath, there'd be just as strong a claim that that choice was set up in the story.
It's not enough that she has character flaws. For us to accept this transition in her character, these flaws have to be triggered by something identifiable in the situation.
We have seen nothing to suggest that Dany would kill people who have surrendered. We have seen a lot that suggests she's motivated by a desire to protect the vulnerable and enforce justice for crimes against humanity.
If that is alll out the window now, we deserve to know why. Jon's claim on the throne isn't enough.
The various prophecies, portents and visions we've seen throughout the show, from Azor Ahai to "your three children will die" to Hodor to all of it, come from Bran.
No other mechanism has been shown for communicating from the future to the past. And this is why he says he "spends most of his time in the past."
Bran learned from the Hodor incident that pushing a strong message into the past can ruin the recipient's life, so since then he has been working on taking a lighter and lighter touch.
So during the Battle of Winterfell, he warged into ravens and sent those images back into Melisandre's mind. Without telling her explicitly what they mean, because that might have harmed her the way it did Hodor.
But in the case of Melisandre, he overcorrected. He made his visions too vague, too non-specific, left them too open to interpretation. So where Hodor ultimately had a very clear path to his destiny, Melisandre's was a road littered with improvement opportunities.
This is also why, in Davos' words, the Lord of Light has appeared to "fuck off." Because they've caught up to the source of prophecies and that source doesn't know the future, he's only capable of informing the past. The North Remembers. The North Does Not Foretell.
The final prophetic vision we have is Daenerys': the burned throne room. Bran will have to send her that image to keep her from going full Dark Side. This is why Dany is suddenly talking about her purpose as though it is a destiny and not just an ambition: to lay the foundation for her accepting the burning of the throne as having always been necessary.
And, ultimately, prophecies sent to the past don't necessarily have to be true. They just have to be the message that will make the recipient do the thing that is necessary to get them to where Bran knows they need to be.
So the question is not whether prophecy will be fulfilled...it is whether prophecy served its purpose, fulfilled or not.
Or, fuck it, maybe Bran isn't all that important.
"Daenerys Targaryen was sold to a horse lord at age 14 who raped her on her wedding night.""Oh, come ON! That's just their culture. You can't judge!""Arya Stark had consensual sex with someone she's known and liked since she was a child on the eve of her almost certain death. She's probably about 18 now, but she might be 17.""Gross, dude. Get your mind out of the gutter!"