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[Book Spoilers] Dear Writers Who Do Not Answer To the Name George R.R. Martin,


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#141 Lord Manwoody

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:44 AM

This isn't close to the truth... Characters were drastically changed from the books

1. Stannis would have never charged the wall himself. He led from the back of the battle

2. Bronn and Sandor would never have gotten in a who's dick is bigger contest right before a battle

3. Shae would have never gone out of her way to help Sansa... or anyone but herself for that matter.

and most importantly,

4. Cersei would have never... never... never considered poisoning Tommen.

What happened here is that GRRM adapted all of these things so that we could get similar emotional responses as we had when reading the books. This is the exact same thing that has gone on all season.

I am not saying that all of the changes this year were as good as this, Mr. Martin obviously knows just what emotional response he wants from his series and was able to adapt these things better than anyone else.


Unfortunately, we don't get unlimited time and money in bringing the series to the screen. Changes are necessary. I think they've done an excellent job overall.

I'm not going to debate about who understands and writes the characters better. I'll just say that it should be George R.R. Martin, since they are his characters that he invented.

I cannot imagine how challenging it is to bring this series to life with finite time and money, and that challenge will only grow as the story expands. I have a hard time keeping track of everything and I've read the books multiple times.

I thought Stannis being the first man up the ladder was totally unrealistic. Yet, I liked it. This is television and fantasy...it doesn't have to be realistic for me to enjoy. I like a little unbelievable on occasion.

I also thought the Bronn vs. Hound scene came from out of nowhere. But again, I loved that one. I thought the whole scene did a fantastic job of capturing Bronn's character. As one of the better minor characters in the series, I like it.

Edited by Lord Manwoody, 29 May 2012 - 08:50 AM.


#142 Reposado

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

How many are allowed to stay in one location for 55 mins?


that helps, but i've seen plenty of great episodes of shows that do not stay one place.

this episode showed what you can do with this source material. they need to figure out how to give every episode a sense of purpose a focus. too many have been just checking on all the character(sorta like seasons 2-4 of heroes)

i'm not saying what they've done hasn't been very good, and one of the best 6-7 dramas on tv right now. but it could be great,

and though they were all roughly in the same place, this episode had to juggle story lines for sansa, tyrion, cersei, davos, etc

was it somewhat easier to write this episode, possibly. but the degree to which it blew the rest of the episodes away.....

they could also juggle what scenes go in what episodes to make it less "little bit of everyone"

#143 Lord of Cheese

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:10 AM

I wish they had a few more episodes than just the 10. This could have adjusted the pacing and given us more character development. I doubt it would have cost them that much more in budget to have a few more episodes.

With the books, everyone talks about the characters. Thats what has substance. They dont need to have a lot of special effects on tv, just preserving the wonderful dialogue would have made the series. Saving the budget for the blackwater would have been enough.

#144 Reposado

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:13 AM

I wish they had a few more episodes than just the 10. This could have adjusted the pacing and given us more character development. I doubt it would have cost them that much more in budget to have a few more episodes.


yeah, it really does. each additional episode costs another 5-10 million. and it doesn't bring in any more revenue. the extra two episodes don't sell more blu rays or add subscribers.

the only thing they can do, is spread the book out over more seasons

#145 Ser Tom Tarly

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:43 PM

My favourite episode of the series thus far, very well written. I especially enjoyed the scene with Sandor and Bronn, it had me thinking what if. If I wasnt a reader I would have thought it was all going to kick off there and then. The " Fuck the king" line was great, the look on Joffreys face, nobody else would have got away with that, he would have set the Hound on them /cool4.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cool4:' />

#146 protar

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:39 AM

Far and away the best episode of the season, nay the series. I'm sorry but Martin just blows the other writers away. That is how you adapt ASOIAF. You'll notice that there were actually a lot of book deviations but virtually all of them had a justification, and stayed true to the spirit of the novels. The only scene that fell a bit flat for me was Bronn vs. Hound. Wish we could have Martin writing all the episodes, or more realistically (though probably still very unlikely.), I wish they drew up a new deal so Martin gets more control over the show, like veto power over some of the changes. Season 2 could've ran a lot smoother with such a deal.

#147 SerMixalot

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:12 AM

For me the negative changes have had nothing to do with budget or the number of episodes. For me it has been changes to basic characterization, things like Jon needing a father figure or Robb hooking up with Talisa cause his mother showed him noone else is completely honorable, etc. These changes dramatically change the book characters and I can see no reason for those changes. We need to see how they will resolve the Robb/Talisa relationship, but I just cant see how they can do it realistically.

They could have changed a little of the dialogue, kept the same story arcs and made the characters closer to the book, i.e. Jon Snow. THis seems to arise from a basic misconception of Jon's character.

They developed this Arya-Tywin arc that albeit was well acted, went nowhere and left out important character development. Ok I agree that it would have taken more sets, more characters to develop Arya properly here, but still something could have been done

The Dany arc has been rather a bore for me. Her arc has been relatively pointless and could easily have been done closer to the book with the same amount of time/budget. Ok it wouldnt have had the "cool" dragon theft story, but that story is leaving me with a full case of "meh" Does anyone really think she wont get her dragons back? And so many of her scenes have just seemed repeptitive

I think the KL arcs were for the most part decent, though they probably could have deleted the Joffrey tortures prostitute scene and added a scene or two on either establishing a clearer link between tyrion and Ros or shown some of the darker sides of Tyrion (killing Simon SIlvertongue for example), though again for the most part KL worked though they could have lessened some of the changes to Cersei

#148 _Oberyn_

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:16 PM

Apparently Martin had nothin to with the "Stannis on the wall business", Neil Marshall said in an interview that Stannis was supposed to be at the boats shouting orders but he decided to make things more interesting.

#149 Boz Skagos

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 12:32 AM

This was hands-down my favorite episode of the season, and possibly of the series.

#150 GoodGuyA

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:33 PM

I hate how people are so ingrained in their minds of what was in the source material that they cannot imagine it possibly happening any other way. The reasons are basically being invented in order to stick to the purism. Here's a fact: Stannis fought at the battle at The Wall. I don't understand why it was so incredibly important that for the Blackwater he couldn't fight at all. I honestly never saw Stannis as a great man of action myself, but what in his character suggests that if he had a different mindset he would have never gone to fight himself?

This happens repeatedly throughout the series where interpretations of things in the books must be wrong because they aren't what happened. What's wrong with Littlefinger going to Storm's End early? It makes so much sense, when you think about it. How would Catelyn have heard about Renly's forces and King's Landing not until after all was said and done? Infinite complexities are plot devices all the same, and tighter scripts makes for easier viewing. A few people need to take a step back from their "high and might literary podium" and actually examine how things work in context of the TV series, then judge thematic elements.

#151 ServantOnIce

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:50 AM

A few people need to take a step back from their "high and might literary podium" and actually examine how things work in context of the TV series, then judge thematic elements.


As soon as The TV Show Can Do No Wrongers step down from theirs . . . . . some things worked well this season, some things didn't.

#152 A Bong of Ice and Fire

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:10 AM

The other episode writers do try, and I try to be not too hard on them when they fail, as I am just grateful and thrilled that we have this show to enjoy at all.

But this episode showed why this is GRRM's story, not theirs. Lots of details were changed from the books, but it didn't matter. Because George IS these characters, and he made us feel and understand them in ways that the other writers are simply not capable of doing, no matter how they try.

Season 2 overall was much weaker than season 1, lacking a strong linking narrative and a great central character and actor, whereas season 1 gave us Ned/Sean Bean vs the Lannisters to hold it all together. Season 2 was more flailing and "all over the place", illustrating why we all thought this series was really ultimately unfilmable.

But GRRM is on a different plane as a writer, and this is his baby.

This episode will live forever (at least in my heart) as the greatest, most well-written, visceral, emotional, and REAL cinematic experience ever.

GRRM won't live forever, but the fruits of his genius will. And Blackwater will be remembered as one of the tastiest of those fruits.

Edited by A Bong of Ice and Fire, 10 June 2012 - 05:57 AM.


#153 effervesce

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:16 PM

the facts are that westeros is based on a middle aged society where the vast majority could not read or write (well over 95%-so my 99% is only a slight exaggeration) and well before the advent of the the age of reason and the birth of the scientific method. So the logical assumption for a student that had dislexia, was that they were just plain dumb and any effort to teach them their letterings would be stopped for more productive ends. The knowledge that a child was seeing letters reversed or mixed up would not be assimmilated by the teachers. Combine that with the relative rarity of the disease, simply makes this scenario-a child with dislexia being high born enough to be taught and the symptoms recognized instead of ignored, a solution found and the disease overcome, somewhat ridiculous for the setting.


I think you need to watch the scene again. Tywin explicitly says that the maester thought Jaime's reading education was hopeless - basically the response you say people should have had. Tywin took it upon himself to do everything in his power to change the situation, because he's obsessed with his family's legacy and the thought of having an heir who couldn't read would be terrifying to him. It makes perfect sense.

#154 Yvonesan

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:21 PM

I'm not saying D&D are bad writers, just not as good as Bryan Cogman and GRRM. And it shows. The first season is better because D&D stuck closer to the source material of the books. When they did not do so (i.e. Ros), the result was almost invariably inferior.


Agreed. I try to keep an open mind on it but this season doesn't compare to last season in terms of quality and I found myself getting distracted while watching most of it. The Blackwater ep was different and glued me to my seat again ...it's difficult not to attribute that to GRRM. In fairness, he does stand the best chance of getting it right since he wrote the story in the first place.

Overall, I think it's been more difficult this season to stay invested in the characters to the same degree and I think that's partly due to the sheer number of new characters added in an already pressurized season (in terms of time) and partly due to how the limited time has been used for the characters we got to know and love in S1. It's easy to get annoyed with the likes of Ros and Talisa because their time on screen seems so cheap and pointless (although I suspect that Talisa may have a purpose not yet revealed), taking away so much precious time that could otherwise be spent on scenes/characters that are more important to the story. Anyways, of interest to me - my non-reader friends had no idea who wrote this episode when they watched and all of them said it was far superior to the rest of the season. George's scriptwriting has to be at least somewhat responsible for it.

This is what I was thinking. If it was not known that GRRM wrote the episode, I predict a lot of readers would be furious about the lack of the chain, the lack of the song and kiss, and the downplaying of Renly's ghost.


The lack of a kiss? Sansa has influenced you too much if it's in your head too! /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' />

Re the changes made to the episode (or any episode for that matter), I think they're only to be expected on screen ...what matters is how well the change is carried out, how good the storytelling is. If it makes sense, then it works. If it's a detail that seemed relevant in the books and isn't shown on screen, I can accept it if we can still take away the message that seems most important to take away from the particular scene. This episode is the one that I'll remember most from S2 but it saddens me that it stood over the rest so much when compared to it, there were so many S1 episodes of pure brilliance. Maybe I'm expecting too much and when it comes down to it, it's still good TV but I do think something has been lost this season, disappointing when the original story is so good.

#155 ServantOnIce

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:15 PM

After 8 viewings . . still amazing . .

#156 ServantOnIce

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:15 PM

The other episode writers do try, and I try to be not too hard on them when they fail, as I am just grateful and thrilled that we have this show to enjoy at all.

But this episode showed why this is GRRM's story, not theirs. Lots of details were changed from the books, but it didn't matter. Because George IS these characters, and he made us feel and understand them in ways that the other writers are simply not capable of doing, no matter how they try.

Season 2 overall was much weaker than season 1, lacking a strong linking narrative and a great central character and actor, whereas season 1 gave us Ned/Sean Bean vs the Lannisters to hold it all together. Season 2 was more flailing and "all over the place", illustrating why we all thought this series was really ultimately unfilmable.

But GRRM is on a different plane as a writer, and this is his baby.

This episode will live forever (at least in my heart) as the greatest, most well-written, visceral, emotional, and REAL cinematic experience ever.

GRRM won't live forever, but the fruits of his genius will. And Blackwater will be remembered as one of the tastiest of those fruits.


/bowdown.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bowdown:' />

#157 Dawn Age

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:50 PM

I think they had to show how bold Stannis is, being the first on the beach, over the wall and had to be dragged away from the battle by his own men. He wasn't everyone's favorite in Clash of Kings but he won many readers over later on in the books. They have to establish now instead of having us wait several seasons. It worked too, the guy has a huge following now. We didn't like him at first and now we are rooting for him.