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[book spoilers] the gutting of Catelyn's motivation


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#21 Marjie Eilie Myatt

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:34 AM

This is not mediocre television. This is epic fantasy storytelling on a scale that has never been seen before in this medium. .... the writing is so far above par that it competes with the best scripted television that I have ever seen.


I respectfully disagree and apologize in advance for not exactly tackling the topic of Catelyn's motivation being gutted in comparison to the book (which I agree it has been, somewhat). So far we have seen very little by way of "scale." If you really look at it, how are the battle scenes (for example) any bigger than certain other miniseries or series that have been produced for television (including network television). We're getting a lot of tight shots, off-screen action, greatly reduced numbers of combatants, synthetic environments (i.e., CGI that is, admittedly, better than network fare), way more dialogue about battle and killing one's foes than actual battle and hand-to-hand combat. And for all of the great banter and point-counterpoint between and among Varys, Littlefinger, and Tyrion there's still a little too much treacly writing and cliche conceptualization as far as the whoring is concerned and the romance, and certain people's backstories, like what Talisa revealed last week. blecch. They've got a better budget for travel and set construction/dressing than something like 'Camelot' on Starz, but the show is not free of demerits in my book. The Tudors had great writing and luxurious mise en scene and lots of randy sex and bloody homicide, but I would critique a lot about that one as well.

I think I support the production as much as anyone else (in principle, anyway), but that doesn't mean it's immune from critique. *Mayhaps* I feel they've put their money into some aspects that I wouldn't have prioritized over other aspects.

#22 Grell

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:01 AM

Here is another opinion... This is a great fucking show. It is my favorite fantasy series of all time, and one of my all time favorite television shows period.


Is that why you are taking any criticism of the show, no matter if its well thought out, logical and reasonable as if its a criticism against you personally? How dare people not like the things I like?

I have see that whole "its a transition/setup, its meant to be boring and bad" elsewhere... Here is my opinion - it doesnt fly

Edited by Grell, 25 May 2012 - 03:04 AM.


#23 Buckwheat

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:32 AM

Well, I think we all post here and bother watching the show because we still love the original story and the series both and find them interesting.

I agree that the show is big. They have all those costumes, many loctions shot everywhere in the world. The setting looks very real. The actors are awesome, I rarely see any complaint about anyone's delivery and I think the Catelyn's actress is definitely one of the best. But her motivations are greatly changed from the books and her role is hugely diminished.

(Random: does anyone know if she has read the books?)

Cat spends most of her times fighting that in the books : the prejudice that all the men around her have against her because she's a middle-aged mother who never picks up a sword. Pretty much every major lord in Robb's command tells her at one point or the other "oh you're the gentle sex you don't know anything about war" as a way to shut her up or try to make excuses for her with "it was mother's madness". And because of that prejudice they ignore her sensible advice : send anyone but Theon to the Iron Islands, exchange Jaime for Sansa, ally yourself with Renly, make peace with the Lannisters, don't go fight Lord Tywin at the fords etc. In the show that dimension is entirely gone because Cat never says much of anything. When Robb is named King in the North she tays silent, Robb is the one who suggests going to Renly, she never mentions Theon as an envoy etc. The one thing she can't shut up about is going back to Winterfell with her babies, which she never says aloud IIRC, much less to Robb.

I agree with everything you said, particularly this. It is like the writers share the Lords' opinion that a character who cannot swordfight alone cannot be a strong character, but only a mother to support the one important character. I have absolutely nothing against the fact that Robb appears much more than in the books, it makes perfect sense that they would want to show a relatively unproblematic young hero falling in love, fighting and having a connection to his mother. But not at the expense of Catelyn.

#24 Cot

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:58 AM

This is true, to a certain extent. However, the reason this is true is because the source material is so good, not because D&D are good writers.


Nail on head, one of the truest things I've read on these forums, even though I try stay away from these series discussion as I find some peoples positions so entrenched I've got to laugh.

The show continues to be good despite D&D writing, thanks to the quality (and quantity) of the actual material.

#25 Howdyphillip

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:10 AM

. I think I support the production as much as anyone else (in principle, anyway), but that doesn't mean it's immune from critique. *Mayhaps* I feel they've put their money into some aspects that I wouldn't have prioritized over other aspects.


I don't believe that the show is above critique either. As a matter of point, I do so all the time. I hold opinions that there are places in the story that the book tells a much richer and compelling tale. I have made it known that I feel strongly about that in relationship to the character of Catelyn Stark, and the changes in the nuances and motivations of her character.

All of this can be said without disparaging the show. It seems that the majority of topics in this weeks episode discussion are negative by their very nature. Take for example, this thread title. I would take no issue whatsoever with a thread title that suggested Catelyn Stark's character has been changed and then opened it up to discussion. The OP used the term "gutted", and in the original post used words like "terrible" to describe it. This is just not a fair way to frame a show that is the highest rated cable production on television. To further emphasize my point, I would be willing to bet that Michelle Fairley wins her share of awards and acclaim for her portrayal of this character.

The writing here is changed, but it most certainly isn't "terrible", nor has any character appearing on the show "gutted". I would like to have honest dialogue about these changes rather than read a bunch of reactionary outrage. Take for an example, I wouldn't mind reading your opinions of where you think that the budget for this show would be better spent. I just don't want to read another long tirade against changes in the show and how stupid D&D must be.

Edited by Howdyphillip, 25 May 2012 - 05:14 AM.


#26 Mulled Wino

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:04 AM

I dont think there's a problem with her motivation. If karstark gets his vengence, she loses her 2 daughters.

In no way was letting Jamie go excusable in te books or in the show. No way. She didnt capture him, she cant let him go.

I think Cat is shown as authoritive and capable. There's definitely some variations but she's clearly a respected character. Her inner struggles are fascinating in the book, but those are difficult to present on a show.

She's really just as impusive and mistake-prone as in the books so far.

#27 RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:37 AM

I don't believe that the show is above critique either. As a matter of point, I do so all the time. I hold opinions that there are places in the story that the book tells a much richer and compelling tale. I have made it known that I feel strongly about that in relationship to the character of Catelyn Stark, and the changes in the nuances and motivations of her character. All of this can be said without disparaging the show. It seems that the majority of topics in this weeks episode discussion are negative by their very nature. Take for example, this thread title. I would take no issue whatsoever with a thread title that suggested Catelyn Stark's character has been changed and then opened it up to discussion. The OP used the term "gutted", and in the original post used words like "terrible" to describe it. This is just not a fair way to frame a show that is the highest rated cable production on television. To further emphasize my point, I would be willing to bet that Michelle Fairley wins her share of awards and acclaim for her portrayal of this character. The writing here is changed, but it most certainly isn't "terrible", nor has any character appearing on the show "gutted". I would like to have honest dialogue about these changes rather than read a bunch of reactionary outrage. Take for an example, I wouldn't mind reading your opinions of where you think that the budget for this show would be better spent. I just don't want to read another long tirade against changes in the show and how stupid D&D must be.


You say people can discuss how they dislike elements and characterisations in the show but you want to limit the emotive words they use? We can dislike the changes to Cat and say I don't like the way they've changed Cat but we're not allowed to use words like gutted or terrible or express out feelings artistically through words. I like the way the OP has phrased the topic, it a good use of language that describes the feeling the author is getting and also trigger an opinion to get people looking and commenting on the thread.

Do you want to list all the words we can't use about the show in future so we can all be sure.

#28 scurvy

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:37 AM

While it's nice that many impart the new motivation that if Karstark got revenge her daughters would die, she didn't state that as her motivation. So it wasn't. You are better writers than the screenrunners. Sorry. They took a terrific scene that a great actress could have made her own, deleted it, and replaced it with mild worry. That is terrible because the show could have had so much more drama and instead went with cliche.

I'm not challenging the production values or whether overall it's better than 95% of what's on television. I'm saying the change that the writers made was for change sake and it was less, significantly worse that the source material. And, that was a major mistake.

#29 Evamitchelle

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:49 AM

The most annoying thing about the change of motivation is that they didn't even use it to justify Cat's actions. The whole "Karstark would have killed him if I hadn't intervened" doesn't get mentioned at all when Robb is busy harping on his mother. I thought that was the entire point of the change ?

#30 Howdyphillip

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:18 AM

You say people can discuss how they dislike elements and characterisations in the show but you want to limit the emotive words they use? We can dislike the changes to Cat and say I don't like the way they've changed Cat but we're not allowed to use words like gutted or terrible or express out feelings artistically through words. I like the way the OP has phrased the topic, it a good use of language that describes the feeling the author is getting and also trigger an opinion to get people looking and commenting on the thread.

Do you want to list all the words we can't use about the show in future so we can all be sure.


I'm not telling anyone what or how to say anything... All I am doing is saying that when people use what I believe to be childish and reactionary tones that I have every right to say that I think they are full of crap. I specifically take issue with the tone of discussion on characters from this show starting from a negative reaction from their very thread title.

If I were to not have watched this show, and just read the thread titles and posts here, I would think that this was the sorriest show ever made. That is a shame to me because it is most decidedly not that. The saddest thing about all of this, is that there are very good points being brought up with the changes from the books and the show, but they are just being completely clouded with reactionary drivel that frame the show as bad TV...

If you want to call this show bad TV, that is your prerogative, just don't be surprised when I stand up and say that I emphatically disagree, and then throw facts like awards, and budget, and viewership to emphasize my position.

#31 Greywolf2375

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:19 AM

The most annoying thing about the change of motivation is that they didn't even use it to justify Cat's actions. The whole "Karstark would have killed him if I hadn't intervened" doesn't get mentioned at all when Robb is busy harping on his mother. I thought that was the entire point of the change ?

Exactly - if they have Robb go to his mother now and face her again about it, the explanation (though most likely 100% accurate) will feel forced and almost excuse like. If they'd had her effectively stand up to him with the reason then I think that would have given them an amazing opportunity to have her drop "and the Kingslayer would be dead by midnight and your sisters by sun up" and watch his reaction.

great set up, less than perfect execution (no pun intended) and completion.

#32 sumpthy

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:32 AM

The most annoying thing about the change of motivation is that they didn't even use it to justify Cat's actions. The whole "Karstark would have killed him if I hadn't intervened" doesn't get mentioned at all when Robb is busy harping on his mother. I thought that was the entire point of the change ?


Because she doesn't want to cause a rift between Robb and one of his chief bannermen. She says in the episode before that Jaime won't last the night so it's very obvious that it's a motivation.

#33 Evamitchelle

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:41 AM

Because she doesn't want to cause a rift between Robb and one of his chief bannermen. She says in the episode before that Jaime won't last the night so it's very obvious that it's a motivation.


Then why not have her tell Robb that this was her motivation ? Now it looks like Robb sleeps with whatshername because he feels his mother betrayed him.

#34 Mulled Wino

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:41 AM

Because she doesn't want to cause a rift between Robb and one of his chief bannermen. She says in the episode before that Jaime won't last the night so it's very obvious that it's a motivation.


Maybe im jumping in late, but letting jamie go should cause a gigantic rift no matter what.

#35 Ran

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:52 AM

Like David, I have much more of an issue that the very reason Catelyn lets Jaime go is never brought up.

This is the situation as the writers wrote it:

Jaime Lannister is not going to last the night. The Karstarks will murder him and the northmen won't stop them. Catelyn's choices are:

Let Jaime be murdered. Learn that one or both of her daughters are killed in reprisal. Robb is forced to punish and execute Lord Karstark. Rift with the Karstarks, discord in the camp.

Or

Free Jaime. Send him with Brienne to at least try and make some lemonade out of the lemon life has handed the Starks. Robb is forced to punish her, but not so much that he has to kill her. Lesser rift with the Karstarks, less discord in the camp.

I mean, looking at it from all angles, what Catelyn does is manifestly better than what Robb -- in his ignorance of how bad the situation was -- believes she should have done. She is in the right, much as she was in the right in the books, where Jaime Lannister had proved an utterly useless hostage whose only real value was in trade for the recovery of Robb's siblings.

But... they just forget that, and have Robb yell at her, and leave her absolutely tongue-tied and unable to explain herself. So you have Karstark with his pretty speech about treason... nevermind the fact that Catelyn acted to prevent Karstark's probable murderous treason!

It really is all quite baffling.

Now, I suppose there's a third way: grab Jaime with some loyal guys, and make off in the direction Robb is coming from, and explain to him why she did what she did. Maybe that would have been a nicer result, because it leaves Robb with the choice as to what to do with a living Jaime Lannister. Fair enough. The show has made her more reckless than she was in the novel, but at least, you know, they could acknowledge that the choice she made was due to a very real danger. As it is, it looks like Robb just wished she stayed out of it and let Jaime be murdered.

I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again: however much I like Michelle Fairley (I think she's terrific), the writers have not done Catelyn Stark justice, not from episode one and on. My hopes that she'd become more like the character in the novel later in the first season never quite transpired, and I've grown increasingly frustrated with the way they've handled her this season. And so I'm at the point where to some degree I'm looking forward to the Red Wedding so that they can put Catelyn out of the picture and I don't have to keep wincing every time they make the character on the show less and less compelling.

#36 RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:55 AM

I'm not telling anyone what or how to say anything... All I am doing is saying that when people use what I believe to be childish and reactionary tones that I have every right to say that I think they are full of crap. I specifically take issue with the tone of discussion on characters from this show starting from a negative reaction from their very thread title. If I were to not have watched this show, and just read the thread titles and posts here, I would think that this was the sorriest show ever made. That is a shame to me because it is most decidedly not that. The saddest thing about all of this, is that there are very good points being brought up with the changes from the books and the show, but they are just being completely clouded with reactionary drivel that frame the show as bad TV... If you want to call this show bad TV, that is your prerogative, just don't be surprised when I stand up and say that I emphatically disagree, and then throw facts like awards, and budget, and viewership to emphasize my position.


Well you're telling the OP specifically not to use words like "gutted" and "terrible". This is a thread for discussing the negative aspects of the changes. The OP clearly states that, you've noted yourself its clear from the title. If you want to join in and point out which changes you like and why you are welcome. Equally if you don't like the tone on this thread you can start a new topic stating you don't like the negativity and pointing out what you think is changed better or why you think the show should be considered in its own right. What I think you shouldn't do is gatecrash other peoples threads (and you've done it to a few on this board) and have a go at posters and derailing discussion. - I don't know why the mods don't act on this.

#37 David Selig

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:50 AM

Someone else surmised that she didn't want to throw Karstrark or Robbs men under the bus so she ended up taking the blame. I prefered the way the show did it so thats how I'm taking it.

But this doesn't make sense. The whole camp knew Karstark wanted to kill Jaime, it's not like there's any chance Robb doesn't hear about it. Well, unless Robb is the most incompetent commander ever and has noone but his mother reporting to him what happens while he's away.

#38 Mulled Wino

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:58 AM

Like David, I have much more of an issue that the very reason Catelyn lets Jaime go is never brought up. This is the situation as the writers wrote it: Jaime Lannister is not going to last the night. The Karstarks will murder him and the northmen won't stop them. Catelyn's choices are: Let Jaime be murdered. Learn that one or both of her daughters are killed in reprisal. Robb is forced to punish and execute Lord Karstark. Rift with the Karstarks, discord in the camp. Or Free Jaime. Send him with Brienne to at least try and make some lemonade out of the lemon life has handed the Starks. Robb is forced to punish her, but not so much that he has to kill her. Lesser rift with the Karstarks, less discord in the camp. I mean, looking at it from all angles, what Catelyn does is manifestly better than what Robb -- in his ignorance of how bad the situation was -- believes she should have done. She is in the right, much as she was in the right in the books, where Jaime Lannister had proved an utterly useless hostage whose only real value was in trade for the recovery of Robb's siblings. But... they just forget that, and have Robb yell at her, and leave her absolutely tongue-tied and unable to explain herself. So you have Karstark with his pretty speech about treason... nevermind the fact that Catelyn acted to prevent Karstark's probable murderous treason! It really is all quite baffling. Now, I suppose there's a third way: grab Jaime with some loyal guys, and make off in the direction Robb is coming from, and explain to him why she did what she did. Maybe that would have been a nicer result, because it leaves Robb with the choice as to what to do with a living Jaime Lannister. Fair enough. The show has made her more reckless than she was in the novel, but at least, you know, they could acknowledge that the choice she made was due to a very real danger. As it is, it looks like Robb just wished she stayed out of it and let Jaime be murdered. I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again: however much I like Michelle Fairley (I think she's terrific), the writers have not done Catelyn Stark justice, not from episode one and on. My hopes that she'd become more like the character in the novel later in the first season never quite transpired, and I've grown increasingly frustrated with the way they've handled her this season. And so I'm at the point where to some degree I'm looking forward to the Red Wedding so that they can put Catelyn out of the picture and I don't have to keep wincing every time they make the character on the show less and less compelling.



Seems to me that another option was to have the same loyal guys actually guard Jamie through the night as a 4th option. Then she could have let the guy who should make the decision decide. That's what she should have done. All other choices are wrong.

#39 Howdyphillip

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 09:00 AM

This is a thread for discussing the negative aspects of the changes..


And... This right here is exactly have an issue with. Why is it that we have thread after thread of negative responses? Why can't we have a neutral thread discussing the changes? I do not object to a discussion of Catelyn's change, I agree with the premise that what was done in the show is not as compelling a tale as the story told in the books. There are plenty of well thought out posts here that summarize frustrations without disparaging the show.

I said this earlier, but to read just the opening thread titles here in this weeks forum, you would get the overall impression that this show is "terrible" and has been "ruined", "whitewashed", "emasculated", and "gutted". Although there are definitely people who feel that way, I think that this is not the case with the vast majority of people who watch this show, or even post in these forums.

#40 RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 09:10 AM

But this doesn't make sense. The whole camp knew Karstark wanted to kill Jaime, it's not like there's any chance Robb doesn't hear about it. Well, unless Robb is the most incompetent commander ever and has noone but his mother reporting to him what happens while he's away.


Ha ha true. Tbh I'm beginning to think everyone in the North camp hates Robb now. They all joined for Ned, to free him, now he's dead, their still at war in a foreign land, have some hormonal teenage who spends most of the time with his new skirt. Roose looks like he has permanent contempt for the lad, Karstark respects him so little he decides to kill his prisoner and screams at his mother in his presence. And where's the great Jon, he's snuck out the back and is desperately trying to convince his men he never supported him. Even Grey Wind's had enough. It'll just be Robb & Cat that die at RW, the rest of his men will have a jolly good knees up.