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[book spoilers] Did they botch Bran and Rickon's death?


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73 replies to this topic

#1 Dragon greyscale

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 06:34 AM

I have read and heard a lot of non readers who were immediately aware of the fact that the hanging bodies were definitely not Bran and Rickon. I have to agree that it did not have the impact I expected.
It was too obvious. The corpses looked superfake and they were trying too hard to make us think they found Bran and Rickon (walnuts wtf? Do all walnuts in westeros end up in Rickon's hands?") Also, some people thought the end music was awesome... I thought it fell totally flat. Very anticlimactic. It surprises me that this doesn't annoy more people. Am I crazy?

#2 int11

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 05:42 PM

None of my friends believed it either. To be fair, I didn't really think Bran and Rickon died in the books. I went to bed right after reading about the brooch and spent some time wondering how this would turn out. I did however have my doubts when Theon (POV) reflected on how he killed them.

Walnuts: WTF indeed. That didn't make any sense to me.

#3 The Flaying Man

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:01 PM

I thought that they made it a bit too obvious by the obvious references to the "two Winterfell orphans" as well as actually showing them!

I think the short scene with Bran, Rickon, Hodor and Osha should have been left out, it may have been slightly more believable then...although I don't know what would have happened with Dagmer's walnut revelation then.

Regardless, somehow my brother (who is extremely intelligent for his age) was fooled, and believes that the burnt scarecrows, I mean boys, are actually Bran and Rickon! So, I suppose it just depends on the viewer.

In saying all of that, however, I like to take the series on its merits, and I think it's doing a fantastic job. I also loved that final scene. Alfie Allen was fantastic as always, his expression speaks multitudes, and the music really added to what he has become.

#4 Currawong

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:11 PM

In the book, we only really know that the bodies arent Bran and Rickon because of Theon's internal POV reflections that one body looks much like another, etc. In TV terms though, "how" do the writers show this sort of thing? It's typical of the many difficulties faced by D & D s when adapting GRRMs books, because so many of the clues or information dumps we get are not easily translated to the screen. Maybe in this case they gave too many clues for some people, but it is a fine line to tread and if they don't give enough clues, they be equally criticised when things apparently 'just happen' without any foundation. Not an easy task for the writers!

#5 The Monkey

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:12 PM

The three non-book readers I've spoken with all think it could be Bran and Rickon (until they made me tell it), but none of them believed it was.

#6 Sword of the Morning Wood

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:15 PM

I have to admit, when I read the books the first time, I thought Bran and Rickon were killed but I re-read recently and it's incredibly obvious that they weren't if you read the books and actually pick up on what's happening instead of racing through to find out what happens next.

The wall-nut thing was poor writing IMO. Either Dagmer knew that the boys had been there because of the walnuts, in which case they'd obviously just keep hunting as they knew they were on the trail. If Dagmer didn't think the walnuts belonged to the boys, why would he pick them up. Obviously they stuck them in to make people think they actually caught Bran and Rickon. But I reckon the whole 'walnut thing' was very clumsy writing.

#7 LuisDantas

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:17 PM

Currawong is correct, but I still think it would be a bit more effective to simply keep the bodies off-screen. While it was very clear that those were meant to look like actual dead bodies, their appearance was much more like burned cloth dolls.

#8 House Snow

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:23 PM

Yeah a part of me wondered if they didn't really want people to believe it was them. Not just mentioning the orphans, but not accounting for Hodor/Osha/Direwolves (they could have burned the hounds or something). That being said it would have been pretty hard to pull off. I think this maybe one area where not having Ramsey there to flay the kids (in which case the body props might be made to look more like Bran and Rickon) hurt. Probably could have executed better, maybe have a scene where it seems like Theon/Dagmer actually see the kids, but I'm not sure anything they would have done would have made it believable.

#9 Sword of the Morning Wood

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:53 PM

Currawong is correct, but I still think it would be a bit more effective to simply keep the bodies off-screen. While it was very clear that those were meant to look like actual dead bodies, their appearance was much more like burned cloth dolls.


That's what burnt bodies actually look like though.

#10 Ser Giant

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:15 PM

Reek was needed to make it even almost work. They also should have just shown Theon/Dagmer group looking at the same little village and the next scene show the bodies hanging instead of even having that absurd scene in the village/mill.

"OMG WALNUTS THEON!!!, we just saw that scene and Hodor was crushing walnuts for Rickon, your Dagmer has an idea!!!!!" So incredibly stupid.

#11 Stanmore

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:44 PM

The only non-book reading friend i've spoken to didn't even realise the bodies were supposed to be Bran and Rikon. Not sure whether they made it too obvious what was going on with all the previous mentions of orphan boys or whether my friend just wasn't paying enough attention.

#12 Jem

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:49 PM

That's what burnt bodies actually look like though.


I'll have to take your word for it, because (fortunately) I've never seen burnt bodies. However, they looked like they were made from papier mache to me. Like a pair of pinatas. Wouldn't bits of them fall off? I know one had lost an arm, but wouldn't a burnt body fall to bits when strung up?

#13 turdle

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:03 PM

none of the non-readers that i watch with think it was bran and rickon, but i also had my doubts when reading the book. correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't we learn second hand that they had been killed in the books before going to winterfell and the kids heads are on spikes? for me the doubt came because we were learning from an outside source, not seeing it first hand, but then when it picks back up in winterfell it seemed more convincing because they had heads on spikes, and i was like, "oh i guess they are really dead." perhaps they would have been better off following the same structure on the show, but i don't really think it's THAT big of a deal if non-readers aren't fooled. but i agree that showing them walking toward the farm house was probably a mistake. and are we to assume that they are not back in winterfell then? that they're just going to go ahead an start toward the wall?

#14 arya horsefaceless

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:11 PM

I thought TV made it pretty obvious it wasn't, but when I read the books I felt it was obvious it wasn't them either...and I don't pick up on clues as well as most.

#15 Raja

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:27 PM

To be frank though , I never really bought the deaths of Bran and Rickon in the book either . But agree that they could have done a much much better job . Something to make it personal or to identify Bran with , while putting those bodies up would have helped

Edited by Raja, 16 May 2012 - 08:29 PM.


#16 Dragon greyscale

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:35 PM

Hmmm, so I'll repeat what I said on another board. I cannot believe how many people were unconvinced while reading the books. I didn't think they were alive during my first (and only) read. It seemed essential to me. It was only after the reveal that I got used to (and increasingly annoyed by) GRRM's faux-deaths. They were the first fake-outs of the series right?

And it IS a difficult climax to translate to screen, I can see that. Nevertheless, I still think they could have improved it by leaving Bran and Rickon out of the episode entirely. They were also "offscreen" in the books. So we move from "it's just a game" to the hanging bodies.

Wait, I stand corrected. I would use spiked heads instead. The bodies were too fake. Maybe even better: they could have shown theon riding into winterfell with two heads in his hand. It's like the rhakaro death, adding some nice visual recurrance. Or do I sound like a creepy psychopath now:)?

#17 Strider

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:56 PM

Put me down as one who never really believed that Theon killed Bran and Rickon. I found that part of the book implausible. If you find the HOB rendering unconvincing (and I don't disagree), I think the blame needs to put squarely on Martin.

#18 fede989

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 11:29 PM

I have just posted this on the discussion topic, but I think it might fit better here.

I loved this episode, but I had a problem with the last scene. It isn’t that they choose to make it clearer that those two burned bodies were not Bran and Rickon, rather than they cut the scene way too early.

The sickened face of Theon when he looks at the bodies was great, the screams of Maester Luwin were heartbreaking, and the score for that scene was incredible pertinent, it really wanted to make you feel the same as Theon: lost, confused and absolutely sickened. But I can’t help to think that if that scene lasted a little longer it could have an even bigger impact.

They could have shown the disgusted faces of the people of Winterfell for example, or more facial expressions from Theon, realizing what he has done and his internal struggle in that moment. I mean, murdering two innocents boys is a truly horrible an unredeemable act, even if they aren´t who they are supposed to be. We got to see too little of his reactions for my taste, and worst is that Alfie Allan has shown to be really good at it.

When the picture faded to black I couldn't help to feel a little disappointed with that scene, because of the emotional potential that it had. Still this was an incredible episode, one of the best if not the best of the season for me.

Anybody else felt the same with this scene?

Edited by fede989, 16 May 2012 - 11:42 PM.


#19 RoamingRonin

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:09 AM

I believed it in the books, didn't believe it on the show. It wasn't set up properly and the result wasn't convincing. A friend of mine doesn't read the books and doesn't believe their dead. The burnt bodies looked a bit odd. Master Luwin's reaction was believable and sad.

Edited by RoamingRonin, 17 May 2012 - 12:09 AM.


#20 Patchface12

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:15 AM

I thought it was pretty gruesome the first time around. Second time, I noticed that corpse "Bran's" leg looked a bit rubber. Plus I'm not totally in love with how Maester Luwin said 'Noooooooo!' Seemed forced for some reason (other than that, I love Donald Sumpter as Luwin)