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History of Westeros • View topic - How far can/should we dig into show dialogue?

How far can/should we dig into show dialogue?

Anything goes, so beware of spoilers.

How far can/should we dig into show dialogue?

Postby mcmnky » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:07 pm

It's a little late in the week for S6 ep7 discussion, but I think it's a point which may be relevant in general.

The folks who perform close watching (and rewatching) of the series and engage in podcasts are the types who look into the characters' action and words for hint on where the show is going. But I wonder if we sometimes look too closely or give the writers too much credit. I start with a quote that has been mentioned in HoW and other recaps of the episode and question its importance. I then go to a quote which I believe is a mistake by the writers and shows the limitation of examining show dialogue. I'll finish with a quote which hasn't gotten much attention in the podcasts this week but which I think might answer a question.

First the quote which may be over-analyzed--the waif's "you promised me." This exchange between the waif and Jaqen is mentioned in support for the idea the waif has failed her training as much as Arya has failed in hers. It shows the waif has failed to shed her identity and become no one.It also shows a personal interest in who dies and how which should be beyond the faceless. They serve the many-faced god, not their own desires and emotions.

But I think the importance in the "you promised me" may be overstated. First, it's unnecessary. We already the waif is more individual than no one. She has made her grudge against Arya clear from the beginning, we suspect because of Arya's high birth. Second, how else do the writers make clear the threat to Arya?

If you think those words must have been chosen carefully, I doubt the same can be said about my second quote. When the High Sparrow speaks with Margaery about her relationship with Tommen, he talks of her duty to her husband, her king, her country. Her what? I don't recall another reference in either the show or books to countries in Westeros. Maggie would certainly understand a queen's duty to her kingdom, but I think this reference to country is a clear mistake.

So one quote which may be important to the plot, one that clearly isn't. Here's a third, and we can ponder its significance. Discussed during the podcast is why and what meaning is there in the Brotherhood without Banners attacking peaceful followers of the 7. I enjoyed the insight in the podcast regarding the tensions between followers of the 7 and followers of R'hllor.

The quote I think important to this question on the Brotherhood is from Septon Ray. During his talk on his past misdeeds, the Septon addresses why he did those things--orders. He did what he was ordered to do. Is there a connection between the Septon's words and why the Brotherhood does what they do? I think there is.

I think what we see of the Brotherhood in this episode is clear indication of changes since we saw them with Arya and Sandor. We see the results of the Brotherhood's actions, and I think we're supposed to make the connection that they are acting on orders. The open question then is, who is giving those orders? There's been a change in leadership and the orders being given. Perhaps this new leadership is of interest to fans hoping for a particular character from the books who has not (yet) appeared in the show.
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Re: How far can/should we dig into show dialogue?

Postby DonalWarren » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:56 am

It is apparent to me that the show does not use subtle word play, so looking for all of the hidden meanings is a waste of time...
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