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pleonasm

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  1. I think theoretically a very large well constructed ballista could strike the top of the wall. There is some evidence of some ballista's having a range of 500 yards (1500 feet), so the top of wall? Sure, why not. Was there any evidence in the books that Pyp or Grenn would have really significant role to play in the end game? For me, they were pure supporting players through and through. And both characters got to shine with some memorable moments before getting killed off. I wasn't supra impressed by the episode, but if your going to spend and entire hour televising a battle, there needs to be some casualties of consequence for the Night's Watch. It was a completely logical choice for D&D to make and I can't fault them for it. There simply wasn't enough screen time to introduce another set of characters at the Wall to only have them dispatched 7 or 8 episodes later. Personally, I think this episode should have been episode 4 and ended with Stannis's arrival in episode 5. The Craster's Keep subplot was pointless and that momentum from that great moment between Ygritte and Jon last season was lost because of the long delay before their eventual meetup again.
  2. In defense of D&D (shit, I can't believe I'm saying that), Jon Snow the character suffers on GOT and also in the books, because his story arc ,at least to date, is a fantasy trope writ large. He is Luke Skywalker and every other fantasy / Joseph Campbell type hero character every written. Its is easier to empathize with him with the books -- partly due to the POV structure of books, but a trope is a trope. And that does him no favors... That being said, Season 2 really undermined the character in a significant way, and I don't think the character every truly recovered - at least on the tv show.
  3. Fascinating that the best fight scene in history of the show was in this episode and not the prior one. Kudos to Kit, the other actor, and the stunt team. That was exceptionally well done. It was technically a pretty exceptional episode. I can't really quibble with any of the book changes. I really did like how Thorne had some redeeming moments. It definitely fleshed out a character who has been exceptionally one note since season 1. That said, the decision to make this episode 9, with all the associated filler (i.e. Craster's Keep), really undermined some of the story-lines. The Ygritte/Jon soap opera felt a little flat, by no fault of the actors, but rather that the fact Ygritte was a non entity for most of the season other than her brief appearance last week and in the opening episode.
  4. Meh. That's all I got. Meh. With all the hype surrounding the Mountain and Viper I turned off the tv feeling pretty disappointed. I get that its tv, with a limited shooting time, but how is it possible that a deleted fight scene between Orlando Bloom and Martin Cskokas in Kingdom of Heaven was both more emotionally resonant and dramatic than that. I guess it had all the trademark of a mediocre GOT fight sequence. Poorly staged. Wild sword swings, Camera parked too far from the action. Poor use of dramatic beats to heighten the action. And don't forget the over the top gore ending. Sigh... In other news... Sansa Stark is maleficent and the beetle monologue may be single worst bit of writing in the history of HBO.
  5. It wasn't just the dogs, but shirtless Ramsey Van Damme was just plain silly as well. Personally, I'd preferred it if Yara had managed to get a skittish Theon back to the boats, with Ramsey and his men off in the distance in pursuit, only to have Theon step back announce to Yara and her men that Theon Greyjoy had died. He then runs back to his captors. It's the only way I can rationalize Yara actually leaving Theon behind after her big speeches and her boat trip around Westeros to save her brother. What they had onscreen, I just didn't buy.
  6. I really thought they handled the trial exceptionally well. Some great performances combined with some new but logical revisions to the source material. I wish the same could be said of Dreadfort nonsense. They are now 0 for 2 with their filler plot lines this season. So after Yara's stirring speech last season and her 1/2 season long odyssey to the Dreadfort we get her chased away from Theon/Reek by 3 dudes and some dogs? What the hell? How do Benioff and Weiss keep botching this shit up. There a dozen more effective ways this could have played out, even low cost ones, that wouldn't have included a clunky sword fight in tight quarters and Yara scurrying back to her boats after the first sign of any conflict. And while the Iron Bank sequence was more impressive, I couldn't help but think how unnecessary it was if they simply altered the story line a little and moved the Battle of Wall into a earlier episode and saved a sequence like that for next year.
  7. pleonasm

    [Book Spoilers] EP405 Discussion

    I just have to restate how in-conceived and poorly executed the entire Lock subplot was this season. I like the actor and his performance, but what a train wreck. Let's recap. Locke is sent on an assassination mission to wipe out the remaining Stark heirs in the North. He miraculously moves from the Dreadfort to Castle Black in record time while the Wildling's mill about in the Reach eating and killing locals. He then ingratiates himself with Jon Snow, presumably to eventually kill him at an opportune moment. He, logically, then joins Jon's mission to kill the Night's Watch rapers at Craster's Keep. For some reason, Locke of all people is sent to scout Craster's Keep. The one guy on the mission who has never ever seen Craster's camp?!?! What the hell? He then super conveniently stumbles onto Team Bran and decides during the planned assault he is now going to kidnap Bran? To what end? He is going to take Bran south to the Boltons? Past Castle Black and rest of the Night's Watch? Even though, he was sent to kill off heirs? It hurts my head....
  8. pleonasm

    [Book Spoilers] EP405 Discussion

    The fights scenes have never really been a strength of this series. Other than Blackwater, I can count only one really memorable and exceptionally well executed fight scene in 3 and 1/2 seasons (The Hounds vs Beric). Other than that, they range from mediocre, to clunky, to down right awful. The Battle at Craster's Keep is definitely in the latter camp for me. It was if the Director simply yelled out "Sword Fight" and off the actors and extra's went. The result: A poorly paced silly sequence with guys wildly swinging their pretend swords. The thing is, it is possible to put together compelling action sequences on television. It's shame Cinemax's Banshee seems to be able to do better at this each week on 1/8 of the budget of GOT.
  9. pleonasm

    [Book Spoilers] EP405 Discussion

    What a lifeless filler episode. So Craster's Keep was exactly as I feared, filler. An unnecessary detour, with the almost reunion of some Stark siblings thrown in, until we get to an eventual climax with the Wildlings. Even the battle scenes looked completely staged with little to no sense of drama. And what was with Locke's insane kidnapping of Bran plan? He is going to take him back over the Wall to the Bolton's? What the hell? Sigh... If anything, this season is confirming my worst fears. I have no issue with any attempt to go off book, but Benioff and Weiss are just mediocre writing talents and it constantly shows. Lackluster dialogue, contrived scenes, and offering nothing more than superficial insight into the characters.
  10. pleonasm

    [Book Spoilers] EP404 Discussion

    It's not fan fiction. Sigh... Bran's ventures North are the television series equivalent of a Mereeneese Knot. Two to three seasons of hiking and sledding is just not going to work in that medium. A rewrite was necessary. You can quibble with what they come up with it. I do. I think this subplot is fraught with problems (including a lack of originality (more rapers), the trapping of Ghost in a cage, a much too long delay in Mance's advance on the wall (he's cribbing from Danny's invasion of Westeros playbook), etc...), but I don't blame them for wanting to invent something dramatically compelling to occur with their leads. Personally, I think they should have just placed Bran and company at Castle Black and let the Battle of the Wall occur in episode 6 or something. But it's a choice. All adapters of fiction make them. This choice is just a shitty one.
  11. pleonasm

    [Book Spoilers] EP404 Discussion

    On another note, Mance Rayder has apparently been cribbing from Danny's invasion playbook. His advance on the Wall could be measured in geological time. I realize they are saving all the marbles for episode 9, but maybe they should have mixed it up a little and had the battle staged earlier in the season. That said, I'm all on board with the show giving Bran a subplot that wasn't another season of hiking/sledding Northwards, however a visit to Rape Town might not have been my first choice. And while I like the actor playing Tanner(?), who would have made a great Ramsey Bolton IMHO, do we really need another raper in our midst? I just found the whole story-line more exhausting than anything else. A lot of GOT style mustache twirling.
  12. pleonasm

    [Book Spoilers] EP404 Discussion

    I'm sure there will be a little build up, but it is no question but the biggest misuse of a talented actor (Iian Glen) in the entire series. Two seasons of exposition guy, followed by two seasons as an extra. What a waste... If they are inventing story-lines and subplots, why not give one of your top end talents something to do?
  13. pleonasm

    [Book Spoilers] EP310 Discussion

    It is unreasonable that some of us would be uncomfortable with that image? It wouldn't have been so bad if: 1. They had spent more time (at least one scene or two) describing the mechanics of slavery in the World of Ice and Fire. Isn't that what Mr. Exposition Jorah Mormont is there for? 2. They hadn't purposely cast white people in the role of the Slave Owners in Astapor. This unfortunately suggests this is less like a Roman style slavery system (anyone who is conquered is property and becomes a slave) vs. a race based slavery system. and a 3rd suggestion... the original casting call notes for Daario specifically requested non white actors (counter to the books, but a good choice for diversity), but unfortunately they either couldn't find an actor they liked or just decided to go with a 'white' guy. Of the 3 recurring characters introduced in Danny's story-line this year, it was only the white guy who actually got any real character development. The two people of color are currently just one dimensional sidekicks.
  14. I am just trying to imagine how low the ratings for this episode would have been if Benioff and Weiss hadn't decided to shift the "Bear Pit" sequence into this episode? its doubtful that sequence was even written by George. I am fine with any changes to the source material is fine as long as its smart, believable to the world of Ice and Fire, and dramatically rich, unfortunately, so many of the changes fail to meet any one of those criteria. I gave it a 3 out 10.
  15. 16 year old Book Margaery might be a virgin, but not 30 year old Natalie Dormer's TV Margaery (who has to be at least in her early 20's). Once they decided on casting Natalie, I don't know why they didn't just change her backstory to suggest she had once been married prior to Renly. This would much better explain her mad political skills and sexual maturity. I do agree about the conversation though. One thing that Benioff, Weiss, and apparently George have lost/forgotten/ or are just not interested about when adapting the novels is how the nobles from different Houses interact with each other. It's about pretense, decorum, and presentation. Only giving away the least amount information as possible and always having plausible deniability in case any information shared could be used against you. Why would Margaery share much of anything with Sansa? How does she know what Sansa might say to someone else? Clearly, TV Sansa can't keep her mouth shut.
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