Everything posted by BrosBeforeSnows
Ramsay Bolton: Hunt Master, Dog Lover, Purveyor of Fine Leather
Started reading ASOIAF around 2002, after ASoS came out. Had a friend in high school who started reading AGoT when it was first released (he was a huge fantasy-fan, whereas I remained aloof throughout high school), and he kept trying to get me to read it for years. Of course, I kept putting it off... for about 5 or 6 years... until I finally cracked and read all 3 in about 3 weeks. Best books I've ever read without question. Couldn't put them down. Before I discovered GRRM my favorite genre was historical fiction, and favorite author was Gary Jennings (i.e. Aztec, Aztec Autumn, The Journeyer, The Raptor, etc..). So I came to the series with more of an historical-perspective than a fantasy-perspective, which was actually quite helpful, being that GRRM draws on so much from history himself. I'm a bit of an amateur historian to tell you the truth; love to read about the European Medieval period, the Roman era, the World Wars, etc... and I write quite extensively as well, so this series really speaks to me. In all honesty, I had tried reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan but couldn't get into it, and I have read all of the Tolkien books (including The Silmarillion), but they never captured my imagination quite like ASOIAF has. What I like about the series is its realism. There are undertones of pure good vs. pure evil (i.e. the Others), but for the most part, characters in this world aren't so black and white. Good guys can be bad, and bad guys can be good... much like actual human history. And, because it's written that way, no one knows what's going to happen. Everyone knows the Dark Lord Sauron isn't going to take over Middle Earth, and everyone knows Voldemort isn't going to kill Harry Potter, but in ASOIAF, you can't be certain about anything. The Others COULD very well win out, and I like that uncertainty. In the majority of fantasy books I've read (which admittedly, hasn't been very many), it's pretty obvious who's going to win and who's going to lose after reading the first few pages, which I don't like. Similarly, I've never been much for superhero movies, or comic books. In real life, if one man is surrounded by enemies, he'll be killed, whereas in comic books, one man has the ability to destroy an entire army. Some people like those sorts of stories for the escape, and I'm not trying to knock them, but I like my fiction to based in reality, at least to some degree. While GRRM has a few characters with supernatural abilities, or superhuman strength, they tend to be no less vulnerable than anyone else. I'd say the combination of the TV show and ADwD were what got me to finally start posting on this board. I've perused the site many times before, and am pretty up-to-date on all of the various theories that are floating around out there, so I come to this board as a seasoned player rather than a noob. Other than that, I'm 29 years old, born and raised in Los Angeles, live on the beach (Redondo), and have an Olde English Bulldogge named Basil (as in 'Basil the Bulgar Slayer', rather than the herb). I'm a musician (play guitar, bass, drums, piano, saxophone, etc..), writer and stock broker, and have toured the country numerous times with my band (we're classic rock inspired, i.e. Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, etc..). We've appeared on TV and radio as well. Just finished a new album which I'll be getting mastered soon, and I'm currently working on a new book to boot, inspired by, you guessed it, AGoT. Have traveled extensively throughout Europe as well. So that's pretty much it. Vitals: I'm of German and English ancestry, and have blond hair and green eyes. I'm 6'2, 190 Ibs. and used to play baseball and football. Here's a few "favorites": Teams: Dodgers, Raiders, Lakers, Kings Color: Green Movie: The Big Lebowski Band: The Beatles Food: Murkin ASOIAF Favorites Book: ASoS POV Character: Tyrion Non-POV: Tywin House: Bolton Sigil: Flayed Man Words: We Do Not Sow Culture: Reaving, i.e. "The Old Way" Region: The North
I understand why HBO feels the need to have an ethnically diverse cast, and there is something to be said for casting the better actor over the better resemblance, but I do kind of wish they'd stick to the books a little more than they have, appearance-wise. Most of the deviations in the first season were pretty minor, like hair and eye color (i.e. Jorah has fair hair instead of black. Tyrion doesn't have mismatched eyes, etc..), but when you completely change a character's race, it can have unforeseen repercussions on the entire storyline. As for Hallyne, he's described as pale white in the books, which is not a skin tone I generally associate with Middle-Easterners. Now, on the other hand, Salladhor Saan is described as olive-skinned in the books, and the name even sounds Middle-Eastern to me, but a black actor was cast instead. He may be great for the role, don't get me wrong, but the casting directors are taking some liberty with that, which I don't necessarily mind, but I don't really see the need for it, either. It may not make a difference for a role like Salladhor Saan, but it could potentially cause problems for other roles, like that of Xaro Xhoan Daxos, for example. In the books, Xaro is described as pale white, and the Qartheen people in general are referred to as "Milk Men" by the Dothraki and other outsiders because of their pale skin, yet a black actor was cast in the role. That could be a little difficult to explain away. I suppose they can say that Xaro's not a "Milk Man" because he's a merchant prince, rather than a member of the Pureborn, or they could just drop all references to the "Milk Men" altogether, but that's demonstrative of how changing seemingly minor physical attributes of a character can lead to further changes down the line. Granted, it's a fairly minor example and doesn't affect the overall storyline so far as we know, but changes like that can sometimes have a domino effect across an entire script. I suppose I'm a purist in the sense that I want to see GRRM's vision translated to screen word-for-word. But, of course, that's unrealistic given the vast difference between mediums (i.e. you can show what's going on inside of a character's mind in a book, whereas you usually can't do that on film without looking cheesy). But certain things, like the wrong hair or eye color, could be easily remedied by makeup artists and hairdressers, I would think. If that's not the case, then yes, I would rather see Iain Glen as Jorah than a lesser actor with black hair, and if it's impractical to make Iain look more like Jorah from the books, then so be it. But that's somewhat of a false choice. There are plenty of actors out there, and it's hard for me to imagine that they couldn't have found an actor with black hair whose abilities were comparable to Iain Glen's. Of course, there are all kinds of dynamics at play in casting; money, scheduling, cronyism, deadlines, etc... But what I find inexcusable is when filmmakers deviate from the book in order to "make it their own" or to "put their own stamp on it". Luckily, I don't think that's the case for GoT (D&D sound very committed to sticking to GRRM's vision as close as possible), but that's why I'm ultimately wary of deviations from the book, however minor they might be.