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Age of characters.


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35 replies to this topic

#1 Solidone

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:54 PM

Ok, so I got hooked on the show and bought all of the books.

I started reading the first one and I'm really enjoying it, I'm on page 160 I think.

So anyway, when I'm reading the book I'm imagining the faces from the show, I got a little tired and skipped to the end of the book to se the apendix only to find that Robb and Jon are 14 years old? What the hell? Wasn't expecting that : D

That will be the last time a look at the apendix, I'm sure other characters are way younger than their show counterparts, but I do not wish to know /biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />

It was especially weird to me where Robb and Joffery were in some kind off practice duel, since I was picturing Robb from the show, I was thinking to myself, what teh hell? Robb would bash his brains out lol.

I do have to say though, since I've seen the first and second season of the show and know somewhat what happens in the first two books, it's really hard to resist reading the third book, but I'm trying to read the first two as well so I can get all the little details the show skipped.


Anyhow, do you guys prefer their age in the books or the TV series?

#2 Bad Hound!

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:31 PM

The show producers/directors decided to increase the age of the characters so that they would fit in more with our day and age.

In medieval times (which aSoIaF is based on), people had to grow up more quickly - by 13-14 you'd already learned what you needed to learn if you were going to be an apprentice or a warrior. No general education like now when you can decide what you want to be a lot later in life. Even in the higher classes, nobles etc, as a boy you were expected to learn how to fight, how to lead, or science as was known at the time, or if you're destined for the religious orders, you'd already be full time in a religious environment by age 12 I reckon.

From a love-life point of view, same: no hanging around till you're 30-35 to get married and have kids: this happened much earlier, people age 18 would already have had the childhood romances and already be married and starting a family.

But to make us relate better to the characters, the producers clearly made the call to get the characters' ages more in sync with our times, especially the young ones. Taking Robb as an example, in his world, it's quite normal for him to be on the battlefield, and even leading men. Big dudes like the Greatjon, whilst finding him young, has no problems accepting him as his commander and king. But today we would not expect this from a boy of 13. Someone age 17 maybe, as he would be almost fully grown and we can imagine someone age 17 being strong enough to fight men older than him.

Same with girls: it would shock people nowadays to see girls who have had just their first period at 12-13 getting married off and having sex (although it does happen, but we are also being quite hypocritical - this is another debate). But in those times, it was acceptable. And GRRM has set his characters ages fully in tune with medieval times. But for the show - well, it would shock a bit, so they've aged everyone. And why not - it doesn't really detract from the story.

#3 Solidone

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:10 AM

I agree, I am still very enjoying it.

My opinion on certain characters has changed a bit though.

In the show, I didn't really care for Catylen, but in the book I kinda hate her lol. The way her attitude is torwards Jon, I don't think they showed that in the show or at least I didn't notice it.

#4 Bad Hound!

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

Yes I feel a bit weird about Catelyn - I read the book before watching the show, and I thought they'd chosen the wrong actress for the show: she looks too "mumsy" in the show, too sensible. I had an image from the book of a far more ambivalent woman, younger, more beautiful but also more passionate about who she is rather than just being a mum.

#5 2nd Sword of Braavos

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

I watched the whole tv series then read all the books (not including the hedge knight series yet /sad.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':(' /> ) and I urge you not to read ahead and don't go near the forums ! One wrong click or glance
At a topic and you could ruin the books for yourself! Go to page 161 of the first book and don't look forward any more than a page! Enjoy tho because it only gets better

#6 ebevan91

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:18 AM

Yes I feel a bit weird about Catelyn - I read the book before watching the show, and I thought they'd chosen the wrong actress for the show: she looks too "mumsy" in the show, too sensible. I had an image from the book of a far more ambivalent woman, younger, more beautiful but also more passionate about who she is rather than just being a mum.


Well that could be because in the TV show, her kids (and Jon and pretty much everyone else) are older, so Cat would need to be older as well.

#7 Cold-King

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:30 AM

i didnt really mind about the age difference, the one that shocked me though was Danerays, because i watched the show before i read all the books i was expecting her to be around the early twenties mark, only to find out in the show shes only 13, was weird but i suppose its fine, because its only been since the radical advancement of medicine etc that we have been reaching much older ages, making 13 in comparison more child like. Another reason would be maturity levels would probably been much higher, i mean i'm 22 and still act a fool /biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />

#8 lionhead

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:34 AM

Another reason why the tv show may of aged them a bit is the sex scenes. I don't thank it would go down too well if children were used on Tv.

The young ages in the books work though because seemly the book is set at a similar development level of real life medieval Europe. So we can assume life expectancy being somewhere around the same. A wiki search shows me a stat of a life expectancy of 30 for medieval Britain (64 if you reached the aged of 21 so lots of young deaths). So looking at somewhere around that figure for Asoiaf that Girl of 13 getting married is nearly middle aged. Scary when you think of it.

I think historically the average life expectancy rates for Westeros would be pretty constant. Lots of deaths in winters due to the cold/starvation, offset by lots of deaths during the Summer due to wars picking up and Lords deciding the warm periods is a good time to grab land/power/settle old scores both leading to lots of the average low born people ending up dead.

Edited by lionhead, 29 November 2012 - 11:35 AM.


#9 Hear Me Type!

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:33 PM

Ok, so I got hooked on the show and bought all of the books.

I started reading the first one and I'm really enjoying it, I'm on page 160 I think.

So anyway, when I'm reading the book I'm imagining the faces from the show, I got a little tired and skipped to the end of the book to se the apendix only to find that Robb and Jon are 14 years old? What the hell? Wasn't expecting that : D

That will be the last time a look at the apendix, I'm sure other characters are way younger than their show counterparts, but I do not wish to know /biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />

It was especially weird to me where Robb and Joffery were in some kind off practice duel, since I was picturing Robb from the show, I was thinking to myself, what teh hell? Robb would bash his brains out lol.

I do have to say though, since I've seen the first and second season of the show and know somewhat what happens in the first two books, it's really hard to resist reading the third book, but I'm trying to read the first two as well so I can get all the little details the show skipped.


Anyhow, do you guys prefer their age in the books or the TV series?


Actually, In my opinion the appendix is made for us to look at it before we read the book. It's done with the timeline from the beginning of the book, not the end. Enjoy!!! And please, for us, try to delay your reading as much as possible no matter how hard!!! YOU DONT KNOW WHAT THIS FEELS LIKE!!!

Anyhooo.. Cheers.

#10 Cora Stark

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:39 AM

I like their ages in the book it is a lot more accurate for the medieval times
I agree though that for the sake of modern day that they ages everyone a bit


#11 The Mountain That Posts

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:05 AM

I think, in addition to the realistic-to-the-time nature and the nature of the show(with sex scenes and all), another major reason they got older kids was:

A.) It's pretty much factual that older children are much more competent and better at acting
B.) If the kids are older, they know what they're getting into, so a 6 year old won't want to quit at age 11 despite only being five books into a (potentially) ten book series turned into a TV show. (I know, only seven books, but I highly doubt that GRRM will be able to end it with seven books)

Personally, whenever I read the books, I age them up too:

Robb - 17 or 18
Jon - 17 or 18
Sansa - 15 or so
Arya - 13 or so
Bran - 10
Rickon - 6
Joffrey - 16
etc.

Purely because it's hard for me to accept, mainly, Sansa being eleven as of the start of AGoT. I'm sorry, but by the end of AFfC, it's just hard to accept that this chick is only like 13.

#12 Swimfan

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

Yeah, the age is dramtically increased to fit our day and age but in my opinion some of the younger characters (like Arya and Dany) behave waaay mor adult than they have any right to be considering their age - that's why for the parts of the characters of the TV show (watched Season 1 and 2 before reading the books) I picture the same characters in the book older.
If you ever read on what happens to Jon Snow or how Dany keeps on behaving there is now way their ages can be correct ... but then again it's fiction /wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />

#13 juanml82

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:16 PM

I prefer the book ages. It gives a whole 'WTF, they are too young for that kind of responsability!' that the series elude a bit - they are still young, but not that much.

Regarding middle ages life expectancies, the thing to keep in mind is that people who managed to die of old age died at around 70-80. The issue was reaching a long age, as too many things could kill you before. So, it's not like, for instance, Danny is fit for marriage at 13 because she's expected to die of old age before she's fifty. She's expected, should she live to a long age, to die at around 70-80.
But there are a lot of reasons why she could die a lot earlier, there is no long term education keeping her focused in her studies until her late 20s so she can then begin to earn a good wage and, even for nobles, child mortality was sky high. So, in short, women, upper class included, better start churning as many kids as they can as soon as they can. Also, there is no pension funds. Children, once grown, would have to support their too old to work parents, should the parents manage to live that long.

Edited by juanml82, 23 January 2013 - 03:16 PM.


#14 The One True King

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

I prefer their ages in the books, Eddard is meant to be 35 and Tyrion should be a lot younger, but it wouldn't be the same.

#15 Pliskin

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:27 AM

I'm sorry, but by the end of AFfC, it's just hard to accept that this chick is only like 13.

Even if the timeline is (voluntarily) unclear, she's certainly more that 13 by the end of AFFC.

#16 GillyTarly

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

I don't mind their ages in the books. It fits prefectly with the times in the era.

#17 Trident full of Dogs

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:20 AM

I think, in addition to the realistic-to-the-time nature and the nature of the show(with sex scenes and all), another major reason they got older kids was:

A.) It's pretty much factual that older children are much more competent and better at acting
B.) If the kids are older, they know what they're getting into, so a 6 year old won't want to quit at age 11 despite only being five books into a (potentially) ten book series turned into a TV show. (I know, only seven books, but I highly doubt that GRRM will be able to end it with seven books)

Personally, whenever I read the books, I age them up too:

Robb - 17 or 18
Jon - 17 or 18
Sansa - 15 or so
Arya - 13 or so
Bran - 10
Rickon - 6
Joffrey - 16
etc.

Purely because it's hard for me to accept, mainly, Sansa being eleven as of the start of AGoT. I'm sorry, but by the end of AFfC, it's just hard to accept that this chick is only like 13.


Same for me. Sansa = 11 in GoT makes no sense.

#18 Theda Baratheon

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:11 AM

They're always a big older in my head when I imagine it too. I remember reading somewhere, once, that GRRM wished he had raised the ages a bit, so at least we've got the show that's doing this.

#19 Ghost Rider

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:28 AM

I prefer the book ages. It gives a whole 'WTF, they are too young for that kind of responsability!' that the series elude a bit - they are still young, but not that much.


Completely agree. The only characters that could possibly benefit from being aged up a bit are Sansa (most of all) and possibly Arya, Daenerys. Sansa being 12 or 13 at the beginning of AGOT makes her younger then Robb, so it's possible for her to be the second child, but old enough to be interesting to men. It gives me the creeps that grown men like Sandor and Littlefinger are into an 11 year old girl. If she's 13, it's much easier to understand, as she would be a young woman already.

Anyway the gap between Robb and Sansa is rather large (3 years). Sure, there was the war and Ned and Cat didn't see each other until a few months after the war, but if we assume that there was no quarrel between Cat and Ned, there is no reason for more then 1,5 years between the births of Robb and Sansa, so it would have been easy to make her 13 at the beginning. Of course there might have been a quarrel, oh weil...

Arya doesn't benefit as much from being aged up, imho, because there are (thankfully!) little sexual themes in her arc so far. And children can kill, though it might be hard to swallow for some.

Daenerys, being 13 at the beginning... She could be 14 or 15 without losing much, still plenty young to be married to a big brute.

The boys however should not be aged up, because their youthful naivety/idealism/absolutism/thinking in extremes is like the point of their stories in the beginning. I feel that's lost, if they are aged up. Jon Show being called "boy" regularly seems ridiculous to me, seeing that he's clearly a young man in his 20ies (though supposed to be 17, but the thing here is "supposed", he sure doesn't look it). Jon at 14 is very much a boy and it shows. Same goes for Robb. So no way do they benefit from being aged up - it makes them look rather dump and disingineous.

I also like the adults being rather young - Cat is still a beautiful woman in the books in her mid thirties, strong and confident.

#20 rustypaladin

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

Because of the show's influence I view the characters as quite a bit older than they were portrayed in the book.

However, if we compare GRRM's world to our own medieval history we will see that the average lifespan was much shorter. There was war, sickness and plague, death during childbearing, hard heavy labor (on the fields, in the gallows, as slaves), poor hygiene and many crimes punishable by death.

Take this into account and add the long, cruel winters of ASOIAF and it may point to the reasoning behind the very young ages of the characters. Children are also expected to grow up faster. For instance, 14 was considered 'a man grown' and a 'lady' was considered one at her 'flowering' / appropriate childbearing age (which also in medieval times was an average of 13 years old).

I believe the HBO series used actors who appeared much older for a few reasons. In the book Eddard Stark was around 35 years old if I recall, but in the show he seemed more to be pushing 50...this I believe was a statement at how hard life was (stress ages, Eddard had seen many battles and many seasons), aging most likely did not occur very gracefully (especially for seasoned warriors). This, I felt, gave some reality to the hardness and cruelty of life. Another reason I believe is that there are many sex scenes in the HBO series. Daenerys was considered a girl of 13 or so in the book, and they certainly could not have portrayed such graphic scenes with a younger actress than they chose. Also, I think the casting was impeccable, they chose the right actors IMO, age aside. Such great casting that as I read the books I imagine the actor's faces.

Edited by rustypaladin, 22 February 2013 - 11:46 AM.