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Old July 2 2012, 12:30 AM   #871
Dorian Thompson
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

I haven't watched the episodes since they aired, and I wasn't paying the closest attention to that plotline at the time, so I can't speak to TV Robb's thought processes. But I think that in terms of the books, it's worth considering that he elected not to risk a bastard child precisely because he had seen the awkward effects of Jon's upbringing at Winterfell on both Jon and Catelyn, and didn't want to repeat those unfortunate circumstances.
That didn't seem to be the thought process of television Robb to me, that he was acting out of any concern for how Jon was raised and the effects on Ned and Catelyn's marriage. He seems like a man who thinks he's very much in love but is in reality making a kneejerk decision based on his heightened emotional state--which is, I suppose, what the book Robb who's a teenager trying to save the honor of a high born girl he fucked and is in fear of her being pregnant is doing as well. That business of the Westerling girl and a "honey trap" set while she's nursing his wounds sounds like angsty good fun. I may have to read the books. I'm not sure whether I want Robb's wife to be devious and complicit or on the straight and narrow and genuinely in love with him. The former might be better for creating story.

So he's supposed to be the same age as Jon, huh? Not buying that at all. Kit Harrington comes across very much as a young, sad, confused bastard kid limited by his life choices but Richard Madden, though I think he's a fine actor, comes across as a poised, older and much more mature individual, especially when he's dealing with Ned's men and his soldiers. Jon seems like a kid while Robb comes across as a man.

I never thought about the situation with King Robert, but he would demand the death of any remaining Targaereyan child. Excellent point. It makes sense that Ned would keep that secret to save his sister's child, even from his wife to protect the secret to his grave. Robert spoke of sending someone to kill Danearys back in episode 2, while Ned looked thoroughly uncomfortable and rejected the idea.
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Old July 2 2012, 12:30 AM   #872
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Kegg wrote: View Post
Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
It's tricky. Mya Stone's mother was also presumably highborn, or Mya wouldn't have a last name, but the way Mya's birth is described, while it's not explicit either way, doesn't seem to suggest a highborn mother.
I assumed she didn't have a highborn mother.
At first, so did I. But then why the last name? Common people don't have them, nor do lowborn bastards like Gendry, Bella, and poor little Barra. But I think it's possible the author simply forgot the "rules" in that instance; in the chapter where Mya first appears, her last name is the basis for an explanation of the regional bastard names, and a moment where Catelyn thinks of Jon and feels both angry and guilty.
We know that Robert didn't recognize her as his bastard, anyway, since IIRC him being the father is left as likely conjecture.
Well, that was my point-- if Mya did have a highborn mother, Robert failed to acknowledge a highborn bastard, opening the possibility that doing so was acceptable, if a bit gauche.
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Old July 2 2012, 01:46 AM   #873
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

And Robert is the King himself, he has a bit more leeway than any other High Lord.
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Old July 2 2012, 04:19 AM   #874
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Mya was born before the war so Robert wouldn't have been king, just a lusty highborn teenager with sparkling blue eyes and muscles like a maiden's fantasy.
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Old July 2 2012, 11:40 AM   #875
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

He also wasn't engaged to marry someone else, which makes it a tad more acceptable than an engaged/married Lord to do the same.

Edric Storm was after he was married to Cersei, but by then he was King so he could get away with it better.
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Old July 4 2012, 10:03 PM   #876
Dorian Thompson
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

I just don't see how a grown man can be contracted to marry by his mother in a patriarchal society like the one presented. Another thing that makes more sense in the books, maybe, since Robb is only supposed to be 17 or 18 at most, and not a grown man like the actor? I can see Catelyn making a contract for Arya (who will certainly object if she's ever reunited with the family) or for Sansa, but not for an adult son. Not a binding contract in which the son had no part of negotiating. Catelyn agreed to the marriage so Frey would let their army cross the bridge to go save Ned, but Ned was murdered right afterwards. So, the contract's still valid? .

From what I hear, I fervently hope that one particular plot point from the books isn't followed. I give the writers all sorts of props for killing off a lead character in Ned and following the books. It drives story and it was ballsy as hell but dammit....Robb is Ned now. It sucked losing my favorite character; I don't want Ned 2.0 to die just because his mommy made a marriage contract and he married someone else. What a lame reason for him to die.

Robb, Tyrion, Arya, Brandon and Cercei are keepers. Everyone else is negotiable, including Jon....though I know he won't get the axe.
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Old July 4 2012, 10:09 PM   #877
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Catelyn didn't make the contract, she just brought Frey's proposal to Robb and Robb agreed to it.
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Old July 4 2012, 10:19 PM   #878
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
I give the writers all sorts of props for killing off a lead character in Ned and following the books. It drives story and it was ballsy as hell but dammit....Robb is Ned now. It sucked losing my favorite character; I don't want Ned 2.0 to die just because his mommy made a marriage contract and he married someone else.
As noted above it's a contract he makes, and if the series let Robb live, the plot would begin to diverge majorly from the books. There's a couple of characters the show's killed off who remain alive in the books - like Rakharo and Irri - but these changes don't majorly shift the entire arc.

So yeah, while Robb can be handled differently in the series - and has - in the end the guy needs to die.
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Old July 4 2012, 10:36 PM   #879
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Really? I guess I misunderstood the scene. I thought she was telling him that they could use the bridge because she'd made the marriage contract already. I'll have to find the scene and watch it again. It struck me as so odd that she could do that in the type of society presented, when a man could just bring home an illegitimate son conceived during a marriage and expect his wife to help raise him. A tad patriarchal, that.

Still, I hope the character isn't lost because of some dumb ass marriage contract storyline. Lame. At least let him die a hero. Not because he didn't want to marry some chick the audience has never met. To me there are 3 scenes that pack such an emotional wallop that they embody the very heart and soul of the first 2 seasons:

1.)Dany staring at her brother after he told her that he'd cut her baby out of her and leave it after taking her with him because he hadn't gotten his crown. The look on her face--she accepts what vile scum Viserys is and is at peace with her decision to let Drogo give him his golden crown. Emilia Clarke is a lovely, but uneven actress, but that was her best moment.

2.)Tyrion, his face now scarred from battle, telling Shae that he wants to stay in the city because being smarter and besting his family is the only thing he's good at in life. He's a "monster" now and he fully expects her to leave him....and she doesn't. His sobs of relief as he held on to her for dear life when she said he wasn't paying attention [she was staying]--Dinklage brought it in the moment. Tyrion, forever the smart ass, was laid bare emotionally. Packed a wallop. Dinklage deserved that emmy. Gods, I love his character.

3.)A wordless Robb Stark being declared King of the North as his men tell him he's the only man before whom they'd bow and pledge their swords. Madden did all his acting with his eyes and body language. His astonishment at the unexpected displays of devotion by his men was riveting. Ned Stark lives on.

If I were forced to pick one scene to convey the heart of the series, it's the king of the north scene. Now they're going to turn on him because he didn't marry some chick? Don't do it, writers. Please. This isn't the Tudors.

As noted above it's a contract he makes, and if the series let Robb live, the plot would begin to diverge majorly from the books
Awwww....I don't want to hear that. That's a bummer. Plenty of viewers who haven't read the books, you know. That'll leave us with Kit Harrington's Jon. Jon's character really tredged into boredom during season 2. Maybe the character is more compelling in the books, but the writers have got a fairly serious problem going on. It's only my opinion, of course, but Kit Harrington is not up to the chore of this storyline. I find myself thinking that another actor would be so much better in the part. Sean Bean and Richard Madden really outshine Kit Harrington in the charisma and acting talent department. Once again, mileage varies.

Does Tyrion die in the books, too? Then it could be the trifecta of suck.
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Old July 4 2012, 10:52 PM   #880
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
Still, I hope the character isn't lost because of some dumb ass marriage contract storyline. Lame. At least let him die a hero.
Conversely, I'd say the Red Wedding is one of the most intense parts of the entire book series. I hope the series follows it fairly closely.

Now they're going to turn on him because he didn't marry some chick? Don't do it, writers. Please. This isn't the Tudors.
Robb's his father's son. He never loses a battle and he also loses everything, including his life. As a strategist he's cunning and as a politican he is the right mix of noble and inept that so utterly destroyed his father. It worked on the page, and with Richard Madden I think it'll work as a great tragedy for the show.

Awwww....I don't want to hear that. That's a bummer. Plenty of viewers who haven't read the books, you know.
I'm aware. But I'm sure you're also aware that the books is where the series is getting the broad strokes of its narrative. Inevitably it's gonna diverge - this is a TV show - but the broad strokes really need to remain intact, and the Red Wedding as as important a checkpoint as the steps of Baelor.


That'll leave us with Kit Harrington's Jon. Jon's character really tredged into boredom during season 2. Maybe the character is more compelling in the books, but the writers have got a fairly serious problem going on. It's only my opinion, of course, but Kit Harrington is not up to the chore of this storyline. I find myself thinking that another actor would be so much better in the part. Sean Bean and Richard Madden really outshine Kit Harrington in the charisma department.
I agree with this, which does make me think that Richard Madden as Jon Snow and Kit Harrington as Robb Stark might have been interesting. To me reading the books Robb came off as the least interesting Stark child, Richard Madden and the TV show has actually made me care about the character.

Kit Harrington was one of the few major casting choices that didn't instantly fit with me, and while I've accepted him at this point he wouldn't be in my top five or ten lists of performances from the show.

Does Tyrion die in the books, too?
Not yet, but I'm at the point honestly I wouldn't care if he did.
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Old July 4 2012, 11:19 PM   #881
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
Really? I guess I misunderstood the scene. I thought she was telling him that they could use the bridge because she'd made the marriage contract already. I'll have to find the scene and watch it again. It struck me as so odd that she could do that in the type of society presented, when a man could just bring home an illegitimate son conceived during a marriage and expect his wife to help raise him. A tad patriarchal, that.
Catelyn had been left her husband's castellan in the North, which means she has the legal authority to order anyone around (which was not unusual for a married woman in Medieval Europe, if the wife was considered competent); beyond which, Robb sent his mother to negotiate on his behalf, and he agreed to the treaty when she presented it to him, so if he had had any objections that would have been the time to raise them.
Catelyn agreed to the marriage so Frey would let their army cross the bridge to go save Ned, but Ned was murdered right afterwards. So, the contract's still valid?
Why would that matter? Frey gave them access to the Twins, and thousands of soldiers, who continued to serve in Robb's army. He committed himself to the Starks' cause. Nothing was conditional on Ned actually being rescued (no lord would ever agree to a bargain like that, since it's totally dependent on things beyond either party's control).
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Old July 4 2012, 11:21 PM   #882
Dorian Thompson
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Robb's his father's son. He never loses a battle and he also loses everything, including his life. As a strategist he's cunning and as a politican he is the right mix of noble and inept that so utterly destroyed his father.
He's Ned 2.0. I suspect the similarities are entirely intentional. Ned was a skilled warrior and leader of men. He triumphed in Robert's rebellion, he looked after the people of Winterfell....and then he was stupid enough to trust that Cercei would take Joffrey and flee the capital to protect him from Robert's wrath rather than turn on Ned like a viper to protect her son's false birthright. Ned, Ned, Ned, Ned, Ned....you assumed that since you would sacrifice your life for your children that Cercei was equally as noble. Robb discovers he's a born tactician and engenders the loyalty of men far older than him...yet he's naive enough to marry for love, repudiate a contract and assume there will be few consequences. He's Ned all over again. Did I mention I loved Ned?

It [the Red Wedding?]worked on the page,
Did it? Dammit, I want Robb to go out a hero if he has to exit the canvas

and with Richard Madden I think it'll work as a great tragedy for the show.
I think Robb's death will hit pretty hard, yes. Catelyn will certainly lose it times ten.

To me reading the books Robb came off as the least interesting Stark child, Richard Madden and the TV show has actually made me care about the character.
He sure did. Remember, I watched both seasons in a marathon over 2 weekends. Robb went from a complete non entity to "Who is THAT guy and when did he turn into his father?" There was nothing special; then there was the king of the north moment and I believed this person could be a benevolent king beloved by his people and feared as a warrior by enemies. He was striking fear into Tywin's troops and menacing Jamie Lannister. He was just a kid off to the side....same actor...what happened?

To me reading the books Robb came off as the least interesting Stark child, Richard Madden and the TV show has actually made me care about the character.
Madden's got some decided charisma going on there. That's why I think the writers are going to have a real problem scripting a proper exit and filling the void of his absence.

Kit Harrington was one of the few major casting choices that didn't instantly fit with me, and while I've accepted him at this point he wouldn't be in my top five or ten lists of performances from the show.
Me neither. Pity that Issac Hempsted Wright isn't older and more experienced so he could play the part. I don't think Harrington can carry the banner of the heroic male lead. He's okay, but not great. We need more Arya. Young female heroine to be.
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Old July 5 2012, 01:19 AM   #883
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
I think Robb's death will hit pretty hard, yes. Catelyn will certainly lose it times ten.
You would think that, yes.
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Old July 5 2012, 03:17 AM   #884
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

How is she going to avoid losing her mental stability if she doesn't have Sansa and Arya back by then? She'll still have a crippled Bran to take care of and Rickos is too young to help with anything in a significant way. A middle aged woman really can't ride into battle herself wielding a sword in revenge. How will Catelyn even deal with it?

Plus, with Jamie, Joffrey and Tywin firmly on the "evil" side of the register we need a little more balance in the major male, non "evil" characters. Tyrion can't do it by himself. They're going to have to shore up Jon Snow's story. No way around it, but he's outside of the Starks' orbit north of the wall. I don't know how that's going to work. Perhaps Arya and Daenarys will get more focus. I haven't read the books, so I haven't got a clue.

Yeah, if TPTB play it right they can milk Robb's death for all it's worth since Madden makes him so sympathetic. At least we know they'll do it better than Berman and Brannon Braga did with Trip Tucker. Hard to do it worse.
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Old July 5 2012, 03:22 AM   #885
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

I don't think Robb's death will cause as much of an uproar as Ned's did. Now, as a longtime fan of the books, that reaction was hilarious to watch unfold.
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