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About Sancho

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  1. I am very much disappointed with this week's entry. I feel like the sloppy writing and directing led to action sequences without the proper atmospheric build-up and to heavy-handed exposition and characterization lacking both depth and subtelty. Let me elaborate: Gregor vs Loras: The tournament sequence felt out of place in this episode. It should have been edited into episode 4 instead, as it would have provided more thematic unity. Also, we just saw a total of two jousting matches spread over two episodes so it's hard to get emotionally invested. Maybe if we saw Jory, Sandor and Jaime joust in other rounds and had a set-up of the tournament structure in general, it would've played out better. As it was, yes we saw a big dude behead a horse but it lacked the emotional impact that it could've had. Loras and Renly: Thanks HBO for brow-beating the viewer with their gayness. Was that really necessary? An ambiguous glance would've been enough. Instead, we get Littlefinger publicly outing the love-birds. But wait, let's also have Loras shave Renly's chest! And just in case that chest-shaving might not be obviously gay enough, let us also have Loras suck Renly off. And let's add some slurping sounds for good measure. Overkill much? Theon and Ros: Ummm. More exposition meets sex-with-a-whore. Except that we learned nothing which we didn't already know from last week's tirade with Tyrion. And from this week's Bran and Luwin mythology exposé. Waste of scene topped off with gratuitous full-frontal nudity. Littlefinger vs Varys: Yes, we know that they are both operators with many spies. It was already established. Do we need a pissing contest where they try to outdo each other in their sneakiness? "My spies saw you and Ned" "Well my spies saw you and Ned first!" "Well my spies saw your spies see my spies..." Out of character for both Varys and Littlefinger. Ned and Jaime fight: Jory getting killed should've had more emotional impact. Instead we get a flashy blade-in-eye-socket stabbing that ultimately left me cold. Bad direction. Tyrion and Cat arrive at the Eyrie: Yes, we get that Lysa is bat-shit crazy. But it might've been more effective to establish her crazyness a bit more gradually. Maybe stretch out the entry into the castle in a way as to make the breast-feeding 4 year old more effective. Instead we get a cut from a previous scene and BAM! Breast! Again, poor execution. Cersei and Robert: One of the rare scenes that I liked this week. The great delivery from Mark Addy contributed some much needed depth to the King-Queen dynamic. In summary, this episode (and, unfortunately, the series in general) felt like it was rushing trough various plot points. The character "development" scenes lacked subtlety, and I felt like I was being clobbered with character motivations and relationships instead of being allowed to feel them out trough action and natural dialogue. A well acted facial expression can communicate more than 5 minutes of exposition. I hope that I will be proved wrong, but I have lost faith in this adaptation. 5/10
  2. Completely agree with this. This week's episode is much better paced than last week's but while it has a better handle on all the exposition, the fact remains that there is just too much of it... The issue seems to be that the way the back-story as presented in the books, namely trough memories and dialogue, translates poorly on TV. The exposition was well delivered by the actors, but I don't think the casual viewer wants to hear tales about events long past for an hour. It's TV not radio. They really need to find a more creative way to communicate the richness of the world of Ice&Fire and do so more judiciously. (And yes, I am aware of how hard this is to do in only 10 episodes, given the scope of the source material). Still, speaking as a fan, I did enjoy the episode. I just hope that non-fans feel the same.
  3. Sancho

    Poll: How would you rate Episode 103?

    Agreed for the Dothraki. They're really not doing it for me. They look and act very contemporary and not very nomad-like. As for King's Landing, yeah it does seem to lack scale and authenticity but I don't really mind it that much. It's still a TV series and I don't expect blockbuster-like realism as long as we get good writing and direction.
  4. Sancho

    Poll: How would you rate Episode 103?

    It is true that adapting a book into TV is usually more challenging than writing a new series from scratch as you have to modify it in such a way as to make it work visually in a serial of limited duration while still retaining the spirit and narrative of the original work (which was itself not written with such an adaptation in mind). However, the average viewer will not care about whether a series is adapted from a book or not. In the end, a TV series must stand on its own apart from the original work. And by that measure (and as much as I personally enjoy watching it) so far HBO's Game of Thrones does not match up to other great contemporary shows.
  5. Sancho

    Poll: How would you rate Episode 103?

    You may be right. But my issue is not with whether the depiction is true to the presentation in the book. A TV series is a different medium and character development on a printed page does not always translate well into a visual format. A book is inherently a medium where you use your imagination to fill in holes, so when a chapter ends on one note and the next begins with a changed situation, your mind fills in the gap. This is very tricky to pull off on TV. Issues of the passage of time arise. Maybe some establishing shots of life on the Wall might have helped? Maybe some scenes at the dinner table? Maybe the recruits giving some dirty looks to Jon? In short, a way to make us truly experience what he feels and establish that an adequate amount of time has passed. My complaint is basically that the pacing of the series so far is way too fast and inconsistent. Something as small as better editing, without changing anything else, could make it much better.
  6. Sancho

    Poll: How would you rate Episode 103?

    I have to disagree with most posters in that I am beginning to fear that the show is being bungled. As much as I love George R.R. Martin's books, at this point it is not even close to truly great TV like Madmen and Breaking Bad. This episode once again felt like a montage of short scenes depicting important moments and overloaded with expository dialogue. Character "development" consists of discrete "snapshot" scenes where a character suddenly changes from one scene to the next. For example, in one scene Jon Snow beats up on the other Watch recruits and is generally hated. In the next, Tyrion lectures Jon and in the following one Jon is already giving pointers to the other recruits. It's even worse for Danny who's relationship with Drogo and the Dothraki evolves in a choppy and unnatural manner. The reason for this is that we are not given any breather scenes to immerse us into the lives of the characters. We are told that characters evolve and are even given a reason as to why and how, but it just doesn't feel right. We simply have no time to let it sink in. On top of it, the editing in this episode was atrocious as the story jumped from place to place every few minutes. If at least we could spend a consecutive twenty minutes with Jon or with Dany or with Cat, we might have more time to empathize with them. These have been problems in large parts of earlier episodes as well, but I kept hoping that once the initial character introductions were done with, the show would settle into a better narrative pace. With this third episode, I am starting to fear that the show's writers and directors are just not able to handle the huge numbers of characters and locations that the story needs to keep track of. The frustrating part is that some scenes were truly impressive and demonstrated the potential for greatness that this show could achieve. But I fear that maybe 10 episodes per book is simply not enough. In order for the viewer to care about the various plot twists, he/she must first care for the characters and I am not sure that a non-fan of the book will at this point. That being said, I continue to look forward to seeing a great story play out on screen, and am crossing my fingers that things will fall into place. I would hate to see the show canceled after the second season. Conclusion: 5/10 for this week's entry