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[Book Spoilers] Littlefinger/Cersei


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#41 The hairy bear

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:32 AM

I think it's safe to say that Cersei, Littlefinger and Renly are the three main characters whose adaptation difers most from the original. So, in truth, any exchange between two of them should feel inconsistent with the books.

While I tend to think that all the changes are for the worse, I might accept that a tv adaptation needed those kind of changes. But the problem is that the depiction of those characters is inconsistent with the show itself, as they don't seem to be able to sepparate the book persona from the show persona and combine them in a weird mix.

#42 Qhorin Halfhand and Yoren

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:35 AM

I think LF reaction was stupid and out of character not only for LF but it would be very stupid even for someone of average intelligent.

Edited by Qhorin Halfhand and Yoren, 03 April 2012 - 03:36 AM.


#43 seeyouintee

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:53 AM

While I agree it's somewhat unfailthful to the book's nearly perfect 'chess master' Littlefinger, I liked the scene.

#44 Purah

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:30 AM

At first I really disliked this scene, and like most people here, felt that book-LF would never have been provoked or slipped up that badly. But then again, it kind of puts the viewers through the same scenario that the readers went through in the first few books. I mean, come off it, who didn't think that Cercei was some kind of master manipulator to begin with!? It also puts LF off the radar, Cercei now thinks that she has him under her control, she won't suspect him of his various plots, schemes or of being the Magnificent Bastard that we all love. So all in all...it kind of works, and I have read in a review that Littlefinger redeems himself in Episode 4 so lets just wait and see /laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':laugh:' />

Analysis aside, maybe he did it because Varys is neglecting him /lol.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />

#45 Songlian

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:45 AM

I actually thought it was a clever scene. Yes, it seemed out of character for Littlefinger to show his hand but it also reminded viewers that he is a player in the games and pointed out that the one holding the knowledge holds a very powerful weapon indeed.

But I think the focus of the scene is more on Cersei. She says "Power is power" but the only true power she displayed is that she has paid for the loyalty of her guards. It's amusing to those of us who've read the books because we know that Cersei really starts to tumble when she loses those she's paid to be loyal to her. Without her paid mercenaries, she's not really anything. She's been replaced as advisor to the king by Tyrion. She's on notice with Joffrey. Her power is fleeting.


This is my opinion as well. I liked the scene a lot (despite Littlefinger's out of character moment) because it sets Cersei as the (weighing my words here) shallow thing she is. "Power is power", to me, is very much like book-Cersei, who lost her game exactly because she couldn't see further than her own nose, and the movie sets that up nicely.

Of course, this is all from the perspective of someone who knows how Cersei will end up. I'm curious what non-readers of the book think of the characters after that scene.

#46 stevelabny

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:13 AM

Except it's pretty clear that this wasn't a move to baffle or confuse -- he was trying to be clever and then nearly needed a new set of pants because of the mess he made. /wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />

I don't think Littlefinger's supposed to be a brilliant thespian -- when he's genuinely shocked or surprised, he'll show it if it's a big enough problem facing him.


I don't think its a move to baffle or confuse. I think its a move to throw Cersei off. We don't see enough of Varys and Petyr's tiny moves in the books. The ones that throw the other players off the scent of their bigger game, but they clearly have to happen or else they'd both be dead or unemployed.

Cersei started the goading, Littlefinger responded with the rumors he'd already heard. He knows it makes him look petty, he knows it makes him look like he doesn't have deeper secrets, and he know it makes him look like he just found out. When he utters the words, he knows Cersei will either say something back and walk away feeling she's won, or that she will huff back to her chambers thinking LF thinks he's more clever than he is. These both serve his purpose.

He's not expecting Cersei to suddenly threaten his life. There is no way he could have forseen that over-reaction. When Robert was around, Cersei would never have been so reckless. Cersei is already starting to fray at the edges with Joff beheading Ned and Tyrion returning and telling her she's the disappointing child. What she does totally catches him off guard, but now he has more information for the future. And yes, if she would have gone through with it, he'd be dead. And that kind of random whim can happen to anyone at anytime. There is no defense no matter how clever you are.

I actually like the scene because I feel it is a perfect example of what had to be happening between the pages of the books.

#47 WinterWarrior

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:33 AM

The HBO series does not have the time or luxury of developing these characters slowly. I think scenes like this are meant to set the stage for understanding later actions. So things are magnified because the story line has to move forward more quickly.

And I think the actress who plays Cersei is not a good actress. I love the show but I loathe Cersei and am tired of the actress sitting there with her brow wrinkled looking out. She has no expression in her face, just that wrinkled brow. I don't like her at all as Cersei and sometimes wonder if she is even acting. In a separate vein, I wish Martin had made Cersei suffer even more than her "walk of shame" in Book 5, but I don't want to get off topic. As a woman I find her offensive to all women, and Joffrey is a result of her ambitious "mothering".

#48 tryagainlater

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:54 AM

At first I really disliked this scene, and like most people here, felt that book-LF would never have been provoked or slipped up that badly. But then again, it kind of puts the viewers through the same scenario that the readers went through in the first few books. I mean, come off it, who didn't think that Cercei was some kind of master manipulator to begin with!? It also puts LF off the radar, Cercei now thinks that she has him under her control, she won't suspect him of his various plots, schemes or of being the Magnificent Bastard that we all love. So all in all...it kind of works, and I have read in a review that Littlefinger redeems himself in Episode 4 so lets just wait and see /laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':laugh:' />

Analysis aside, maybe he did it because Varys is neglecting him /lol.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />

That's a very good way of looking at it.

When I heard about the scene, it sounded awful but it didn't bother me once I watched it. I guess I'm easy to please.

#49 Peter1982

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:47 AM

I thought it was perfectly ok. It is about power this year (what was it last year about?), and they wanted to make a point. On the screen you have to do that in this way. LF did not sought any provocation, but reacted. He was still playing the master, in trying to learn Cersei something. But ofcourse she doesnt listen. I don't think LF is so off the character in the book. The TV Series creates a lot more around Robb and Joffrey as to battling kings. And I think it makes great television, seeing the drama of the coming year will only be even more terrible. At such moments, I wish I hadnt read the books ( which I enjoyed immensely), just to experience the thrill of it.

#50 kairparavel

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:19 AM

But if the point was about perception of power and not specifically LF and Cersei, why not keep the brilliant book conversation between Varys and Tyrion, after Jonas Slynt is sent to the wall. To me, that exchange really nails home the idea of power and perception of power. And no one needs act out of character.

#51 Bolivar

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:27 AM

And I think the actress who plays Cersei is not a good actress. I love the show but I loathe Cersei and am tired of the actress sitting there with her brow wrinkled looking out. She has no expression in her face, just that wrinkled brow. I don't like her at all as Cersei and sometimes wonder if she is even acting. In a separate vein, I wish Martin had made Cersei suffer even more than her "walk of shame" in Book 5, but I don't want to get off topic.


I like Cersei's portrayal in the show, but I had to laugh about the whole "wrinkled brow" part. It's definitely true, we need a little bit more range than just the elegant talking and the wrinkled brow. Lol.

Also I thought the walk of shame was shallow fan-service. It didn't need to be in the book. Martin could have actually had a climax or two in the book instead of those superfluous tacked-on scenes.

#52 Carl Drogo

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:49 AM

I don't think its a move to baffle or confuse. I think its a move to throw Cersei off. We don't see enough of Varys and Petyr's tiny moves in the books. The ones that throw the other players off the scent of their bigger game, but they clearly have to happen or else they'd both be dead or unemployed.

Cersei started the goading, Littlefinger responded with the rumors he'd already heard. He knows it makes him look petty, he knows it makes him look like he doesn't have deeper secrets, and he know it makes him look like he just found out. When he utters the words, he knows Cersei will either say something back and walk away feeling she's won, or that she will huff back to her chambers thinking LF thinks he's more clever than he is. These both serve his purpose.

He's not expecting Cersei to suddenly threaten his life. There is no way he could have forseen that over-reaction. When Robert was around, Cersei would never have been so reckless. Cersei is already starting to fray at the edges with Joff beheading Ned and Tyrion returning and telling her she's the disappointing child. What she does totally catches him off guard, but now he has more information for the future. And yes, if she would have gone through with it, he'd be dead. And that kind of random whim can happen to anyone at anytime. There is no defense no matter how clever you are.

I actually like the scene because I feel it is a perfect example of what had to be happening between the pages of the books.


Completely agree and feel the same way. I also think it helps to interpret the scene as Cersei wanting to mostly give him a good scare for his cheek and not as a serious altercation that will completely change their relationship. In my understanding they both know she needs him, which is why it makes sense that he would have been so shocked at her reaction.

#53 hesitantreader

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:35 AM

I don't like the scene because I don't think they have much screen time to show that Tyrion is in control over the Lannister power base in King's Landing now. By giving Cersei Jedi control over the Lannister house guards it muddies the water. All I can think is that they are going to play down the Tyrion/Cersei conflict in this season and save it for season 3.


As for LF being a bit out of character I think it is necessary: They need to show the TV viewers that LF dislike of Ned does not extend to Catelyn; otherwise, future plot developments will make little sense. I would not be surprised to see them double down on this plot element later in the season.


Edited by hesitantreader, 03 April 2012 - 11:35 AM.


#54 Ran

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:40 AM

The TV viewers can get the picture just fine without that poorly-concieved scene, promise.

#55 Strider

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:52 PM

I re-watched the episode last night. The LF/C scene fits in nicely. In many ways this episode is all about Cersei. Finally she has managed to establish herself in a position of real power and independence, yet it is immediately threatened by (1) Stannis's publication of her incest, (2) the disappearance of Arya, (3) Joffrey's developing independence, embodied in his decision to execute Ned and threatening his mother with execution if she should ever rebuke him again, and (4) Tyrion's appointment by her disappointed father as temporary Hand of the King. Her position has become vulnerable and increasingly desperate.

And so she teases Littlefinger, and when he responds in kind, she humiliates him, thereby assuring herself that she has and can exercise power.

Would the book-LF have responded as HBO-LF? Perhaps not ... but I find it refreshing that he made a tiny misstep here. He momentarily forgot his vulnerability. He won't make that mistake again.

But as several people have observed, the HBO series needs to be appreciated on its own terms and not by comparison to the books. Not an easy thing to do, I know.

#56 WinterWarrior

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:25 PM

I do think this scene and all of the references to Arya in the episode are played up more than in the book. I don't remember them looking that hard for Arya or thinking she was that important. Gendry is the one they are looking for in the book. Arya seems to pass under the radar.

But for the HBO series I can understand why they made the Lannister search for Arya more prominent. Again, its laying the groundwork for the future and keeping Arya in the light as a major character. And I love the HBO series for what it is.

#57 Brewmaster

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:29 PM

I didn't have a problem with the scene. If I think about it in terms of the book, yeah it never would have gone down that way. But, its not the book and I see it as being fairly consistant with Cersei's changing characterization as she gains more power moving forward.

I don't believe he was making a threat, he was trying to ingratiate her to him by pointing out that he was a man that could be "trusted" to keep or spread rumors depending on the situation. He did much the same to Ned in Season 1. Also, I don't believe Littlefinger was ever in danger. Cersei wasn't going to have him killed, just saying that she could. It was a little ham-handed display of their current stations, really. It didn't really add anything to the story, for me, as somebody who is well aware of everyone's situations and positions, but I think it was a perfectly acceptable scene in the show for the non book reader.

#58 DornishKnight

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:32 PM

The scene showed two things for me:

1. LF has major overconfidence issues. I think this will be his undoing in TWOW
2. It was nice foreshadowing about Cersei's lack of understanding how the game is played: "Power is power."

Keep telling yourself that, girl.

#59 mmp

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:49 PM

The exchange wasn't out of character for LF or Cersei, but the guard square dancing routine was ridiculous.

#60 A Bong of Ice and Fire

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:50 PM

This scene might have killed the series for me, to be honest. It was so out of character for LF and just plain WRONG. What were the producers thinking??? They've just destroyed the whole LF character.

Season 1 was great and felt very true to the books. A lot of the key dialogue was almost 1:1 from the books.

But it looks like for season 2 the writers are doing more of their own "interpretation" and inventing too much stuff. Not only was the LF-Cersei scene unforgiveable, they also managed to take the whole Maester Cressen prologue sequence, which was one the most emotionally powerful & memorable sequences in the whole book series, and turn it to crap.

And what the hell was up with the GQ Craster???