A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Out Of My Vulcan Mind, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    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.
    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).
     
  2. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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    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? :lol:

    Did it? Dammit, I want Robb to go out a hero if he has to exit the canvas :censored:

    I think Robb's death will hit pretty hard, yes. Catelyn will certainly lose it times ten.

    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? :wtf:

    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.

    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.
     
  3. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    You would think that, yes.
     
  4. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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    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. :cardie: Hard to do it worse. :lol:
     
  5. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    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. :lol:
     
  6. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wash your keyboard out with soap for mentioning B&B!!! :p
     
  7. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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    Sorry. I was trying to gain perspective and convince myself it wouldn't be so bad. B&B's touching portrayal of the emotional aftermath of Trip's death seemed like the thing to focus on to accomplish that. ;)

    I wasn't watching the show during season one, so I missed the uproar. Man, Robb's got some devoted female followers on youtube. :lol: Madden's got that full on, Scottish Ewan McGregor accent going on in real life that makes us chicks follow him like the pied piper. They're gonna be mega pissed if his character is written off. :lol: He is pretty handsome, I must admit. Reminds me of Jamie Bamber.

    Uproar might not be the right word, but Robb's death could be supremely sad and moving if written properly.
     
  8. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think Harrington just needs better material. The writers have really slacked off on making us care about his storyline. The character is presented as not particularly intelligent, not particularly charming and not particularly effective. Most of those things were true of him in the book too, but we had the benefit of being in his head to excuse his behavior as well-meaning, honorable, etc. Also, he spent half the season walking around in snow, which doesn't exactly get our blood pumping.
     
  9. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

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  10. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    DAMN she's tall! :eek:
     
  11. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Venardhi has a point. The series did a (mostly) good job of reworking Daenerys' 'do-fuck-all' plot from book two, and an even better improvement on Arya's rather thin stuff (she's never Tywin Lannister's cupbearer and they don't exchange a single word in the books).

    While they did do some good things with Jon - the Ygritte material comes to mind, and the series has remembered there's nasty things out there in the North - it still feels quite a bit like the Dany and Arya plots in book two did, that is, treading water until something important can happen.

    Uh... yeah.

    Though Bran Stark's a very important role in its own right.

    There's always Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth, the honourable right hand of Stannis Baratheon, who was fantastic this year, but that does kind of depend how much the show will use him.
     
  12. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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    Liam Cunningham was great, but he's not really a main character as far as the show goes. How much can they realistically write for him? I enjoyed Arya's turn as the cup bearer and getting to spy on Tywin, but I agree that Dany is treading water. It's as if they're inventing obstacles so she can't get her ships. The show definitely lost focus on Jon until it was too late in the season to do anything significant with him. We didn't get to see him dealing with any significant grief over Ned's death or lamenting that he cannot go to his family. It all settled far too soon, IMO. Igritte mocking and teasing him was great, but they needed to get on with him meeting the king north of the wall already.

    I hope that Harrington's up to the storyline. Perhaps all the white walkers and supernatural beasties will help things along. I'm just not as interested in Jon as I should be considering the fact that he's probably the true king of the seven kingdoms by birthright.
     
  13. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    The Arya/Tywin scenes were good, but I'd hesitate to call Arya's plot an across-the-board improvement, because they omitted or downgraded many of her best scenes from the novel.
     
  14. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can't stress just how lowly I hold Arya's plot from A Clash of Kings, though. So much bloody faffing about with those kids. Off the top of my head the only major change that bothered me was that we won't get to see her stab the Tickler to death.

    So yeah, I'd call the Tywin stuff an improvement.
     
  15. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Arya/Tywin scenes are well-performed and, in isolation, well-written, but they don't really add anything interesting to either character, and Arya doesn't evolve at all during her time at Harrenhal, in contrast to what happens in the book. (I gather Bryan Cogman has justified this by saying they needed to slow Arya's arc because of the splitting of A Storm of Swords over two seasons, but I don't see how a character stagnating for six episodes is a desirable alternative.)

    The Qarth plot on TV is ridiculous, the sort of generic and heavy-handed "intrigue" that belongs in a bad fantasy film, not a TV drama that's even halfway serious. If the writers wanted to abandon the nature of the Qarth material from the books (and I can understand why they would, though I regret the loss of something so different in tone from the rest of the series), they ought to have replaced it with a realistic, fully-conceived political storyline, not some half-baked FIENDISH SCHEMING. They also ought to have come up with a meaningful ending-- the House of the Undying is a logical conclusion to the Qarth storyline of the books, but the watered-down TV version of it isn't a conclusion to anything, and makes Qarth not only pointless as immediate narrative (which it arguably is in the books) but as foreshadowing and fantasy storytelling. Not that I have strong feelings about this or anything.
     
  16. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd argue they do, from the perspective of the series. The Arya scenes are an important window into Tywin's actions and attitude - he's a very important character who we simply don't see a lot of. This is an important difference generally between television and books - in the books, Tywin can spend ages off-stage while knowledge about him is given to other characters and impressions of him exist in the minds of Lannister POV characters, but in a TV series we're better off actually seeing him and seeing him speak to get a sense of the man.* His conversations with Arya and his Harrenhal material generally ("THEY HAVE MY SON!") was pretty much the entirety of Tywin's stuff this year.

    For Arya the scenes show an increase in her resourcefulness, testing the limits of the various roles she's been hididng in, and gives her a formidable opponent to trade words with. Tywin is simply a more interesting figure to have Arya talk to compared to her travelling companies, or the bullshit mysteriousness of Jaqen H'ghar.

    True, but generally if Westeros is grounded in War of the Roses-type pseudo-England, Essos is where there's a medley of often ridiculous fantasy tropes and some naff orientalism. The Qarth arc for Dany in the books is less melodramatic, but the locale isn't a helluva lot less ridiculous (it's hard to do the warlocks seriously, for example, and I think the series did about as good as one could expect with Pyat).

    Ah well. I'd say A Storm of Swords is right up there with A Game of Thrones when it comes to Daenerys' arc, so I hope they get the same sense of epic catharsis that the novels managed.

    *Perhaps the best example of this inevitable disparity is Rhaegar Targaryen, whose shadow hangs over the novels in the recollections of characters talking to POVs, POVs of those who actually knew the man, and so on... but on TV he's basically this dead guy who doesn't even have a credited actor. So it goes.
     
  17. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree that it's important to capture Tywin through direct onscreen characterization, but I don't find the approach the TV writers have taken to him particularly rewarding. As with Cersei, their work is hamstrung by an evident belief that you make an unsympathetic character round by giving him/her scenes of poignant unhappiness/wistfulness/grandfatherly wisdom -- superficial likability to balance the "dislikability" rather than a genuine sense of why and how people become deeply unpleasant. The building blocks for that sense exist in the books-- that TV Tywin is musing on his "legacy" suggests the TV writers are at least dimly aware of it. And it would be easier and more natural to create that portrait of the real Tywin through his interactions with his actual children in seasons three and four than by contriving scenes where he reveals his personality to a random cupbearer.

    In the book the point of Arya's arc in Harrenhal is not "an increase in her resourcefulness"-- in fact it's practically the opposite. It's an environment of terrible violence and danger in which she's functionally powerless except through the deaths offered by Jaqen, which starts her on the road toward violence as vengeance down which she's still traveling as of A Dance with Dragons. (It's also part of Martin's portrayal of the horrors of war for commoners, which is an important aspect of the books that the TV show has thus far neglected, but that's another topic.) There's very little sense of real danger in TV Harrenhal, just unconvincing asides like the will-she-be-recognized Littlefinger cameo and the comedy chase sequence with Lorch. By the end of episode ten, has Arya changed in any meaningful way from the end of episode four? She knows to say "m'lord" instead of "my lord," but I don't see any sign that she's actually more resourceful than before.

    If anything, the Tywin scenes undermine the idea that Arya is remotely resourceful at posing as a commoner. Tywin plainly knows that she's highborn northern girl playing a servant, and yet is evidently uninterested in that, for reasons best known to Benioff and Weiss. The logical consequence of their scenes together would be investigation, identification, and capture, but that would break the basic plot structure to which the show is committed.

    Kegg is right that Qarth in the books is an outright fantasy milieu rather than the cod-medieval Europe of Westeros (and the rest of known Essos, really). Some readers will find that ridiculous; others, myself included, like it, though I think Martin's "the further east you go, the more magic the world gets" notion is indeed problematically orientalist. But the key point is that some of the most fantasy-driven storytelling in the book series is what the source material offers here. If you're not interested in that, or think it won't play with your audience, fine, make changes, but you need to replace it with something, not add a barely-thought-out gloss of political intrigue to a city that is explicitly not about that sort of thing. When you're diverging from the (thematic and genre) substance of the source material to the extent that TV Qarth does, you have the opportunity to invent something of serious complexity. Don't think the warlocks will work on TV? Cut them entirely. Don't want prophecies in the House of the Undying? Drop it altogether. Otherwise, you get a plotline that has no magic for the fans of that and no realistic politics for the fans of that. In the context of the books, there's at least a justification for the existence of the Qarth storyline, but on TV, Daenerys gains nothing from it; they might as well have had her go straight to Slaver's Bay.
     
  18. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not sure how much play these got outside the US, but here are 3 videos done by Mother Jones magazine showing American attack-ad-style campaign commercials from Game of Thrones.

    I like the Dany one the best...


    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao4HVlV7wZU[/yt]

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzw2ZiMt3y4[/yt]

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6r9CdNenuk[/yt]
     
  19. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ned and Jaime duel with lightsabers:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17W4QMNwm-c&feature=player_embedded[/yt]
     
  20. Kosh Naranek

    Kosh Naranek Captain Captain

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    Okay still reading the books. Making slow progress due to work commitments. Sorry if this has been beaten to death.

    In the books -
    1. One thing that struck me was this - Why once Robert was king did Ned never visit? Cat's and Ned's memories of their youth seem to suggest travel on their parts and that of their parents. It seems to me that Ned shut himself off in the North far away from the man he supposedly loved like a brother.
    2. Would Robert have made Lyanna happy anyway? He already had at least one illegitimate child around the time they were betrothed. Would he have grown bored and cheated on her like he did Cersei? He seemed to place Lyanna on high and use her death as an excuse for his lewd behavior, but would have he really been any better if she had lived?
    3. Dany is morphing into the same entitled so-so she loathed when it was her brother.

    Show related....
    1. The books mention Rhaegar alot. Are they going to have to cast the character and do a series of flashbacks? Much seems to be interwoven with his actions and motivations.
    2. I think they used the Arya/Tywin scenes to flesh Tywin out more than help along Arya's storyline. If I were the show runner and had a talent like Charles Dance, I would make use of him. Plus, Tywin is mentioned quite alot in the books and we are left to deduce his motivations based on what we learn of him from other characters.
    3. I think the character of Jon Snow suffers some from the TV adaptation. In the books I see him as a young boy struggling to make sense of his life. I guess because the actors playing Robb and Jon look older than I feel they should, I keep thinking of them as dullards rather than boys struggling with hard choices and responsibilties.