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Everything posted by iprayiam

  1. iprayiam

    What was the purpose of Jon Snow?

    I think the Chosen One trope is overplayed too. But there's a lot of room between that and what they did to Jon Snow. If you mean Destiny or 'will of the gods' by higher purpose, yeah I agree with you that it's good they didn't go there. But the problem is they didn't really go anywhere with him. Again, back to my point about real life, imagine I tell you a story about my day. I spend a long time explaining how my coworker was adopted. In fact, I intentionally craft it into my story as a big mysterious surprise that gets revealed. Then it turns out to have nothing significant to do with my story about how we solved some problem at work. This is how the conversation is going to go: You: Wait so what was the point of him being adopted? Me: Nothing really. I mean it affects his self perception, I guess. You: But why did you build it up like a central aspect of your story? Me: Well it's true! Not every detail in real life has some bigger purpose. You: Yeah, fair enough. So why didn't you cut it out? Me: I was world building for you. You: Please don't tell me any more stories... In all seriousness, I don't understand why people congratulate time ultimately spend on trivial nonsense that add little to the point of the story and justify it by pointing to real life, when in real life, that's the NUMBER 1 thing that harms good storytelling: emphasizing irrelevant details.
  2. iprayiam

    What was the purpose of Jon Snow?

    In many ways, meaning-making is at the heart of what it means to be human. And subsequently at the heart of story-telling (vs. relating facts). When people press too hard on the idea that ASoIaF is sooo true to real life as a defense of the soap-operaish series-of-events that the show became, they are just discrediting GRRM as a storyteller. And in fact, that's not really true either. A lot of ASoIaF is centered on meaningful themes. When people walk out of a story asking, "What was the point of...". Then it was a bad story. And the answer "It's like real life!" is not a satisfactory one. Nonfiction stories shouldn't feel pointless either. Most "stories" told are nonfiction anyway. Like "how was your day?" And we've all had someone answer that question with a long, meandering, pointless anecdote. And guess what? They SUCK. Nobody says, "WOW! That was really long, convoluted, random and pointless. It was so real! Great story!". Nope. We say, "GET TO THE POINT!" People who tell pointless real life stories are called bad storytellers. We've also heard real life stories told to entertaining satisfaction. The art there is taking the sequence of events and finding a meaningful throughline and cutting the stuff that doesn't work toward it without confusing the narrative. "Real-life" has nothing to do with whether a story feels meaningless or not, so it's a poor excuse. In fact, it should be easier with fiction because you get to make it all up. Modelling a fictional story on poor real life storytelling is not making it more like real life, it's just making it more like bad storytelling.
  3. Well there's another aspect not mentioned here about moving from a show that is willing to kill of it's characters to one where they all suddenly seem invincible: eventually you run out of fat to trim. This can be seen by how empty Westeros felt by the end. You have to stop killing characters eventually, or you have to add in new ones. The further you get into a show, the more jarring it is to suddenly add in new major characters. You're brain starts to ask, "why weren't we following these folks from the start?" The answer is more palatable if the story is centered around a specific framing point or locations. But in a show like this, where we basically are introduced to a bunch of distinct stories from all over the globe, it is harder to understand suddenly meeting a new one in media res. This is why Young Griff feels so weird. If he really is the Aegon, why wasn't his story just as important as Dany's to hear about from the very beginning? There's really no way around this problem without taking for granted that as the show progresses, the more locked in the invincible characters become.
  4. Well I didn't really mean Alternative media and video games. I really don't think the next star wars trilogy by D&D will have much appeal precisely because it's unrelated to the OS. They're throwing Palpatine into Ep 9 for goodness sake jut to harvest nostalgia. A Nearly totally disconnected prequel series threaded by the biggest anticlimax of the show (WWs) is such a bad idea. It will be just close enough to confuse casuals and feel repetitive and just far enough to estrange us from any preexisting investment. If it succeeds, it will be IN SPITE of the GoT connection, not because of it. I don't even understand what the unifying aesthetic is supposed to be? There's no GOT look and feel that will make sense to exist thousands of years previously. It's not like Star Wars where (done right) one look says, yeah that's the same universe. Again, why Valyria would have been the better choice. A fresh aesthetic template, retaining only Dragons and the Targaryen name.
  5. I actually see the exact opposite problems. Without D&D, they will probably tone down a lot of the toilet humor, and with a basically blank slate, they could likely hire good writers and invent character intrigue that has actual depth. The problem will be everything else. The Children of the Forest were the silliest and stupidest part of GoT (not of ASoIaF). The execution looked very silly and Hammy in GoT, like a highschool play. I don't think they really can be done visually and be taken seriously. That will be far more "in your face fantasy" than anything GoT had to deal with throughout most of the first several seasons. The Others will be poison going in. Any slow-building of them as a threat will be met with serious skepticism by audiences that got burned last time. Yet shoving them in the face of viewers will get old fast and contribute to the "silly fantasy" pitfall with broader audiences. No matter what you do with them, they will amount to nothing. Meanwhile, I don't think the 'same universe' effect will hold nearly as much appeal as people think. It is thrown around a lot with Harry Potter and Star Wars, but never actually done in practice outside of very close timelines and character connections to the OS. But thousands of years in the past? What if they made a prequel to "The Wire" set 3 thousand years ago in the same universe? WTF does that even mean? What is Westeros without any of the same people or politics or kingdoms, etc? The average audience will be confused / checked out. Again, it will become a tight-rope between being wildly unconnected, or panned for being nothing more than a series of call-backs. There is really only a very thin tight-rope that could be walked here and I can't imagine HBO getting it right. The only in-universe prequel that I could imagine being an easy win was the obvious choice, that I cannot understand why they didn't go with: The Last Days of Valyeria. The pitch is so simple: Ancient Rome...with DRAGONS. Rome Meets GOT. Rise of the Targaryians from lower aristocracy, ending with an apocolyse and the conquest of Westeros. Other than the budget, how would that not have been the only serious direction to take a successor show?
  6. Here's the problem with everyone arguing that Dany was always evil: It's not foreshadowing or character development if it was done both ways and then the audience is asked to selectively justify the outcome. This is the equivalent to drawing a target after you've fired your shot. Let me illustrate with an exercise: Imagine it had turned out the other way, and Dany ended up on the Iron Throne as the "people's queen". Could you look back on her actions through the show and come up with a similar collection of evidence in favor of this outcome too? If you're being honest the answer is yes. They foreshadowed "both" outcomes then flipped a coin at the end and made her nonsensically 100% evil. That is not the same thing as saying the evidence was always there. If you wanted to play it either/or, you can't pivot so hard and suddenly at the end. You needed to show a logical descent. OR if you wanted it always to be the one outcome, you need to set it up so that looking back it couldn't have been any other way.
  7. iprayiam

    The purpose of R+L=J?

    Sure this might be a nice meta-twist, executed properly. But it had jack to do with him actively knowing about it. If the subversion was just wink between the writer and the audience, it could have been executed well: Through both deed AND by blood Jon is most worthy to rule, yet ironically outcast never knowing the truth. sure that could have been a neat author-audience understanding. OR if it was revealed in-universe and paid-off through Jon struggling to come to terms with his right to rule (through both deed and blood), yet ultimately he was left outcast, then that also could have been a neat narrative trick. But Jon rejected his claim immediately. Instead we got both and neither. The secret was set up in season 7 as something that Jon must know! and it was heavily implied that it would have some pay-off with the NK. But why did Jon need to know? There was no plot reason for Bran and Sam to need to tell him. Unless it was Bran actively ruining shit so he could be king. And neither did Jon really explore the conflict about his right to rule, so it served no thematic tension either. He immediately dismissed his right to rule. So yeah, it was pointless to tell him in-show except as a catalyst to Dany going crazy. So why did he need to find out? UPDATE: It occurs to me there was a similar problem with the "chosen one" prophesy in Anakin Skywalker. That knowledge never really affected his dramatic arc in any meaningful way in the movies. But at least there it drove the loss of faith in Obi-wan, and it retroactively gave more weight to his actions in RotJ. Unncessarily, imho, but at least you could point to a few things that it effected. R+L=J did jack shit for GoT. That's right: the Prequels were better executed than this mess!
  8. iprayiam

    The purpose of R+L=J?

    But why did he *have to know*? What was the purpose of it being revealed in-Universe? Does Jon even know about the prophesy in-universe?
  9. iprayiam

    Game of Thrones legacy

    No, it won't. But not because of the final seasons alone. Because of the length, early complexity and graphic nature of the show. A lot of people make the comparison to Star Wars or LOTR, but those are relatively short by comparison and are both clean family fun. The people who keep loving Star Wars 20, 30, 40 years later saw it for the first time when they were kids. Same with LOTR. Most people won't let their younglings watch GoT. A lot of casuals who tuned into GOT did so because of the cultural momentum of the thing. A lot of those people who wanted to be "in the know" likely suspended their otherwise more simple or prudish tastes. There will always be new people who pick it up, but it will never be at the level that Star Wars or LOTR will be, and it will lose much much more momentum because of it. Without the cultural timeliness it's too much investment to have staying power except for the already book readers.
  10. Lol! There won't be any more books people, this seals the deal. If GRRM was already struggling from the complexity and the pressure, do you really think the GOT ending is going to do anything to help that? If the endgame is basically the same, he has no more surprises to reveal, except the enormous pressure of getting there in a more satisfying way. The crushing pressure to perform has quadrupled. Alternatively, GRRM could try adding in or beefing up a bunch of stuff to keep it fresh, which means an even more meandering and convoluted plotting, which we all know slows GRRM down like running through molasses. In almost any scenario, motivation to finish these books has to have been seriously crippled by the show. The only way I see these books getting done is if GRRM absolutely HATED season 8 with such a raging passion, that he now pours every ounce of energy into finishing these books to salvage his legacy. I don't see that happening. GOT season 8 is the only end of this story you will ever get.
  11. If they had built up the fantasy elements organically into the story, then yeah, that might have been a much better execution than the Scorpions. If they just shoved that in there... not so much. Would have been even hammier than he already was. Silly pirate with a magic flute. It would have also been really really redundant of losing the other dragon to the NK so recently. I've said elsewhere, even in the books, Euron is a silly late addition to the story after Joffrey left an evil hole in the universe. At his best, 'magic' Euron belongs in a Pirates of the Carribean movie. I don't think he ever could have been executed well in the show without it being completely different in every way from episode 1.
  12. I'm in the unbelievable minority here, but I was never that impressed by what the Red Wedding did to the narrative. Yes, I agree with everything everyone says about it being a well foreshadowed and executed subversion. But the momentum and the primary focal point of the story kind of got gut punched after that. Everything fractures and grinds down to a trot in Feast and Dance because of it. I think that GRRM's current struggles all fundamentally result from this choice. See it's not that Robb was particularly important, as much as the narrative glue of the Starks coming for Joffery, and the Lannisters reacting. It was really killing Joffrey that killed the story for me. But once Robb was dead, there was nothing left for Joffrey (or Tywin), so narratively they had to be killed, and the focus of the story skattered as a result. (In fact, Varys killing Kevin was kind of in book lampshading that KL had become boring as a result of Starks vs Lannasters fizzling out). I've always hated book and show Ramsay and Euron. They were just successive hammy reincarnations of Joffrey "Only EVILLERR!!", But Joffrey was kind of peak evil without getting silly, and he stood at the center of the conflict. Ramsay and Euron both sit at the outskirts of the main action, and thus either feel pointless or forced late into the narrative. I beleive GRRM's intial idea was for Robb and Joffrey to collide, then just as the fallout is occuring, slide into Dany attacking, then just as the fallout is occuring slide into the Others attacking. Maybe it would have been more "tropey", but it also would have been a much more graceful narrative and tremendously less "soap oprah-ey" Which is basically what the books and the show become after Joffrey dies to varying degrees.
  13. iprayiam

    "He needs to know the truth" - Why?

    Because the plot demanded it. Literally the only reason for him to know was to enable the self-fulfilling prophesy of people turning on Dany and her exacting revenge. Basically, Bran's power is that he is able to see the script and help force characters into place regardless of the sense it makes inside the story. It's also how Arya was able to kill the NK in the exact right spot without anyone ever knowing how lucky she got. Because plot...
  14. iprayiam

    How would you fix?

    I started another thread that hasn't been approved but basically, this is the simplest fix: Have Dany burn the Red Keep in season 7 after Cersei refuses to help fight the WWs. Cersei didn't add anything to season 8, and the travel from Winterfell in episode 4 to KL was unreasonable pacing, and destroyed any sense of consequence from the WW invasion. If you instead, bumped that back to the previous Cersei confrontation, Dany could begin her rage and paranoia there, but Jon and others would be forced to keep hope in her because of the WW. That gives season 8 5 episodes to draw out her descent, and give actual justification to Sansa's distrust. As a bonus, we'd have an additional 2 episodes to beef up the confrontation with the WW, and putting it closer to the end would allow it to have the necessary gravity on the plot that was otherwise completely missing. if they wrapped up the confrontation in ep 5 and Dany was full blown mad by then, she could move immediately toward the IT, and they could end the series on the exact same finale however that may be. Everything would have grown much more organically giving it a little space, and getting rid of the Cersei nothingburger in S8. The 'surprises' and 'subverted expectations' could have been replaced by real and compelling dramatic tension.
  15. Yeah, one of the biggest issues is that the WW ultimately had less effect on the plot than Ramsay's 20 good men. No one's army was sufficiently hindered by the "long night" to affect anybody's trajectory. I have no problem with the people who say that the WW aren't the point. But, surely they should have had *a* point? The way it played out in the show was like if space aliens attacked earth, and Trump, Teresa May, and Vladmir Putin teamed up to take them out just before they destroyed humanity... And the next day the top news stories went right back to covering the Mueller Report. If you didn't want the WW to be a show-stealing, what's-the-point-of-it-all begging, world stopping event, then maybe you shouldn't have added an ancient magical apocalyptic threat to your story and then treat it like nothing? If this was always the goal, the WW should have been replaced with a giant wildling army united under Mance Rayder: A formidable threat to the 7 kingdoms, but not a magical apocalypse that should be making everyone question every aspect of their reality.
  16. There have been plenty of critics and defenders of this last season, but I think just about everyone agrees that the rushed pacing has been among the biggest problems: The long night is over in a flash, then it's teleporting to King's Landing, where Dany turns mad so fast, you get whiplash. A residual problem is the musical chairs of the "final conflict", turning what should be a culmination of 10 years into a series of "villians of the week". Episode 3, it's the WW. Nevermind, it's Cersi. Nevermind, it's Dany. No one gets proper attention or play out. So here's my suggested fix to avoid all these problems while keeping everything the same: Dany should have ruthlessly burned (much less of) King's Landing in Season 7 when Cersei refused to help fight the WW's. This would have prevented the need to teleport back to KL halfway through this season. Everyone and the conflict were already there. Delaying that conflict made zero sense storywise, forced too much plot into season 8 and broke a lot of tension buildup in exchange for cheap surprises. Doing it in season 7 would have given more time to deal with the White Walkers and Dany time to spiral downward. It would have made the tension of continuing to support her even more real, and not a sudden last minute development. Jon would argue that they need her for defeating the WW, while Sansa and Varys would have an actual reason to hate and distrust her. If you still wanted to end everything in front of the IT, you could still have the final play out take place the same way in Episode 6. But we could have spent episode 1, and 2 actually wondering if Dany was descending into paranoia, and freed episodes 3-5 to deal with the White Walkers. Yes it would have wrapped up the Cersei line earlier, but did her arc really add anything this season that couldn't have been wrapped up more tidily last season ? (Alternatively it could have been pushed to ep 1 this season. ) TL;DR: A lot of pacing, travel time, and plot issues could have been solved by reversing the order of the Cersei confrontation and the WW's while leaving the endgame in tact.
  17. Why did everyone go on about Jon's trustworthiness and his commitment to duty? Shouldn't he be in most of their eyes a deserter? I get that he believes himself free from his Night's Watch oath, but does anyone in Cersei's party (or most people in Dany's) know anything about his death and resurrection?
  18. The problem I had is that nobody had to solve anything or put any pieces together. They were just spoon fed the truth from Branbot offscreen to wrap it up quickly. Contrast that with Sam and Bran each having half of the puzzle several episodes back and needing to exchange info to put the pieces together. That made for a more interesting scenario. In both we viewers already knew the truth, but in the latter we watched the characters unwrap it vs just being told offscreen
  19. I disagree. Years back, seeing my roommate watch a random episode got me hooked in minutes and I went back and powered through the whole thing. Of course part of that is taste. But for a season finale that sets up the final season, it was slow as shit. My wife's opinion highlights the fact that most of us are just riding on investment. As an isolated piece of media it was slow and boring. Good TV series should be comprised of good episodes should be comprised of good scenes should be comprised of good lines. And each of those should be able to be appreciated at their own level for what they are worth in addition to being enriched by the larger picture.
  20. Did we learn these facts in show or is this book knowledge?
  21. Poor Aegon 1. Imagine if your dad divorced your mom, disowned you, and then named his new kid your name on top of it. What a kick in the nuts
  22. Also what a super boring episode. Why so long? It was the first one my wife has ever seen and she was in shock that people watch the show. She thought it was insufferably boring
  23. So, this episode implied both that Bran cannot see the future and that the NK can. I wonder what the implications of this will be or whether it will never be addressed or straight contradicted. It's kind of disappointing for me that the way South of the wall was built on a self fulfilling prophesy. It's not my favorite plot device.