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


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#41 sennahoj

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:49 PM

I don't think the scene was botched. The mere fact that the killing of the Stark kids wasn't shown will make viewers suspicious, whereas readers might rather believe a death off-page. For me the burned corpses bluff was never so much about fooling the viewer/reader but rather to fool the other people in the story. The people of Winterfell are supposed to believe Theon would even kill the Stark kids to make them fear him. Even the ruse itself, let alone had he actually burned the Stark kids, reeks of desperation. Theon has made the decision that he wants to be feared. That comes across on page and on screen.
I have to admit that it is questionable whether so many people of the Stark household would take Theon's story about the corpses at face value. They knew what the kids looked like. So if you want to convince people you actually killed them, you should show them the bodies in a recognisable form. Why present unrecognisable burned corpses instead? How many people in Winterfell did actually believe Theon, and I mean both in the book and in the TV show?
So, in the end, Theon's presentation of the bodies is not about convincing the people at Winterfell either, not at all. First, those are not the people that matter. The people who matter are those in power who hear the tale of Theon's deed. But secondly and most importantly, Theon wants to convince himself that he could make people fear and obey him by making them believe he would even kill Bran and Rickon. It's the old "power lies where people believe it to be". For Theon, fear is the key to holding on to power in Winterfell. If people actually believe he has the power over life and death and wouldn't even spare his foster brothers (and most valuable hostages, one might add), then Theon might be able to cling on to it. At least that is what he is telling himself. And the fake corpses are a means to that end, to make Theon believe himself in power, when in fact, he has lost everything.

#42 Oberyn King

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:10 PM

It had to be obvious, if I was a non-book-reader tv viewer, I'd stop watching the show the minute they killed the little Stark boys.

#43 tryagainlater

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:43 PM

Yea, it wasn't very convincing not that it really was either in the books. I'm still gonna tell my friends they're dead though.

#44 summer_stark

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:36 PM

I don't think the scene was botched. The mere fact that the killing of the Stark kids wasn't shown will make viewers suspicious, whereas readers might rather believe a death off-page. For me the burned corpses bluff was never so much about fooling the viewer/reader but rather to fool the other people in the story. The people of Winterfell are supposed to believe Theon would even kill the Stark kids to make them fear him. Even the ruse itself, let alone had he actually burned the Stark kids, reeks of desperation. Theon has made the decision that he wants to be feared. That comes across on page and on screen. I have to admit that it is questionable whether so many people of the Stark household would take Theon's story about the corpses at face value. They knew what the kids looked like. So if you want to convince people you actually killed them, you should show them the bodies in a recognisable form. Why present unrecognisable burned corpses instead? How many people in Winterfell did actually believe Theon, and I mean both in the book and in the TV show? So, in the end, Theon's presentation of the bodies is not about convincing the people at Winterfell either, not at all. First, those are not the people that matter. The people who matter are those in power who hear the tale of Theon's deed. But secondly and most importantly, Theon wants to convince himself that he could make people fear and obey him by making them believe he would even kill Bran and Rickon. It's the old "power lies where people believe it to be". For Theon, fear is the key to holding on to power in Winterfell. If people actually believe he has the power over life and death and wouldn't even spare his foster brothers (and most valuable hostages, one might add), then Theon might be able to cling on to it. At least that is what he is telling himself. And the fake corpses are a means to that end, to make Theon believe himself in power, when in fact, he has lost everything.


i agree with the second half of this -- however, the first half i disagree with because:

the people at winterfell are supposed to, and largely do, believe it's b/r (except luwin, who has doubts).

second, if the reader/viewer wasnt meant to think they were dead, then why make it a cliffhanger at all? why not show the boys right after the burned bodies -- or in the book, make bran the next chapter? it's obviously supposed to have some shock value, otherwise they wouldn't make it to look like the boys might be dead -- in either the books or the show -- in the books, you have to pay attention to subtle clues that a first time reader probably misses -- in the show, it's like they couldnt decide whether to make it a cliffhanger or not. they botched it if they wanted to make it a cliffhanger, and botched it if they didnt -- instead, they leave it in this weird no mans land of most people being pretty sure it's not them, instead of most people being pretty sure it is them.


It had to be obvious, if I was a non-book-reader tv viewer, I'd stop watching the show the minute they killed the little Stark boys.

i think ned stark probably makes this less likely of most viewers

#45 House Snow

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:26 PM

It had to be obvious, if I was a non-book-reader tv viewer, I'd stop watching the show the minute they killed the little Stark boys.


I sort of think this too. Two rules of TV/Movies. Never kill kids and never kill dogs.

#46 summer_stark

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:15 PM

well, they killed lady and killed that infant in episode one and crasters in episode 2 this season. and they DID kill two kids -- just two we hadn't met. they would have come back either when they were revealed to be alive, or out of morbid curiosity.

#47 Alboin

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:51 PM

Two rules of TV/Movies. Never kill kids and never kill dogs.


Telll that to thousands of non-readers who demand Joffrey's death on facebook /wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />

#48 Rickon is FIERCE

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:12 PM

It will be weird if B&R go back to the crypt though, cause that would be far more dangerous in the TV series trying to sneak back in once the chase is over.


From Bran and Osha's comments it seemed to me the crypt is where they'll end up. Bran said we can't hide here and Osha said there's no way we're ever going to be able to outrun Theon and the hounds... they can't run away, so they have to hide somewhere nearby...

It was ruined when they had Bran make the comment that if Theon followed them to the farm then he would torture the farmers two children. It's obvious that the two kids were the farmers kids. In the books it's made frightening because Jojen dreamed of reek, the man with the long knife and the two faceless (? iirc...) children at his feet. Jojen got it right with the capture of Winterfell so we were primed to think it would come true, but not HOW it would come true. No Jojen, no dream, no reek, flat story telling = fail. Fail fail fail.


Unless the characters in Theon's group on the show watched this specific epsiode of Game of Thrones on HBO they wouldnt have known about Rickon eating walnuts. Are walnuts the only food escaped little kids eat in the north or are these special walnuts that only Hodor can crack? It's some cheesetastic writing they did to "trick" the audience into thinking Brand and Co. actually ended up going where they just said they werent going. It was completely absurd.


They botched it, seeing Bran and Rickon at the farm and then followed by Theon and crew - too many clues. They should left that story line after the 'its all just a game' scene, then return to the story at the end, slowly building up the tension at Winter that Theon has done some thing awful. Also having the bodies burnt so bad, made it too obvious - it increases the 'off-screen death' factor which TV audiances know rarely ever turn out to be the case. we needed to see facial features - you'd never be able to tell the difference anyway but it stops it looking like a cover up. Shame really, a cool turn of events burnt.


They did. I think they should've given Bran another green dream, seeing as how his first one came true, which would've added a bit more to the credibility of it.


Excellent points all.

#49 hugh57

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:19 PM

It seems to me that even if the people of Winterfell aren't buying into the idea that these bodies are those of Bran & Rickon, they are nonetheless bodies of two real children. That Theon is willing to kill two random children to advance his purposes may be enough to frighten them into submission. After all, they (or their children) could be next.

But as a viewer? Yeah, I have a hard time buying it. For one thing, where in the Seven Hells is Hodor? I have a hard time believing he would go anywhere without Bran, though I could believe Osha getting away. I guess Theon and his posse couldn't find a 7-foot tall farmer. And the thing with the walnuts was just silly, IMO. /rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':rolleyes:' />

First post, BTW. Very interesting discussions here. :-)

#50 CrypticWeirwood

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:45 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?

Ooh now, that’s an excellent question. Whose are all the faked deaths in the series? There are so many.
  • Game: Ser Waymar Royce, killed by the Others
  • Game: Dany, killed by walking into the flaming furnace that was Drogo’s pyre
  • Clash: Ramsey Snow, shot dead by the northmen
  • Clash: Bran and Rickon, dead by Theon’s orders and Ramsey-Reek’s hand
  • Clash: Theon, dead at Ramsey’s hand
  • Storm: Tall Paul, killed by the Others
  • Storm: Lord Beric, dead in single combat with Sandor Clegane
  • Storm: Ser Gregor Clegane, dead in single combat with the Red Viper
  • Storm: Arya, felled by Sandor’s axe to the back of her head
  • Storm: Lady Catelyn, slain with Robb at the Red Wedding
  • Storm: Sandor Clegane, killed by the Mountain’s men at the Inn of the Crossroads and denied the gift of mercy by the Arya the unassassinette.
  • Storm: King Renly’s “ghost” at the Battle of the Blackwater (ok, so this one is actually a double-fake: they faked faking his death by having Ser Loras’s beefy brother Garland-of-Flowers dress up in Renly’s armour)
  • Feast: Brienne, hanged by Lady Catelyn
  • Feast: Davos, whose head and hands were removed and publicly displayed by Lord Manderly to appease the Lannisters
  • Feast: Ser Loras, mortally wounded when storming Dragonstone
  • Dance: Mance Rayder, burnt by Lady Melisandre and shot through the heart by Jon Snow
  • Dance: Rhaegar’s son Aegon, his head mutilated beyond recognition by Sandor Clegane
  • Dance: Lord Jon Connington, Rhaegar’s would-be boyfriend and Aerys’s erstwhile Hand who drank himself to death following his exile in the Free Cities following the Battle of the Bells
  • Dance: Daario, Jhogo, and Hero, hostages killed by being hurled by a trebuchet into the walls of Meereen
  • Dance: Stannis, dead in the Battle of Winterfell
  • Dance: Jon, assassinated in the forum by his loyal senators who were outraged by Jon’s appointment as dictator-for-life
I bet I’ve missed some, too. Sure is a lot of them, isn’t is now?







Izzio-Rizzinty?

Aegon Targaryen

Claims that he’s really

Prince Rhaegar’s dead son.


Despite this dubious

Chronobiology

Swift he comes conquering:

Storm’s End’s undone!


Edited by CrypticWeirwood, 18 May 2012 - 03:53 PM.


#51 Crown

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:37 PM

My mom her reaction was: I wanna see Hodor and the wildling first, before I believe they are really dead. One friend of mine doesn't believe they're death either, and my other friend DOES believe they died.

#52 Roxane De

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:48 PM

In my opinion, when Dagmer shows the walnuts to Theon, it was just a way to pretend he found some important clue, we can even see Theon's puzzled face when Dagmer presents it to him, couple of seconds later he understands that he has to fake the whole thing. It can't be related to the fact that the children were eating walnuts, this was just to indicate that they could not stop to ask for food from the farmers (and also mislead you about the walnut Dagmer found, and apparently it worked !)

#53 WetHair

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:48 PM

Ooh now, that’s an excellent question. Whose are all the faked deaths in the series? There are so many.

  • Game: Ser Waymar Royce, killed by the Others
  • Game: Dany, killed by walking into the flaming furnace that was Drogo’s pyre
  • Clash: Ramsey Snow, shot dead by the northmen
  • Clash: Bran and Rickon, dead by Theon’s orders and Ramsey-Reek’s hand
  • Clash: Theon, dead at Ramsey’s hand
  • Storm: Tall Paul, killed by the Others
  • Storm: Lord Beric, dead in single combat with Sandor Clegane
  • Storm: Ser Gregor Clegane, dead in single combat with the Red Viper
  • Storm: Arya, felled by Sandor’s axe to the back of her head
  • Storm: Lady Catelyn, slain with Robb at the Red Wedding
  • Storm: Sandor Clegane, killed by the Mountain’s men at the Inn of the Crossroads and denied the gift of mercy by the Arya the unassassinette.
  • Storm: King Renly’s “ghost” at the Battle of the Blackwater (ok, so this one is actually a double-fake: they faked faking his death by having Ser Loras’s beefy brother Garland-of-Flowers dress up in Renly’s armour)
  • Feast: Brienne, hanged by Lady Catelyn
  • Feast: Davos, whose head and hands were removed and publicly displayed by Lord Manderly to appease the Lannisters
  • Feast: Ser Loras, mortally wounded when storming Dragonstone
  • Dance: Mance Rayder, burnt by Lady Melisandre and shot through the heart by Jon Snow
  • Dance: Rhaegar’s son Aegon, his head mutilated beyond recognition by Sandor Clegane
  • Dance: Lord Jon Connington, Rhaegar’s would-be boyfriend and Aerys’s erstwhile Hand who drank himself to death following his exile in the Free Cities following the Battle of the Bells
  • Dance: Daario, Jhogo, and Hero, hostages killed by being hurled by a trebuchet into the walls of Meereen
  • Dance: Stannis, dead in the Battle of Winterfell
  • Dance: Jon, assassinated in the forum by his loyal senators who were outraged by Jon’s appointment as dictator-for-life
I bet I’ve missed some, too. Sure is a lot of them, isn’t is now?

Izzio-Rizzinty?

Aegon Targaryen

Claims that he’s really

Prince Rhaegar’s dead son.

Despite this dubious

Chronobiology

Swift he comes conquering:

Storm’s End’s undone!


But Ser Waymar Royce WAS killed by the Others............

#54 Carey Snow

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:03 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.


After the shock of Ned's death, I thought they might have died also.... of course then I flipped ahead till I found a Bran chapter which made me think Martin was done killing main characters. Which left me unprepared for the RW. I imagine this same scenario will play out for the TV viewers.

Edited by Carey Snow, 18 May 2012 - 08:07 PM.


#55 CrypticWeirwood

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:06 PM

But Ser Waymar Royce WAS killed by the Others............

Sure, but it’s not like he’d let a little thing like death keep him down, now did he eh? ; )

See also Lord Beric and Lady Catelyn.

And probably also Cthulhu’s avatar, Dagon Greyjoy.

Edited by CrypticWeirwood, 18 May 2012 - 08:08 PM.


#56 Marjie Eilie Myatt

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:58 PM

The fact that Rickon's eating walnuts on the way out of town isn't contrived merely for this episode. Remember he was smashing walnuts in the great hall when Bran was giving audience to a bunch of folk who came with complaints. So it's fine that he's eating walnuts on their escape, and for someone to find them at the farmhouse, however, Dagmer wasn't there when Bran was still lord of Winterfell, so unless Rickon has been a known walnut eater in public all this time, it's only the audience who know the walnuts can mean the boys, not the ironborn.

#57 bardgal

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 01:56 AM

At first I thought they did, because everyone on the board was saying how obvious it was that they were still alive. But none of my friends got that. I have a friend who is devastated that the little kids are dead, and I didn't correct him. Maybe I just have dumb friends. I thought the last scene was pretty powerful. I liked that ending...Theon's face and the dramatic music faded to black...sweet!

All my non-book friends (and I have several), had the same reaction as well. All I said in response to when they said, "ZOMFGWTF! Theon really killed BRAN AND RICKON????" was, "No one is safe. Period. We lost three main characters last season, Ned Stark, King Robert, and Kahl Drogo." Thankfully, they took that as my answer. This will be reinforced just like in the book, with raven scrolls going far and wide on what Theon has done, which is why Asha/Yara says to him, "Every man in the North wants to see you hang."

When I read that part of the book, I thought they were dead. I even thumbed through the book until I found the next BRAN chapter, which was pretty a good chunk of book.

I get that people didn't belive that it was Bran & Rickon, but to say the reason is that they didn't "look real" I feel is silly. Theon still killed two kids. He didn't hang up fake props from the Westeros Weta Workshop™. And how many people have seen charred/tarred bodies of dead kids? How do you know they look fake?

As for the walnuts - why would that be weird if there's a walnut tree in Winterfell, and Hodor is always eating them?

We won't see them again until the end of the last episode when they come out of the crypts and discover the ruins of Winterfell. Great way to end the season.

Edited by bardgal, 19 May 2012 - 01:59 AM.


#58 Victaerys Ironfist

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 03:16 AM

I don't reckon they botched it at all.

#59 Lord of Cheese

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 04:25 AM

For me, it was spoilt by Bran revealing that 'two winterfell orphans' were there with the millers and that Theon would torture them if he followed them there. It gave the audience an option to believe its not B+R, if the non-book audience was paying attention that is...

#60 Stanmore

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:00 AM

I was talking to a second non-book reading friend yesterday and he came right out and said "they're not dead are they? It's those 2 orphan boys from before." Didn't see much point being mysterious with him when he'd already worked it out. The first non-book reader I spoke to was also there and he reiterated that he hadn't even realised that the bodies were supposed to be Bran and Rikon. He'd assumed Theon was just setting an example by killing two random children in their place.

From my small sample group, if they were going for a suspenseful cliff hanger they failed.

Edited by Stanmore, 19 May 2012 - 07:01 AM.