Game of Thrones (book/show) newbie (please no spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by DevilEyes, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, there's a difference: say, if a 45-year old is lusting after a 16-year old, it may be legal (in UK and some other countries) but it's definitely creepy. But if a 17-year old or 18-year old is lusting after a 16-year old, it's really not creepy (even if it's technically illegal - as in some US states).

    Back on topic: I've read the first 150 pages or so already, and I finally got around today to watching the first episode, which covers the first 60 pages or so. I'm really liking the book, and it's made me even more interested in seeing how it got translated to the screen. It's a very faithful adaptation so far, with very minor differences - with one exception, the ages of the child characters. I was already aware what many of the actors in GoT looked like before I started reading the book (like the actors who play Robb and Jon, who are clearly adults and, even with a Dawson casting, don't look like they are trying to pass as 14-year old boys!), so when I learned the ages of the characters in the first couple of chapters, I wondered if there's some time jump in the story shortly after, or if they aged them up for the show. It looks like everyone has been aged up 3 years - even little Bran is said to be 10 in the show, instead of 7.

    (Warnings to any other newbies who may come to this thread: SPOILERS to follow)

    It certainly makes it easier to film, without so many child actors, but it also makes things different and less creepy for the viewers. Things like a 13-year old girl marrying and having sex with an adult male. But I'm kind of sad that they had to change it - the book really confronts you with the reality of what did happen for real in the Middle Ages (the culture that the GoT world is obviously modelled on). Thirteen year old girls did sleep with and marry adult males and have kids. It was even considered normal (e.g. Juliet's mom in Romeo and Juliet). Though in GoT it doesn't seem to be a common practice at least (Viserys the Shithead muses on whether Khal Drago likes his women that young and concludes that barbarians have their weird tastes), though it seems more common to have arranged marriages between a kid and a kid. Then there's also a 14-year old boy joining the Night Watch, another thing the modern audiences would be creeped out. Generally, kids in Middle Ages were forced to grow up too fast, including sex and/or violence, something that makes us really uncomfortable now. Although child soldiers or child brides are things that are still happening in some parts of the world and in some cultures.

    They've also cast some of the adult characters with older actors, though that's perhaps justified, since they live in the world with no face creams or sunscreen or cosmetic treatments and much worse medical and hygienic conditions, so it makes sense that people in their mid-30s are played by actors 10 or 15 years older. And Ned was specifically said to look older than his real age of 35. Still, I thought it was weird when Catelyn and Cersei were sitting next to each other, since they aren't supposed to be that apart in age, probably just a few years, but Michelle Fairley looked much older than Lena Headey.

    Speaking of which, I have to say that Fairley doesn't match the physical description of Catelyn that well - Jennifer Ehle, who was originally cast as Catelyn, matches it much better. I wonder why they replaced her; she's a good actress. Maybe she was asking for too much money?

    Nicolaj Coster-Waldau is a really good match for what Jaime is supposed to look like. He looks a bit like a mix of Josh Holloway and Alexander Saarsgaard. It's funny, while I was reading the book, I couldn't help imagining Robert as Brian Blessed in Black Adder, even though I already knew Mark Addy played the role. I bet that if the book had been written and adapted in the 1980s, Blessed would've played the role.

    About the sex: I've only seen one episode, but so far, it seems to me that the sex scenes in book are less explicit, but more erotic/sexier than in the show. Also, it's ironic that the show, which is supposed to be known for having lots od sex and nudity, actually cut out one instance of sex and nudity early on. The first time we see Ned and Catelyn in their chambers, they've just been passionately making love and they're both naked. Catelyn even walks out of the bed in front of the old counselor whose name I just can't remember, because she's got more important things on her mind and says "Master what'shisname delivered all my children, it's no time for modesty". In the show, they just lie innocently in each other's arms fully dressed. Since there's a lot of sex between other characters in the episode, it looks like someone decided: "There's going to be no nudity in this show from any character played by a cast member who's over 45!" :rommie:

    There's one thing that worked better in the episode than in the book: the book made little Bran look incredibly stupid in the scene where he sees Cersei and Jaime - he first overhears them talking and can't figure out who they are so he has to come closer, even though he's heard things like the woman saying that the king doesn't love her and may decide to replace her with a younger woman, and the guy address her "sweet sister"?! Geez, Bran, how hard was it to guess who they were? In the show, he just heard someone having sex, so he couldn't have known.
     
  2. Rowan Sjet

    Rowan Sjet Commodore Commodore

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    It's a general rule of the internet: If it's creepy for you to perve on a girl on the internet, it's creepy for all the other guys as well!
     
  3. Cyrus

    Cyrus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  4. Spocktapus

    Spocktapus Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I agree about Brian Blessed. I saw Robert as him when I was reading, and was rather disappointed when he wasn't in the show. After thinking about it a bit, I realized that Brian Blessed is a bit a bit too old after all.
     
  5. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mark Addy is perfect, but Brian Blessed would have been even better. I, Claudius showed he could really act when called upon.

    I think Catelyn is completely miscast, and it doesn't help that she's not written right either. Definitely the main character that has suffered the most in the show.

    Sean Bean as Ned is amazing casting though.

    Jaime is my favourite POV character in ASOIAF, the actor is ridiculously well suited for the part. Like he walked straight out readers' imaginations.
     
  6. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mark Addy is far from perfect. Robert was a demigod amongst men. Tall, strong, handsome, etc. Yes he went to seed, yes he was fat and well past his prime, but in no world was Mark Addy's Robert ever the Robert Baratheon who won the war swinging his enormous warhammer one handed and charming every girl who crossed his path. Likewise, Renly suffered for being just as unimpressive. I never believed for a moment that anyone would follow either of them into battle.
     
  7. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mark Addy's performance was pretty much dead-on how I imagined Robert while reading. The Renly actor was adequate, not especially memorable but not woefully miscast either.

    One of the most far off is actually Peter Dinklage. He's far too handsome and charismatic to play Tyrion. Supposed to be ugly and gross in manner.
     
  8. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Per episode 3.08, she's supposed to be 14, so Turner's now 2-3 years older than her character.
     
  9. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't seen Renly on screen yet (still just seen the first episode!) but in the book he's described as the most handsome man Sansa had ever seen, and looking at the pics of the actor online... I guess she hadn't seen that many men. ;)
     
  10. Shanndee

    Shanndee Commodore Commodore

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    I just finished page 304 (Sansa). I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised at how faithful an adaption season one has proven to be. I know I am at a very early stage, but kudos to the producers of the tv series!
     
  11. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Season 1 is very, very faithful. The only change that angers me is the lack of The Hound's big scene.

    Seasons 2 and 3 are way less faithful and remind me of Peter Jackson's The Two Towers in how needless a lot of the changes/diversions seem to be.
     
  12. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    I am really pissed off.

    Foxtel (Australia's cable TV service) has worked a deal with HBO to stop iTunes users being able to pay for and download each episodes the day after it airs in Australia. From season 4, if Australians want to legally look at GoT close to the day it airs, we have to have an Foxtel subscription which is $47 for the basic package and another $25 for the movie channels so we can get HBO.

    I am not doing that not even for 10 episodes of GoT. I will have to wait for it on DVD.
     
  13. InklingStar

    InklingStar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Season 3 is a lot more faithful to the book than season 2 was. Most of the characters end up in the right places, and in some cases entire scenes are lifted straight from the page, dialogue and all.
     
  14. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Season 2 is definitely the least faithful, I'd agree. They cut a lot of my favourite parts and changed plotlines beyond recognition.
     
  15. Shanndee

    Shanndee Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, that sucks! I'm sorry you will have to wait so long...but at least with the DVD set you will be able to watch as many as you want without interruption (she says hopefully, trying to find a positive spin).
     
  16. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sure she can, in a year.
     
  17. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    It actually look like iTunes will be allowed to offer all ten 10 episodes of a season the day after the last episode as aired on HBO.

    How is the show aired in the USA? Do you have to watch it on HBO or can you legally stream it soon after it has aired on TV? Are cable rates as expensive as they are in Australia?
     
  18. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He may be supposed to be ugly - but, really, it can be argued that him being a dwarf is enough to be considered ugly; it's not like anyone mocks him or thinks of him mainly as a guy with an ugly face, they call the Imp because he's a dwarf. Being ugly wouldn't make him a freak anyway, I'm sure they have lots of ugly guys, being a dwarf is his main characteristic.

    However, I don't know where you're getting the "gross in manner" thing. I'm 200 pages in and Tyrion is really smart, funny and charming, and one of the least gross-behaved people in the book. (And the book sure has its fair share of gross people, starting at the top with the shithead prince and his mom and the even shittier wannabe king.) Isn't he supposed to be someone who has the mind and other non-physical qualities as a contrast to his appearance?
     
  19. Shanndee

    Shanndee Commodore Commodore

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    I'm with you DevilEyes. I am on page 445 and I find Tyrion the most funny, charming and smart character thus far. All of those are very attractive qualities, not gross.

    (but I guess he is referring to Tyrion"s mismatched eyes and heavy brow ridge)

    Miss Chicken, I'll have a closer look at my cable bill and let you know about Canadian pricing. I have this payment on automatic withdrawal so I don't think about it much!
     
  20. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Likable to readers doesn't mean likable within the story. A lot of Tyrion's humor, and his taste in associates, is too crass for the society in which he operates; it's not just his appearance that makes people shy away from him. He's really rather sneering and insinuating. Because the reader is in Tyrion's head and on his side, it's less obvious, but an awful lot of his funny lines are not actually appropriate things to say to people if you care about being liked. Which he doesn't, because he's decided no one is going to like him no matter how polite he is.