The Latest News
Connect with Us

Notable Releases
From the Store
A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones
Amazon.com Paperback
Featured Sites
License Holders

Jump to content


Photo

[Book Spoilers] Where is Catelyn Stark and what has HBO done with her?


  • Please log in to reply
168 replies to this topic

#41 Keep Shelly in Athens

Keep Shelly in Athens

    Noble

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 527 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:53 PM

People's reactions to Cat are natural occurrences from the way she is written.

Don't focus on Rickon's wildness to make leaps in judgement about Cat as a character. Its better to see how she's caught in a Sophie's Choice between her children. If you're so eager to criticize Martin for emphasizing Rickon's neglect, I'd imagine I would have seen you post elsewhere about Martin's sexism...have you? If so, what are your feminist critiques of it? If not, maybe you're falling back on the "author's intent" to excuse your own dislike of a character for gendered reasons?

Anyway, even if Martin wanted to convey that Cat was a bad mother, you don't have to agree with "Martin sexism" or "Westerosi sexism." In Book I, I was thinking, hey, Robb, this isn't the time to tell Cat she has other kids she has to look after. Cat can do her grieving at her son's bedside. Let her do what she needs to do to get past this trauma. Sounds like some people expect her to be a supermom, loving all of her children equally all of the time. Going to war to get your children back isn't enough for some people...sheesh. If my mom did that for me, I'd eventually come to understand what huge sacrifices she made for the family to reunite us all again. I can't begrudge that of any mother, even if she makes mistakes along the way. Everything she's doing in the South is out of love, a truly revolutionary attitude for Westeros.

You don't have to justify as many actions for other characters as you do for Cat.


Eh...I've counted many a justification for Tyrion's murderous behavior and his warped views toward female sexuality!

Edited by Keep Shelly in Athens, 03 April 2012 - 07:55 PM.


#42 Keep Shelly in Athens

Keep Shelly in Athens

    Noble

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 527 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:02 PM

On the changes in the show: I don't like Richard Madden's acting (what's with the scrunchy-mad face he uses all the time?) and don't understand why the writers are enamored with him, making Cat's story his story. But I can't get too worked up about changes in the show. I dunno...I'm just glad she's highlighted in the books. The show is a different universe for me.

#43 TeamDanyArya

TeamDanyArya

    Squire

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 213 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:25 PM

I think its a bit soon to start saying they are messing up her character, we only saw her for a few minutes and its only natural she would want to return to Bran and Rickon since her husband has just died and her daughters are being held captive by the Lannisters. I also don't agree with you about how Robb should have traded Jaime for his sisters as Robb mentions in the show his bannerman would string him up, Robb made many mistakes but that wasn't one of them. I wasn't a massive fan with the way they portrayed her in this episode but hopefully once she goes off on her own to meet Renly her character will become great again.


This. I'm not sure I like all the hysteria I'm seeing already after one freaking episode. It's disappointing seeing people cry fowl over certain things because of one scene in one episode. Give it the whole season or at least a couple more episodes before whining people.

Back to the OP. I don't like Cat at all and I think the series is trying to make her more sympathetic to have more appeal to viewers. Not that that is a bad thing but keep in mind, this is just an adaptation and changes will and have been made for the TV audience.

#44 always blue

always blue

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:25 PM

Honestly, I can see why they did it for the sake of the show. With Ned gone, HBO assumes that viewers will need another hero to rally behind, and in this case, it's a young, attractive "king of the north". It would be much more difficult (due to time restraints) to show Cat being a shrewd, politically-sound asset while still portraying Robb as the young hero. They're setting his story up to be grander so that his death in season 3 will come as a massive blow to the audience.

I'm not saying I love the idea of Cat playing on the sidelines this season, but I understand why the show is handling Robb and Cat the way they are.

#45 ManyFacedOne

ManyFacedOne

    Acolyte of Black and White

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,796 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:34 PM

I think Cersei's change is much more drastic, but I really don't like any of the changes they've made to any of the characters. They seem to be trying to make everyone more likable by taking away some important character decision or changing part of their past (e.g. Cat's wanting Ned to go south with Robert, Cat not telling Jon it should've been him, Tyrion not taking part in Tysha's rape, Cersei not ordering the children killed, her reflecting on her sins, etc...). Joffery is obviously the exception. Of course, instead of Cersei ordering the children killed it's Joffery who did it -- which doesn't matter because everyone already hates him. For me, this only takes away from what the characters rather than make them better.

and whose chest-thumping refusal to trade the Kingslayer for his sisters enabled the Red Wedding


The Red Wedding would've happened whether he traded Jaime or not.

#46 CrypticWeirwood

CrypticWeirwood

    The Wizard in the Tree

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,169 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:34 PM

Honestly, I can see why they did it for the sake of the show. With Ned gone, HBO assumes that viewers will need another hero to rally behind, and in this case, it's a young, attractive "king of the north". It would be much more difficult (due to time restraints) to show Cat being a shrewd, politically-sound asset while still portraying Robb as the young hero. They're setting his story up to be grander so that his death in season 3 will come as a massive blow to the audience.

I'm not saying I love the idea of Cat playing on the sidelines this season, but I understand why the show is handling Robb and Cat the way they are.

Cat’s death hits a lot harder in the book than Robb’s does.

#47 Envie

Envie

    Noble

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 604 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:51 PM

Cat’s death hits a lot harder in the book than Robb’s does.


And that seems to be part of what's happening in the series. They've got a huge fan following for Robb now, both the actor and the character. I honestly didn't feel a lot of affinity with Robb of the books, but the Robb of the series is much more heroic and this is another huge contrast HBO wants to play up. Joffrey... the 'evil' son, and Robb ... the 'hero' son... both with Mothers willing to go to extreme measures to keep their sons in power. And both to fall... regardless of their good or bad intent. It makes a nice easy parallel that translates well to television.

Lets face it, most avid book fans view the series as eye candy for the story, not really as a super detailed dive into nooks and crannies as the book already does that for our imaginations. The visual beauty, violence and sex of the HBO series is like artwork from a fan fiction perspective. Well done fan fiction, but still... just another medium.

#48 fauxkaren

fauxkaren

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:54 PM

This. I'm not sure I like all the hysteria I'm seeing already after one freaking episode. It's disappointing seeing people cry fowl over certain things because of one scene in one episode. Give it the whole season or at least a couple more episodes before whining people.

Back to the OP. I don't like Cat at all and I think the series is trying to make her more sympathetic to have more appeal to viewers. Not that that is a bad thing but keep in mind, this is just an adaptation and changes will and have been made for the TV audience.


It's not just one episode though. It started all the way back in the pilot. Cat is a really layered character and it's just frustrating to see her simplified like this in order to make her more 'likable' which is just... annoying. I don't think she needed to be made more likable. She's plenty likable in the books.

#49 Bride of Winter

Bride of Winter

    Hedge Knight

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 328 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:19 PM

I agree - and I say this as someone who likes Robb as much as Cat.

It's not so much that Robb was a complete idiot, but he was definitely in over his head and Cat knew what she was doing but nobody listened to her. and in making Robb this hero, not only are you losing the tragic boy-king story of Robb but also the strong and intelligent Cat that we (or at least some of us) grew to love in the books.

so the way the producers are handling Cat and Robb, both sides lose imo. or at least those of us who read the books and know what we're missing. the TV audience is probably eating this crap up.

#50 turdle

turdle

    Squire

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 178 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:21 PM

i just wanted to quick comment on the cat/jaime comparison. i don't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other about cat. i think her two "major sins" in the series, capturing tyrion and freeing jaime, were both completely understandable given the state of mind she's in during both confrontations. having said that, both these actions definitely have negative effects on other characters that many people prefer (ned and robb respectively). obviously jaime has done some pretty bad things, trying to kill bran, attacking ned, etc.

but the reason a lot of people prefer jaime to cat has little to do with their deeds (or their sex), it is entirely based on their personalities. jaime is a smart ass, and cat is a cold fish. it's really as simple as that. yes i prefer jaime to cat, but i also prefer asha greyjoy to aeron greyjoy.

#51 fauxkaren

fauxkaren

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:31 PM

i just wanted to quick comment on the cat/jaime comparison. i don't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other about cat. i think her two "major sins" in the series, capturing tyrion and freeing jaime, were both completely understandable given the state of mind she's in during both confrontations. having said that, both these actions definitely have negative effects on other characters that many people prefer (ned and robb respectively). obviously jaime has done some pretty bad things, trying to kill bran, attacking ned, etc.

but the reason a lot of people prefer jaime to cat has little to do with their deeds (or their sex), it is entirely based on their personalities. jaime is a smart ass, and cat is a cold fish. it's really as simple as that. yes i prefer jaime to cat, but i also prefer asha greyjoy to aeron greyjoy.


I love Jaime a lot too. He's one of my favorite characters. I don't have any problem with someone prefering Jaime to Cat because they find him to be a more engaging character. My only issue is when people criticize Catelyn for making rash decisions and cite that as a reason to dislike her as a character while at the same time loving characters who do the same or worse.

Catelyn isn't a character that is goingn to appeal to everyone and that's fine, but you know, just say that don't connect with her narrative. Don't try to justify your dislike for her using double standards.

#52 Envie

Envie

    Noble

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 604 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:35 PM

Well I think the vast difference between Jaime and Catelyn makes it a little hard to justify an equal like or dislike. They are so totally different!

Jaime ends up being a favorite because of his change of heart and a sense of 'honor' he learns through Brienne. Catelyn's so polar opposite to that... and becomes a zombie, which for many people just kinda ruined it (did for me anyways). How can anyone compare the two characters?

#53 Greatjon_umber

Greatjon_umber

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 118 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:39 PM

What the writers seem to be doing with Catelyn is really upsetting me. In the original text, she was a pragmatic feudal lady with keen political insights, whose less competent teenaged son pushed her aside and wanted her to go away and leave him alone. A teenaged son who was portrayed as generally politically inept, and whose chest-thumping refusal to trade the Kingslayer for his sisters enabled the Red Wedding, a Lannister power grab through Sansa, and a Bolton power grab through a false Arya.

The way that she has been adapted for the screen is, frankly, sexist. She was a politically smart and ambitious woman who was ignored for merely being a woman while a young teen ruined their House through misplaced trust and naiveté. She is hated by fans for, well, being a politically smart and ambitious woman who interferes with the male “heroes” and points out their poor decisions instead of going back to her babies where she belongs.

So the way HBO decides to adapt her is to make Robb recite her lines from the book that show political insight, remove her from the table where the political decisions are being made, and validate all the misogyny being directed her way by having this adapted character say that her place is back with her babies (because, of course, that’s where a good woman belongs and should want to be!).

In the books, she was *right* in almost every call she made — but her opinions are dismissed because she is a woman and Robb is 1) a rebellious teen; and, 2) has embraced some of the ingrained sexism of his society and doesn't want his bannermen to see him taking advice from Mom. The commentary here, which passes straight over the heads of a lot of fans, is really genius. If Robb *had* listened to mommy, House Stark would not have been demolished the way it was.

And the writers chose to not only ignore that, but to diminish the female character so as to pump up the male — in a way that completely validates the misogyny targeting the character (a good woman’s place is with her babies and not involved in politics – in fact, if she’s involved in politics at all, it should be reluctantly!) but that also misses the point of the entire arc. My honest-to-God reaction was, WTF are you doing HBO?

Catelyn's plotline deals heavily with themes of sexism. After Ned’s execution, she was calling for peace while the men around her chose war (and devastated the North and the Riverlands). Robb wanted her to go back to Bran and Rickon but she wanted to stay with him, where the future of their family was being decided. It was her idea to visit Renly to attempt to make an alliance, not Robb’s. She wasn’t entirely against sending an envoy to Balon, just not Theon. She wanted Ned to go south to become Robert’s Hand.

Now, she’s been downgraded. One assumes that the reasons for it are three-fold: 1) To pump up Robb and make him sexier to the audiences instead of portrying the tragic boy king in over his head that he actually was; 2) to make her more palatable to audiences (because a woman’s place is with her babies, doncha know); and 3) to amend Cersei’s characterization as she gets the storyline of a son who has slipped her control instead.

Congratulations on either completely missing the entire point of a character arc and plotline or demonstrating a stupendous level of sexism, all while validating the misogyny that permeates this fandom.


I said it to myself when I was reading ACOK and I'll say it again. Robb would have been better off without Catelyn standing over his shoulder. Would things have turned out better or worse, I'm not GRRM so I can't say. However Catelyn really never proves her worth as this shrewd diplomat a lot of people are trying to make her out to be. One person has said it over and over again "Shoulda woulda coulda but didn't." What ifs are useless. And no way a general, and the only heir to Casterly rock (as far as I know, pretty sure Tyrion wasn't going to inherit.), is a fair trade for two young girls with absolutely zero political or military prowess. I'm sorry, I'm a huge fan of the Stark family, and I'd have loved to see the two girls returned to Winterfell where they belong, but Robb was absolutely right. Two useless girls are not worth the exchange of a man who could potentially lead armies, and has proven himself one of the best swordsmen Westeros has to offer. Not to mention all the Northmen that died trying to claim him as a prisoner.

And the treating with Renly. How can you even try to justify it? It didn't work, Catelyn tried, and it just didn't work. Even if Renly had been murdered, his terms were clear, and although I saw his terms as fair, I don't believe the North would. And what's all this bull about the war being unwinnable. The war was winnable up until the Red Wedding. And I'll be glad to argue with whoever wants to prove me otherwise in a brand new post, since it'd be difficult to argue points not made yet. What else has Catelyn done, to prove her worth as an advisor to Robb? Not sending Theon? Sending Theon or not, Balon's intentions were the same. However, sending Theon made it possible for Winterfell to be taken. But at the same time, Theon was Robb's brother. Not in blood, nor in name, but they were raised together for what was it, 9 years? Robb was a young lad, inexperienced in pretty much everything he came across, and acted as best he could to make his father, and his family proud. And the Starks aren't doomed, Robb nor Catelyn doomed the Stark family. Two members of the Stark family died, just two. I don't consider Catelyn a real member, because she's a tully. Some Northern bannermen died as well, but only two full blooded Starks died. There's still plenty lurking around.

Really, I don't dislike Catelyn at all. I can understand her motives, and she's maybe not as politically inept as Eddard was, but none the less none of her choices would have spared the North, or her son. Please tell me one piece of advice she gave that could have saved her son? Or ended the war? Renly wasn't going to treat, atleast not with the terms Robb and the North were looking for. Stannis, even LESS likely to treat on those terms. The Lannisters? The family that killed their lord father and holds Robb's siblings ransom? Of course he can't make peace with them, not until his family was avenged and the Lannisters made to pay for their crimes. What really gets me though, is all this crying about sexism. Get off that, people can choose to like or dislike characters for whatever reason they want, rather it be because they don't like their appearance, their attitude, their deeds, or even the places they come from. You don't get to simply yell sexism because you're a woman and people don't like your favorite character. Get over it, Catelyn wasn't some savior that could have spared the North, or Robb. She was just another player in the Game of Thrones, and not a very good one at that.

Edited by Greatjon_umber, 03 April 2012 - 09:44 PM.


#54 turdle

turdle

    Squire

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 178 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:45 PM

I love Jaime a lot too. He's one of my favorite characters. I don't have any problem with someone prefering Jaime to Cat because they find him to be a more engaging character. My only issue is when people criticize Catelyn for making rash decisions and cite that as a reason to dislike her as a character while at the same time loving characters who do the same or worse.

Catelyn isn't a character that is goingn to appeal to everyone and that's fine, but you know, just say that don't connect with her narrative. Don't try to justify your dislike for her using double standards.


sure, but i can understand that when you have a character who is cold, has no sense of humor, and can be condescending, that when that character makes decisions that bite other characters in the butt, it only amplifies any dislike you have for that character. i doubt that those people who say they dislike cat would put her as one of they're favorite characters had she not done those things.

but i guess, to me, it's kind of silly. those are two great scenes (cat/tyrion and cat/jaime). i don't always agree with what cat or another character has done, but GRRM always (IMO) does a great job of making us understand why they would do what they do. what a boring fucking bunch of books these would be if these characters weren't put into the tense situtations they're put in, and make the bold decisions they do.

#55 Alexia

Alexia

    Sailing the Stanvos Ship

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,255 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:56 PM

You don't get to simply yell sexism because you're a woman

I wondered how long it would take someone to use my gender as a basis to attack my opinions. Congrats on being the first, dudebro. /lol.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />

Edited by Alexia, 03 April 2012 - 09:57 PM.


#56 Greatjon_umber

Greatjon_umber

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 118 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:58 PM

I wondered how long it would take someone to use my gender as a reason to attack my opinions. Congrats on being the first, dudebro. /lol.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />

I wondered how long it would take someone to use my gender as a reason to attack my opinions. Congrats on being the first, dudebro. /lol.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />


Well you seem to do it an awfully large amount, crying about men being sexist because we have our own opinions that might differ from yours. You get to call sexism, so do I.

#57 Alexia

Alexia

    Sailing the Stanvos Ship

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,255 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:04 PM

Well you seem to do it an awfully large amount, crying about men being sexist because we have our own opinions that might differ from yours. You get to call sexism, so do I.

You are adorable! Oh, and about useless girls, dudebro...

"I should have traded Sansa for the Kingslayer when you first urged it," Robb said as they walked the galley. "If I'd offered to wed her to the Knight of Flowers, the Tyrells might have been ours instead of Joffrey's. I should have thought of that."

Also factcheck. Jaime is not the heir to Casterly Rock. He is in fact eligible to inherit. OTOH, Sansa was the heir to Winterfell.

Edited by Alexia, 03 April 2012 - 10:22 PM.


#58 Alexia

Alexia

    Sailing the Stanvos Ship

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,255 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:19 PM

Tywin's opinion on "useless" girls....

Lord Tywin's look was scornful. "Send her to Riverrun and her mother will match her with a Blackwood or a Mallister to shore up her son's alliances along the Trident. Send her north, and she will be wed to some Manderly or Umber before the moon turns. Yet she is no less dangerous here at court, as this business with the Tyrells should prove. She must marry a Lannister, and soon.

"The man who weds Sansa Stark can can claim Winterfell in her name," his uncle Kevan put in.

#59 seeyouintee

seeyouintee

    Hedge Knight

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 282 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:34 PM

While I disagree that they're politically useless, they aren't equal to Jaime. Regardless of how they portrayed her in the series, Catelyn was clearly acting as a mother and not a politician/general in both when suggesting the trade. This is also in no way sexist. If it was a trade of Bran and Rickon for Brienne it would also be ridiculous.

#60 Alexia

Alexia

    Sailing the Stanvos Ship

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,255 posts

Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:37 PM

While I disagree that they're politically useless, they aren't equal to Jaime. Regardless of how they portrayed her in the series, Catelyn was clearly acting as a mother and not a politician/general in both when suggesting the trade. This is also in no way sexist.

HBO-Joffrey agrees with you.

If it was a trade of Bran and Rickon for Brienne it would also be ridiculous.

You are right, it would be ridiculous to trade Bran or Rickon, who stand in line to inherit Winterfell, for a random woman-at-arms. Their value eclipses hers, politically, just as Sansa's value eclipses Jaime's. Jaime's only value was to get Sansa back (and prevent the Bolton grasp for Winterfell). His capture certainly didn't stop the riverlands from burning, or help them with the war.

If the message that you took from that plotline is that Robb is right in not trading the Kingslayer for Sansa, despite his later admission of error and Roose and Tywin's response, I don't know what to say. I can tell you that Roose and Tywin go the last laugh on that though.

Edited by Alexia, 03 April 2012 - 10:44 PM.