Eruditorum Press

Less the heroes of our stories than the villains of some other bastard’s

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later.Support Elizabeth on Patreon.

26 Comments

  1. Ezakur
    May 24, 2015 @ 7:48 pm

    The show did a very poor job with the visuals, but Ramsey it's not eating in the broken tower where the candle is supposed to go… Theon betrayed Sansa and went instead to Ramsey's room… The visuals tried to trick us, until the reveal of Ramsey… Just a bad transition and a bad walking up the stairs…

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  2. John
    May 24, 2015 @ 7:57 pm

    It was your classic Silence of the Lambs switcheroo.

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  3. Ezakur
    May 24, 2015 @ 8:23 pm

    On second thought it was okay… Theon walks away of the tower and the camere while the point of view is from the tower's window. So we're supposed to asume the walking up the stairs bit is another place other than the tower… Still is somewhat jarring…

    Don't know which Silence of the Lambs switcheroo are you talking about… Hannibal's flesh mask? If that's the one, I think the trick is completly different…

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  4. Ciaran M
    May 24, 2015 @ 10:19 pm

    I am still opposed to the idea that rape ought to be depicted because it was the social reality of the time, because:

    a) It wasn't. The time doesn't exist. It's all made up.

    b) The obsessiveness the showrunners have towards rape goes beyond the call of duty of an honest depiction

    c) The use of rape to delineate between 'goodies' and 'baddies' is not a reflection of the social reality of the time. It is using rape to impose modern morality on a supposedly medieval society. As awfully handled as the Jaime/Cersei scene was, at least it put forward the notion that even the 'nicer' characters still have whacked-out understandings of gender roles. All the figurative moustache-twirling before the rapes is just insane and awful and highlights how dumb this show is. The closest the show got to understanding this was with Drogo and Dany.

    I'd like to say I'm done with the show, but Stephen Dillane, Jonathan Pryce and Diana Rigg provide some bright lights for me to follow. The show is at its best when it's not pretending to be anything other than mostly well-acted medieval melodrama with some occasional sword fights.

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  5. Neo Tuxedo
    May 25, 2015 @ 5:02 am

    the Winterfell plot of "awful things happen to the only interesting character while the plot resolutely fails to advance"

    That's actually a pretty good summary of how I experienced Arya's plot up to the time I bailed out of the books.

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  6. Elizabeth Sandifer
    May 25, 2015 @ 7:47 am

    In order, then.

    a) Yes, but the time being depicted is still meant to serve as an analogue for real history. Yes, you could exclude rape if you wanted to, but I think the burden of proof there shifts to "why is the use of rape as a means of enforcing power an aspect of history we should exclude?"

    b) I agree, inasmuch as by this point in the show they have rendered it, as I said, banal.

    c) Yes, I agree. There's a (very modern) aesthetic going on at this point where rape is the ultimate and unforgivable crime, which is a tricky thing to do in a world where mass murder is a routine thing. I on the one hand wish that some of the books' moral greyness regarding sex – particularly around Tyrion – had been retained. On the other, as much as I dislike the conversations we have around the show, the rape apologism that would start up if Tyrion were portrayed as he were in the books would be outright unbearable. I suspect, dismally, that the world of 2015 is simply not one in which a massive television show can do moral ambiguity around rapists.

    For what it's worth, though, there are several instances where I think the show has handled rape very well. Cersei's cruel casualness when she says that everyone "will be in for a bit of a rape" if Stannis takes the city in Blackwater was, for instance, flat-out genius.

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  7. Elizabeth Sandifer
    May 25, 2015 @ 7:49 am

    Arya's plot in Books Two and Three is neither book's highlight, I agree. (And correspondingly, in Seasons Two and Three, though the sheer brilliance of the Arya/Hound double act largely salvaged it in Season Four.)

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  8. Matt Marshall
    May 25, 2015 @ 8:00 am

    I loved the Arya/Tywin show of season 2, that was a great change from the book

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  9. Elizabeth Sandifer
    May 25, 2015 @ 8:02 am

    Yes. I think it rewatches better than it watches, though. It's vastly improved by having seen Tywin in the next two seasons and knowing him better as a character.

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  10. Simon (formerly Johnny Sorrow)
    May 25, 2015 @ 10:45 am

    The House of Black and White has constantly demanded that Arya surrender her identify in order to become "no one." So she has to give up her old clothes and her old name. Is it possible, therefore, that she will also have to give up her kill list as well? It would be classic dramatic irony: Arya cannot become the faceless killer, except by forsaking the very reason she so desires that transformation.

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  11. TheOncomingHurricane
    May 25, 2015 @ 10:47 am

    For what it's worth, though, there are several instances where I think the show has handled rape very well. Cersei's cruel casualness when she says that everyone "will be in for a bit of a rape" if Stannis takes the city in Blackwater was, for instance, flat-out genius.

    I don't think the show really deserves credit for that as it's pretty much lifted directly from A Clash of Kings Sansa VI, and the episode was written by Martin anyway.

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  12. TheOncomingHurricane
    May 25, 2015 @ 11:51 am

    I think that Tyene scene is one of the most stupid scenes I have ever seen. Bring back sexposition, at least it had a point? Nothing is exposited and nothing advances anything…it's just…there? It's completely pointless as anything apart from the most contrived reason to get an actress out of their clothes. I thought it was building to Bronn being killed but apparently not? What was the point?

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  13. Ciaran M
    May 25, 2015 @ 12:41 pm

    A point of clarification for a), which was more about commentators claiming that Sansa's rape was depicted in the most tasteful way possible, whereas I would argue that the most tasteful scenario would be not contriving a situation where a made-up young girl is repeatedly raped by a made-up sadist.

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  14. Ciaran M
    May 25, 2015 @ 12:47 pm

    As for c), I very much agree that our media just isn't ready for that level of moral complexity in its depictions of rape, but I just wish it didn't keep pulling shit like this and Gone Girl, both of which feel like we're pushing out in the wrong direction

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  15. Shane Cubis
    May 25, 2015 @ 5:40 pm

    Remember the good old days, when boobs were their own reward?

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  16. HarlequiNQB
    May 25, 2015 @ 6:33 pm

    I believe John means the scene where the police apparently arrive at Buffalo Bill's front door, but it turns out to be a different door entirely.

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  17. encyclops
    May 26, 2015 @ 3:12 pm

    I'm trying to remember if Stannis has said "no" to Melisandre on a semifrequent basis in the past, or if this is sort of new, where his drawing a line at sacrificing his daughter will start to divide the two of them. That's about all I can figure about that scene.

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  18. Daru
    May 26, 2015 @ 10:17 pm

    I found that prison scene really dull.

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  19. Daru
    May 26, 2015 @ 10:18 pm

    That would be interesting and feels possible, as the Many Faced ones serve the many faced God and not their own agendas.

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  20. Daru
    May 26, 2015 @ 10:21 pm

    I don't remember hearing this question from Melisandre before, and he did seem shocked and definite in his no, but it feels a bit like Melisandre grasping.

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  21. Daru
    May 26, 2015 @ 10:29 pm

    "It's all stuff Game of Thrones has done before and done better. Ramsey isn't as good a sadist as Joffrey. The supporting cast around him and Sansa isn't as interesting as Tyrion, Shae, and Cersei."

    I am wearying of these scenes in Winterfell and find myself wishing for Brienne just to storm in and do something dramatic and awful to Ramsay, simply to get it finished there.

    I do like Iwan Rheon, as he was really enjoyable in Misfits but I have found him pretty two dimensional as Ramsay. It could have been possible to explore more than just a rape plot as surely if he has secured both his marriage to Sansa and at least on some level his name as a Lord, then there could have been a wider story possible regarding his position as a Lord ?

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  22. Daru
    May 26, 2015 @ 10:29 pm

    And then we may have seen more of Iwan's acting range.

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  23. encyclops
    May 27, 2015 @ 9:42 am

    He's a weird character. In a world where so many (relatively) nuanced characters do awful things for nuanced reasons, he's a straightforward homicidal sociopath and seems imported from some other less interesting show (or, unfortunately, from reality). Rheon is pretty much the only reason he's watchable, I think, but I agree he can only do so much.

    What I was hoping to see is that Ramsay would unexpectedly treat Sansa well, confusing everyone around him, creating suspense, and perhaps giving Miranda a reason to fuck some shit up. Not that I think a catfight is much of a step up, but it would at least have been more intriguing.

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  24. Froborr
    May 27, 2015 @ 3:48 pm

    Honestly, my main hope at this point is that Sansa manipulates him into a conflict with Roose Bolton over the impending birth of a rival. Or shanks him with whatever that was she picked up–a bottle opener? Some kind of hook?

    Preferably something that results in the deaths of the Boltons and Theon so all the boring characters at Winterfell can be swept off the board just in time for Stannis and Melisandre to show up.

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  25. Froborr
    May 27, 2015 @ 3:51 pm

    Yeah, following a terrible episode with one that was was mediocre at best was not a good move. And having the attempted rape of Gilly just an episode after Sansa? It's starting to feel like the writers are just running down the list of female characters, ticking off anyone they haven't shown being raped yet. It's both repulsive and boring–much as I like Danaerys and Tyrion meeting, and everything happening in King's Landing, this show needs to get better fast or I'm done.

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  26. Daru
    May 27, 2015 @ 7:48 pm

    Aye encyclops it really would have been interesting to see Ramsay do something utterly surprising, as we have been down the road so often now of characters doing terrible things.

    And yep Froborr, getting those characters off of the gameplay area would be great wouldn't it? I do see to some kind of manipulated conflict being possible as there are real tensions there – and it would also be good to see Sansa's intelligence come to the fore.

    Reply

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