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Author Topic: Game of Thrones: The TV Show  (Read 5192 times)

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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2012, 08:53:47 AM »

Adding to this:

Season started out well but the people I was with who hadn't read the book had a hard time following some of the jumps. The second book is maybe the weakest of the series right at the beginning, but it does make me wonder about the series' longevity.

Well, there've been too damn many characters to keep track of pretty much from the beginning (the book's got an appendix, the show's got a website), but yeah without Ned as an anchor it gets even harder to keep things focused.  Tyrion's as close as the show has to a main character now, and a lot's riding on his shoulders -- but books 2 and 3 really are about his arc more than anyone else's IMO, and Dinklage has proven himself more than up to the task.

Really on the whole I'd say the second and third books have pretty satisfying arcs to them; it's the fourth and fifth where things get to be kind of a mess.

Lack of a "main character" is part of the problem, but really it's a symptom.  The major problem is that the disparate characters' arcs connect less and less, and, worse, the pacing of those arcs is staggered.

Minor book 4 and 5 spoilers follow: [spoiler]Shit's happening quickly for Jon, say, but Arya's mostly cooling her heels, and Bran and Tyrion's arcs are mostly taken up with the very long trip from Point A to Point B.  Theon -- who I would argue is the main character of Dance -- gets a satisfying character arc, but not a satisfying plot arc; his growth as a person reaches a satisfying resolution, but WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENS TO HIM; unlike Jon or Dany, he doesn't even get a satisfying cliffhanger.[/spoiler]

So as much as anything I'd say the timeline becomes a problem; the various characters' stories stop syncing up, and it becomes harder and harder to give a given book a satisfying climax and resolution because while one character's doing stuff, another character is cooling his heels somewhere.

(Which reminds me, the third new scene I meant to comment on: Robb and Jaime.  Great stuff, great choice, and I hope there's more of it.  I think the books made the right call in having Robb as the only non-POV Stark (aside from 2-year-old Rickon) because it's significant that none of the actual Kings are POV characters, but TV is a different thing.)

Back to the pacing issue: Martin knows it's a problem, obviously, which is why he split up the last two books the way he did.  But it still doesn't quite work -- I like the last two books all right, but they're not as satisfying as the first three.

TV actually is a better medium for that problem IMO; yes, we're obviously looking at season arcs, but a TV season is generally a lot more episodic than a novel.  I have no doubt that they'll integrate books 4 and 5 (provided the show gets that far, and I think it will), and maybe they'll be able to tweak the timeline to intersperse the various stories better.

Maybe.  There ARE a lot of maybes here.

Maybe there'll be a sixth book by the time we get to season 5 and the TV writers and directors will still know what's coming.  Hard to say.  I'd like to think the pressure of the TV show will light a fire under Martin's ass and get him to finish the books faster, but I understand his difficulty -- it's not just that his material is getting even darker as it goes, it's also that the whole thing's turned into something of a jigsaw puzzle he has to fit together.
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2012, 02:14:21 PM »

And speaking of ratings: 3.9M viewers.  6.3 including the repeat airings.  Yeah, I think it's safe to assume it'll get a third season.
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2012, 09:16:07 AM »

Some new bits this week; overall good.  It was a good call to take a break from Theon being odious to actually depict his inner struggle, and I think the show's done as much to establish Margaery Tyrell's character in a single scene as Martin did over the course of three books.

One omission that really disappointed me: in the scene with Tyrion and Littlefinger, where [spoiler]Littlefinger shouts "Leave me out of your deceptions from now on"[/spoiler] -- in the book, Tyrion responds by [spoiler]pulling out Littlefinger's knife and saying "Then leave me out of yours."[/spoiler]  It's a killer moment and I missed it.
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Rico

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2012, 11:20:44 AM »

and I think the show's done as much to establish Margaery Tyrell's character in a single scene as Martin did over the course of three books.
And by character I assume you mean HBO-special-low-cut-dress sideboob. (Seriously though her conversation with Renly was creepy as all hell but really really well done).

I am still searching for any decent reason for Asha to be renamed. I'm all for sensible changes in adaptations but character renaming is really one of the stupidest things you can do.
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2012, 12:00:24 PM »

(Seriously though her conversation with Renly was creepy as all hell but really really well done).

Yeah -- since none of them are POV characters in the books (by design, of course; the books aren't about the kings and queens, they're about the people who their decisions effect -- it's symbolic that, BOOK FOUR SPOILERS, [spoiler]Cersei becomes a POV character just as she begins to lose her power[/spoiler]) we never really get a good look at Renly's relationship with Loras, and indeed it's only ever hinted at obliquely and through innuendo (and the rather on-the-nose point that the Knight of Flowers is a gay dude).  But yes, Renly is gay and just married his lover's sister; that is bound to be an awkward fucking situation and is a good choice for the show to elaborate on.

I am still searching for any decent reason for Asha to be renamed. I'm all for sensible changes in adaptations but character renaming is really one of the stupidest things you can do.

Wikipedia says it's because "Asha" is too similar to "Osha".  (Come to think of it they changed Robert Arryn to Robin, presumably because there was already a Robert and a Robb.  Though Jory got to keep his name despite its similarity to Joffrey's -- possibly because he's addressed by name maybe once on the show.)
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Crouton

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2012, 01:05:56 PM »

I don't think Osha is mentioned by name enough to warrant the change either, at least I don't recall seeing her name in the books very often. The Robert-Robin change never bothered me since his mother calls him sweetrobin in the books all the time.

This is what happens when everyone names their kids after the same 5 famous people in the world.
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Rico

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2012, 02:07:01 PM »

I'd heard the Asha/Osha thing before and have been hoping there's a much less stupid reason than that somewhere. Osha's hardly if ever mentioned by name, their characters are of vastly different importance and they renamed the more important one, there's a stark contrast in their appearances, they're not in the same circle of characters for the most part (as opposed to Inbred McSuckstits and the hundred Roberts)... it's a decision that adds little to no clarity for people new to the series but fucks with people who've read the books.
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2012, 08:01:53 PM »

Come to think of it, I consistently get House Florent confused with House Tyrell, because Tyrell's sigil is a flower and Loras is the Knight of Flowers.

(Related: I just had to backspace because I wrote "Martell" instead of "Tyrell".)

I don't think I've gotten Florent or Tyrell confused with Florian, though.  And is "Flowers" a bastard surname?  It fits the theme of "thing you see when you look at the ground".
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Rico

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2012, 09:55:33 PM »

Flowers is the bastard surname for that area but Loras is legitimate and takes his nickname from his armor based on his sigil. There's plenty of potential confusion, but given what they've left intact Asha/Yara just seems arbitrary.
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2012, 07:52:09 AM »

Flowers is the bastard surname for that area but Loras is legitimate and takes his nickname from his armor based on his sigil.

Right, I knew that; I'm just pointing out that it's potentially tough to sort out Flowers from Florents from Florian from the guys who wear flowers on their armor.
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2012, 12:14:13 PM »

Drinking game (keeps referring to the Hound as "the Dog")
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2012, 12:04:39 PM »

Well, TV, you finally did it: you managed to make Joffrey even worse than in the books.

On a related note, it appears I will be watching this show alone from now on.
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Mongrel

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2012, 02:16:01 PM »

I'm curious: Any chance of a spoiler-tagged spoiler?
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2012, 08:42:58 PM »

Okay.  Book/show spoiler: [spoiler]Joffrey has Sansa publicly stripped, ostensibly as punishment for Robb defeating another Lannister company in battle.  Tyrion remarks that he's a teenage boy and clearly needs to get laid, and thinks he should hire a prostitute.[/spoiler]  In the books, [spoiler]this never quite happens for a variety of reasons[/spoiler], but in the show, [spoiler]he follows through and sends Joff two prostitutes.  Joff responds by forcing one, at bowpoint, to beat the other one; it's implied that he makes her beat her to death, though it's possible she just beats her to a pulp.  He remarks that they'll leave her in Tyrion's tower when they're done.[/spoiler]

Soooo yeah it was one casual brutality too far for my fiancee (and one I couldn't warn her of in advance because again, not in the books); she says she's done and I don't blame her.  I wish I could say it gets better from here, but nobody's even spoken the name "Ramsay Snow" yet.

Seriously, the latest book is ROUGH.
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Disposable Ninja

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2012, 09:08:07 PM »

Yeah, Joffrey's really fucked up.

One of the bits I liked towards the end of the first season when [spoiler]he forced Sansa to look at her father's decapitated head impaled on a spike jesus fucking christ[/spoiler] was the look of confusion on his face when she just emotionally shut down. I get the feeling that not only does he just not understand basic human emotion, but he's also just an aimless sociopath. That there's nothing he really wants in life or wants to accomplish, and so the only thing really guiding him is his every whim and general desire to exert his power over other people.

It makes sense that he would [spoiler]force a prostitute to beat another prostitute to death, because I doubt he even sees a point in actually having sex beyond simple reproduction.[/spoiler]
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2012, 09:41:21 AM »

I'll buy that as far as the TV show.  In the books he makes repeated predatory comments.  Could be that he just intends them to be unsettling, or that it's just one more way of displaying his power over people, but that's now how I read it.  I agreed with Tyrion's interpretation that [spoiler]Joffrey's a hormonal teenager like any other and might calm the fuck down if he actually got laid[/spoiler].  Obviously the TV show has demonstrated otherwise.

I read Book Joffrey as a savage little shit but a victim of circumstance -- he had an emotionally distant, detached, alcoholic father who purportedly beat him on at least one occasion, and an amoral, scheming mother who not only never said "No" to anything but actually actively encouraged him to do whatever the fuck he wanted, free of consequence.

The business with the cat is disquieting as hell and pretty clearly reinforces that Joffrey has a natural and horrifying lack of empathy.  And, given that it's pretty well-established that the Targaryens have a history of mental illness brought about by generations of inbreeding, we're obviously meant to draw a parallel to Joffrey.  (It bears adding that he's not the first Lannister to be a product of incest, that it used to be commonplace within the family.)

BUT, I still think if he'd had better parents he could have been pulled back from the brink.  It's a lot harder to say that about TV Joffrey.

There's a certain naivete to Book Joffrey -- he's playing a character from a fairytale just as much as Sansa is.  He's the hero in his own mind.  He's clearly divorced from the idea that there are consequences to his actions, or even that his subjects could dislike him.

TV Joffrey is shrewder -- as I mentioned earlier, in the books it's Cersei, not Joff, who gives the order to have the Robert's illegitimate children killed.  The books give no indication that Joff's even heard the rumors about who his real father is until people literally start shouting them at him in the street.  Likewise, he still maintains a certain hero worship of his father and I don't think he knows about the philandering.

At any rate, I'd say that, as odious as Joffrey is, in the books at least he's set up as a victim of circumstance -- and this makes him less terrible than other characters like the Mountain and Ramsay Snow.

Something else that bears noting: the Mountain and Ramsay get their hands dirty; Joffrey doesn't.  There is a reason that Ned Stark is introduced executing a condemned man and then lecturing his children on the importance of a lord being willing to do the deed himself, and that he later loses his head (to his own sword) on Joffrey's order but not at Joffrey's hand.

Every act of violence Joffrey is responsible for is by his word, not at his hand.  He tells Ilyn Payne to kill Ned, he tells Meryn Trant to beat Sansa, and likewise in this week's installment he wasn't the one actually meting out the violence.  It's one more symptom of him being divorced from the consequences of his actions.  (Well, that and the fact that every time he DOES pick up a sword, he loses -- Arya beat him by the lake, of course, and there's an earlier bit in the book where Robb beats him in a sparring match.)  The Starks don't delegate, they get their hands dirty because they want to remind themselves of the price of their decisions.  And people like the Mountain and Ramsay get their hands dirty because they are straight-up psychopaths who enjoy it.

The Lannisters leave the dirty work to the little people -- except Jaime and Tyrion.
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Zaratustra

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2012, 10:49:32 AM »

So they found a way to be -more- edgy-creepy than the original books? Wow.

Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2012, 12:13:49 PM »

Weeeeeell, in Joffrey's case, which is no mean feat in and of itself.  It's gonna be tough to make Ramsay as horrifying as in Book 5 without actually being inside [spoiler]Theon[/spoiler]'s head, but I bet they can pull it off.
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BŁge

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2012, 02:06:05 PM »

I doubt it. If you show him [spoiler]flensing the skin off Theon's fingers[/spoiler] or [spoiler]making [spoiler]Jeyne[/spoiler] get screwed by the dogs[/spoiler], people will get the picture.
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Thad

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Re: Game of Thrones: The TV Show
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2012, 02:15:26 PM »

The fingers are kinda tip-of-the-iceberg, no?  And even the book kinda dances around it.

As for the latter...even now I still wonder if the show will actually go that far.  But yeah, probably.
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