Edited by David Selig, 15 April 2012 - 06:22 AM.
[Book Spoilers] Where is Catelyn Stark and what has HBO done with her?
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:39 PM
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:40 PM
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:42 PM
Edited by Xerox in 4 Parts, 03 April 2012 - 06:45 PM.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:46 PM
It was a good idea to try and treat with Renly, but she doesn't know how to do it. IIRC Renly didn't seem too keen on letting the north be independent. In general her plans have never worked out the way she wanted them to. She urged Ned to go to Kings Landing, captured Tyrion and brought him to Lysa, advised Ned to trust Littlefinger, released Jaime openly defying her son and king... I'm not saying she's stupid or that I don't like her, I learned to sympathise with her throughout ACoK and later books, but she's not all that good at political strategy. While I agree Robb wasn't great at it either, he was a 15-16 year old boy. Him breaking his betrothal was stupid, but also the typical rash action of a hormonal teenager, specially one that has been raised to follow the code of honour of Ned Stark.
How was Robb supposed to know that his childhood friend, who must have been nearly as dear as a brother to him, would betray him so terribly and "kill" his brothers?
I think the difference is that Jaime pushing Bran out the window is an impulsive act, an act done to protect the people he loves. He doesn't think it through and believes he has no other choice (I'm not excusing Jaime's action, just saying that it wasn't premeditated). Cat's treatment of Jon isn't just a one-off rash action, it's continuous and done mainly out of spite. I'm not saying she should be fine with her husband having a bastard, but her anger should clearly be directed at Ned, not at Jon.
Edited by The Black Wolf, 03 April 2012 - 06:47 PM.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:47 PM
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:49 PM
I thought they were trying to make Robb more sympathetic. Here he is, boy king, who is ultimately fighting this war because he lost his father and sisters. A lot of people end up losing their fathers because of this war. If they played Robb as he is in the books, it wouldn't translate for two reasons.
One: he's just too old for his youthful flaws to be sympathetic. TV Bran whines, and we go "oh it's OK, he's just a kid. Kids whine." TV Robb whines, and we go, "Pathetic. Be a man."
And Two: it wouldn't come across via the format. In the books, its easy to see how Robb is torn by trying to please so many all the time, how his ear is filled with so much advice. It's less visible in TV where long conversations of exposition about the world won't sit well.
Book Robb is understood as, for whatever his flaws are, good. I felt they were trying to get that across for viewers. In short, I thought they cut out Catelyn's legs a bit to make Robb look taller.
Edited by LauraD, 03 April 2012 - 06:51 PM.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:53 PM
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:55 PM
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:56 PM
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:56 PM
Sometimes I wonder about the state of ASOIAF fandom. Would you all like some cheese with that whine?
Edited by Hyper, 03 April 2012 - 06:56 PM.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:57 PM
Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:59 PM
and we think it's unfair.
Would it do to have, for example, tywin hesitate on his war out of fear to hurt Jaime, to show how loved Jaime was when compared to his siblings?
Would it do to have Ned not be so honorable so Jon's honour could shine brighter?!
Please... that's the excuse of a petty writer.
Someone accuses us of mind acrobatics? wow. let me put this in a simple way:
- cat tells ned to stay, instead of telling him to go
- cat says she wants to go home, instead of staying in the camp
- cat don't want to go parley with renly when she's the one who comes up with that in the first place
so it's another character entirely. Are we being unreasonable to complain??
One last time about Tyrion's polemic arrest:
it was TYRION who acted like a DUMBASS outing Catelyn in front of everyone when she was clearly incognito, in a random inn with only one companion. TYRION was the one who forced a confrontation and backed Cat into a corner, forcing a desperate reaction out of her. He subestimated Cat, though, and never though she could overcome his money as his status as queen's brother with nothing but the authority of her voice.
What was the option, pray tell, when the man who murdered your brother-in-law and tried to murder your son TWICE appears with a bunch of guards and backs you into a corner? Cat fought, and won. And if you hadn't been inside Tyrion's mind and knew he wasn't the culprint thanks to your god-like perspective, you would have cheered and congratulated Cat... who knows how many of you did anyway.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:00 PM
In short, I thought they cut out Catelyn's legs a bit to make Robb look taller.
Yes. And I think this is where the problem lies. One character's complexities are sacrificed in order to service another.
(See also: the Cersei and Littlefinger scene)
Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:04 PM
So the solution is to give Cat's positive contributions to Robb in the TV show?
I believe LauraD's observations are right: Robb in the show is older than Robb in the books, and that's why they have to change some things.
And I'm not trying to excuse Jaime's actions, nor vilify Catelyn, I'm just trying to explain how people can dislike Catelyn but like Jaime without being sexist (personally I prefer Jaime these days, which doesn't mean I don't like Cat).
Edited by The Black Wolf, 03 April 2012 - 07:05 PM.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:06 PM
I agree that too many share the blame to lay the whole war, or any major event (like the Red Wedding) on one head. There are plenty of reasons to like and dislike Cat, as there are with every other character in the series, and so it seems unfair IMO to label so many of the Cat-haters misogynists.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:06 PM
Tywin started the war because he started a war.
If Catelyn didn't do what she did Tywin wouldn't have retaliated
If Tywin didn't do what he did he wouldn't have retaliated
So much for personal responsibility! But at least Tyrion thought that Cat was clever and agreed that Tywin would probably follow her, not attack the Riverlands. I guess that just makes Tyrion a bad judge of character though.
Man it's too bad that there was never a time at the end of the first book where the Starks could have chosen to put down their weapons and go home. It's too bad that someone didn't sue for peace in that king in the north scene. If only, if only ...
I don't see that they have to, merely that they want to and that they did. If Catelyn did not want to go home, if Catelyn thought of going to Renly instead of Robb, I doubt anyone would think Robb was acting younger than his age.
Edited by Xerox in 4 Parts, 03 April 2012 - 07:07 PM.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:14 PM
Really, I think HBO just does not understand the Robb and Cat storyline. They’re playing Robb As Hero completely straight. I think part of that is a by-product of aging up the character. It’s kind of hard to sell Richard Madden as a Boy King. So in the books when Robb pulls the Grey Wind stunt with Cleos Frey, it’s immature posturing. But in the show when he does it with Jaime, I think we’re supposed to read it as him being bad ass which completely misses the point of his character (the point being a deconstruction of the idea of a boy king).
But the way Cat was handled was even worse. There were four big mistakes with the way Cat was written in the first episode of season 2.
1. In the books, it is Catelyn who suggests to Robb that they go to Renly and get the Baratheon brothers to work together to take down the Lannisters. I love that it is Catelyn who has the political mind to see this solution. The fact that in the show they gave that idea to Robb does away with the idea we see in the books that while Robb is a capable general on the battlefield, he needs help ruling. It also de-emphasizes Catelyn’s perceptiveness and cleverness.
2. I didn’t really like the fact that the only reason Cat gave for not sending Theon to Balon to treat was because Balon was untrustworthy. I mean, that is true, but in the books she relents and says that if Robb has to treat with Balon send someone else other than Theon. I think that in order for later events to be most impactful, it’s important that she tell Robb specifically NOT to send Theon. Her opposition to sending Theon also shows her wisdom. Theon is a HOSTAGE. He is their leverage over Balon. WHY WOULD YOU GIVE UP YOUR LEVERAGE, ROBB? Robb was letting his emotions and his affection for Theon make his decisions for him. (Except of course CAT is the character who makes lots of bad and irrational decisions, amirite?)
3. I was annoyed that Cat didn’t get her line about girls not being worth it. Catelyn knows how the world works and she knows that in Robb’s eyes his sisters aren’t worth giving up his prize hostage of Jaime Lannister. I mean, I believe Robb loves his sisters, but he also doesn’t want to risk angering his bannermen and they would be mad if he traded Jaime for Arya and Sansa. But with the line about girls not being worth it, it becomes explicit that Cat understands how the politics of it all is very gendered and how girls aren’t worth much in this game of thrones. The idea of the sexism in Westerosi society is shown through other female characters, of cours. But in my opinion, it's important that that perspective come from Catelyn as well as figures like Arya. Unlike Arya, Catelyn DOES fit into the prescribed gender roles assigned to her. She is happy being a wife and mother and has traditionally feminine qualities. BUT that doesn't mean that she is blind to the unfair way that women are treated and valued in Westeros. She did get the general argument about Sansa and Arya being important to her, but I really just missed that line where she gets to explicitly call Westerosi society out on how little it values girls. Instead the scene read as Cat merely wanting her family back which is definitely true too, don't get me wrong. I just missed that extra shade of meaning that the line about girls not being worth it adds.
4. I was really angry at Cat's line about it being time for her to go home. I mean in the book she does want to see Bran and Rickon, but she knows that her duty right now is with Robb. So her wish to see Bran and Rickon in the books is more of a “I wish we were all safe in Winterfell” or a “I wish I could be in multiple places at once” type thing. In the book she makes a conscious choice to be with Robb because she knows that he needs her more at that moment in time. But Robb is a typical teenager about it, eager to assert his independence from her, and he tries to send her away to various places. And I feel like by changing things to have Catelyn want to leave Robb and be with Bran and Rickon, it’s like the showrunners are validating all the haters who complain about what a terrible mother she is for abandoning Bran and Rickon. BECAUSE NO. THAT IS NOT TRUE.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:16 PM
Of course Catelyn was right then, but my point is Robb trusted Theon (just like Cat trusted Littlefinger or her sister). Also, Robb probably never truly saw Theon as a hostage...
I agree. I'm not saying Cat is a terrible person for doing what she does, I'm not saying I can't understand her actions... There's a whole prism of feelings between OMG!LOVE! and GO DIE IN A FIRE!, to me Cat isn't an extreme, but in the middle. Some things she does I agree with, others I don't...
Anyway, I have a feeling this discussion is veering into what is strictly book-territory, so I'll just say that while I regret some changes made to Cat, I can understand why they did them and (as I said before) I think it has to do with the fact that people are older in the show.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:19 PM
On one side you have Cersei, who also is being portrayed a little differently - with some strong qualities and some weaknesses, some points that make you pity her and others that make you despise her. This seems to be the theme they may be striving for with Catelyn on the 'honorable' side of the fence (which clearly isn't the best choice either).
The reason I feel they're putting strong emphasis on the two strong willed Mothers of House Lannister and House Stark is from this:
HBO Season 2 Full Length Special "You Win or You Die"
If you watch the 22 minute long "You Win or You Die" full length special on the HBO site, you get a really clear idea of how the houses and characters within the houses are portrayed for the series. This may be very different from a book fan's opinion of the portrayals, but as Emilia Clarke says at one point in an interview:
"Some people hold a grudge, some people don't - but the tension is always so high and you as the audience member can decide for yourselves who you think should or should not have the power"
They stress several times (they being some of the actors and the producers) that the story is full of 'strong women' figures. This is why I believe Catelyn's character was changed to a more likeable personality for the series.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:34 PM
Martin showed us a mother who makes the tough choice of leaving her small children because she felt she could help her family best "on the job". In the end, she gave the advice to not send Theon, and she gave the advice to trade Jaime. Later, Robb admits he should have traded Jaime.
While both Robb and Cat, and many others, make mistakes, it is only Cat who is told to go home, because she is only a mother and mothers belong with babies and nowhere else.
This is a story about a working mother who faces sexism both by not being listened to when she is correct and by being penalized harsher than men when she makes a mistake. Benioff and Weiss have taken all that commentary out.
Don't forget that last season:
- Catelyn was not allowed to have any ambition regarding Robert's offer
- Catelyn did not get to comment on Robb's tactical choices as she did in the book
- Catelyn did not even get to speak in the king in the north scene, as she certainly did in the book
- Catelyn's lines about not celebrating victory too early were given to Robb
Now as ennumerated by fauxkaren:
- Catelyn doesn't get to have the the idea to see Renly and how it could lure Tywin away from Harrenhal; that's given to Robb
- Catelyn has to want to go home to reassure people she's a good and loving mother
- Catelyn does not get to point out that Robb would've traded Jaime for Ned but not two girls, who are not valuable enough
Catelyn has been made into a Hearth-and-home Only woman whose ideas are at least partly being given to Robb, and the entire gendered aspect of how she is sidelined because she is "a woman and worse a mother" is being undercut. Playing it safe and erasing social commentary, what is to approve about what HBO's done? I know why they did it, but I don't like it, and I'm going to let them know all season long.