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[Book Spoilers] EP510 Discussion

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I think it's interesting that so many have such negative feelings about the show compares to the books. Even GRRM said that it's perfectly fine, in fact it's good for the adaptation to be different from the book. Stannis is different from the books, but he's not less compelling, just compelling in a different way. It's a different character than the one in the book, doesn't mean he's not as interesting. Actually I think he's the most complex and compelling in the entire show. He's a man of honor and a true warrior who lived in the shadow of his brother the king who, in reality, was not a man of honor. Then he's conned by Mel in to thinking he's a hero warrior of legend and puts all his faith in to this religion only to have it destroy his life. It makes him responsible for his brother, his daughter and his wife all dying brutally and causes him to lose his army and chance to rule. A truly honorable warrior is stripped of his morality and his life by a religion that abandoned him at the last moment he needed it the most. That's why I don't think Brienne went through with it, she's not a murderer, she's an honorable woman. She expected him to be a monster and instead he confesses his crime and tells her she needs to do her duty, he's broken and paid for his crime. At that point justice has been served and Brienne is just murdering him which she won't do. I know Stannis is a highly nuanced character in the book, but I don't see how you can call him less compelling or boring. It's not the same, it's definitely a different character, but he's not worse.

TV has to play with different rules than books. GRRM has the rest of his life to right 1200 page books that flesh out every little nuance of every character, but D&D have 10 hours worth of TV that has to be written and filmed over the course of what like 6 months? How can you possibly do EVERY character justice like GRRM does! You can't. That's why they have chosen to make the show story driven rather than character driven. The characters aren't the crucial part of the show, the story they exist within is the critical piece. That's why every character is expendable at any time because in reality each character is merely a means to an end. It has to be that way because they have 70 or 80 hours worth of TV to tell a story that has taken GRRM decades to complete and he's not even close to being done. I give D&D credit because they're having to compress 20 or possibly 30 years and 10,000 pages worth of material in to 70 or 80 scripts.

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I think it's interesting that so many have such negative feelings about the show compares to the books. Even GRRM said that it's perfectly fine, in fact it's good for the adaptation to be different from the book.

He has to say that, it would be really dickish to say "the show based on my books sucks".

If you read into his words though you can tell he's disappointed

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I am tired of the excuse of Feast and Dance being the reason why this season wasn't good, to me this is nothing but people not understanding their are people outthere that actually liked a Feast for Crows and Dance of Dragons. Like Linda said I am not in a hurry to get to the end.

People are blaming the books…? ASOIAF is not at fault for this season full of illogical decisions and plots. Surely even if people didn't like those books they could understand just how much better they were than the show

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So the sell swords stole the kings horse? and his generals horses? That were more than likely near their own tents? Not only are the sellswords ninjas who can "sneak" off in the night with 1000+ horses, they also can steal horses from battle commanders who are apparently unguarded and on Ambien?

Horses require food. So each horse requires a rider and at least one, often two foragers to find food for it. The foragers can't all work the same area and so one of the major limitations of cavalry is that they can't be kept concentrated for very long. This was critical at Waterloo, if you read the accounts of quatre bras etc. you will find that Wellington had to keep his troops scattered for a reason.

In the show we are told that half of the troops desert after Shireen being burned. Most of the troops are sell swords. They have probably given up on Stannis before. The murder of Shireen has convinced them Stannis is a nut. Each company of sell swords makes their own decision.

If you are a soldier on guard duty and you see a company of 50 sellswords defecting, do you A) Sound the alarm or B) say 'saddle me up a horse and I'll join you'. Every horse is going to be fair game. But would you really want to risk stealing the witch's horse?

The mounted soldiers are most likely to defect. And they have lines of communication independent of the people paying them. Machiavelli writes about the mercenaries having become a racket: they won't kill each other out of professional courtesy.

The only assets Stannis can depend on are his personal bodyguard.

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I'd be fascinated to see that play out but I honestly don't think it will come to that.

I think it's quite plausible that in the books, someone will try to call a Great Council to resolve things once and for all, but it will fail to work (possibly because of the "who do you invite" problem), and the chaos will continue.

Remember that Cat already suggested a Great Council way back when the war started. And Alicent Hightower tried to call a Great Council halfway through the Dance of the Dragons. Both of those went nowhere because Renly/Rhaenyra had overwhelming military superiority at the time. But halfway through the Baratheon succession war, we're not even going to have clear factions, much less one that's a clear winner.

On TV, while they could do that, I don't think they will. It'll be one of those book plots that's fascinating because it gives us more background detail in GRRM's world and reveals some interesting new characters but doesn't actually accomplish anything, and those are exactly the kinds of things the show cuts.

There are just so many potential contenders ready to take advantage.

Your hypothetical scenario was that Tommen dies soon. In the books, that means we've got fAegon, and possibly Margy and/or Cersei trying to claim some kind of unprecedented inheritance from Tommen. In the show, it's the same without fAegon.

So, who are all these potential contenders? Are various third cousins going to suddenly decide they can fight off the rest of Westeros? Is Mace Tyrell going to march into Winterfell and declare the himself Protector of the Commonwealth? There's really nobody else who can even dream about sitting the Iron Throne without a Council putting them there.

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I am tired of the excuse of Feast and Dance being the reason why this season wasn't good, to me this is nothing but people not understanding their are people outthere that actually liked a Feast for Crows and Dance of Dragons. Like Linda said I am not in a hurry to get to the end.

Then stop following the show and keep off the show forum.

The TV series was design to be 7-8 seasons.

That WOW is not out is on Martin's end. The presumption that the show will need to stop for Martin is absurd. We are dealing with real people who find other things unlike their book counterparts who are fictional and are non-existence.

AFFC is the most unadaptable of the books currently release. It does not have the main protangist is Jon, Dany, and Tyrion, extensive travelogues and world-building. One of the bigger complaints of S5 that there is a feeling that not much has really change. Adding on to it because "It's in the books" would not make it exciting for a general audience.

On several occasions the post I read of AFFC being great is accompany by that a fondest grows after rereading the book. My opinion a book that fondess grow on rereading is a book that is either becoming an acid test on being a true fan or it is so different that the reader needed to get comfortable with the difference fron the prior books. I am sure some readers love it from the first read but my experience based on the forum is a lot had to give it additional reads to grow on them.

It is odd sometimes how furious people get at the show as being bad and than complain how there is not enough. It is the old joke of "the food is terrible and the portion are too small".

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D&D were handed a masterpiece and turned it into amateur hour. Reminds me of the Spanish woman who 'retouched' the painting of Jesus Christ.

I am tired of the excuse of Feast and Dance being the reason why this season wasn't good, to me this is nothing but people not understanding their are people outthere that actually liked a Feast for Crows and Dance of Dragons. Like Linda said I am not in a hurry to get to the end.

I'm sure this is a big driver of the heated disagreement over the relative merits of the show. While they both have (brief, fleeting) moments of brilliance, I think the last two books were quite bad. I think Martin lost the plot and the narrative began to simply expand instead of moving forward, like a plugged-up water hose. I suspect Martin feels the same way, which is why he has struggled so mightily to complete the books in any kind of publishable form.

I'm very pleased we didn't get a faithful adaptation of the last two books. I don't think D&D were always very successful, but they were certainly more successful than Martin in untangling the mess and trying to get the narrative back on track. They went the extra mile, in my view, by doing it in such a way that Martin has yet another opportunity to finish his work and get out ahead of the show again.

So I agree that the season was flawed. I think it was flawed because the narrative it was based on is a trainwreck and showrunners attempted to rescue it while still arriving at the same endpoint as aDwD. In my ideal world, Martin would have had an editor with power equal to what D&D have over the show but with greater talent and skill. He needed someone with the ability and authority to help him avoid the disaster of these last two books, and he didn't get that (or wouldn't accept it). If he had, the last two books could have matched the first three in quality, and D&D could have focused on their strengths: putting Martin's story on the screen.

Edited by Greg B

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I liked Feast and Dance, but yeah, I can see some cuts had to mp be made. And that's fine. I can even, very grudgingly, accept the merging of characters as a means of racing quickly to the end, even if I dont like it. But if they are going to do this, they could at least try and produce something good, instead of crap like window gazing, bad pussies, 20 Good Men, Dornish Birthmarks, The Ides of Ollie and Sansa The Victim (again :rolleyes: ). How anyone can watch stuff like the crap fest that was Dorne or Brienne's window gazing or ISIS Rising in Kings Landing and say it actually improved the books is beyond me.

Edited by HelenaExMachina

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There's no doubt the show is still entertaining in its own right - as goofy, wild escapism that you don't have to think too hard about. A lot of people are fine with that, and will continue to ooh and ahh at the shocking deaths and the dragons and "White Walkers" and Tyrion's wisecracks. Good for them, I suppose.

But an adaptation of ASOIAF this is not - not any more. I'm not upset because the show is different from the books - I'm upset because it's so vastly inferior to the books. With the incredibly deep and rich source material they were handed, and with their production values and the talented actors that were cast, HBO had all the materials to create a masterpiece of television; I know they have limitations in time and budget, and that not every minor character is going to be represented or every minor event depicted (so don't give me the "books and TV are different, durr" stuff), but that hardly explains crap like the abomination that was Dorne this season, or the incredible dumbing-down of the entire Northern subplot. The amazing book dialogue is discarded more often than not, replaced with the show writers' own dialogue (spoiler alert: it's not as good). They cut the likes of Wyman Manderly and so many others but spend a bunch of screen time on unnecessary and uninteresting show inventions like Ollie, Myranda, whoever the guy is that Loras was sleeping with, etc. The characters are so one-dimensional and dull, nearly every plot line robbed of its excitement and intrigue. Just...such a waste of so much potential.

I agree that TWOW not being out yet is on Martin, and the show shouldn't be expected to wait for him. I don't think anyone expects that. But watching how D&D handled the material that was already published doesn't give me any hope for how they will manage the story once they're completely off on their own.

I think I'm done with anything ASOIAF-related until we at least have a release date for TWOW. Then I'll start a reread of books 1-5. Hopefully TWOW is out before Season 6 is all I can say.

Edited by The Prince of Porne

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Then stop following the show and keep off the show forum.

Just no way. Sorry, but tell me why this series shouldn't be open to critique like any other piece of media?

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I am tired of the excuse of Feast and Dance being the reason why this season wasn't good, to me this is nothing but people not understanding their are people outthere that actually liked a Feast for Crows and Dance of Dragons. Like Linda said I am not in a hurry to get to the end.

If anything I have a whole new appreciation for Feast and Dance after watching what Season 5 of GOT did with their material.

I wonder if Grrm would ever consider releasing "remastered" versions of AFFC/ADWD, splicing the stories back together chronologically and adding in the chapters that were moved to TWOW (Battle of Ice, Battle of Fire, Cersei's trial, etc.) to bring each story to a more natural climax at the end of Dance. Almost certainly not, but I think that would be an amazing read and would buy him some time with fans to complete the rest of Winds.

Edited by The Prince of Porne

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I liked Feast and Dance, but yeah, I can see some cuts had to mp be made. And that's fine. I can even, very grudgingly, accept the merging of characters as a means of racing quickly to the end, even if I dont like it. But if they are going to do this, they could at least try and produce something good, instead of crap like window gazing, bad pussies, 20 Good Men, Dornish Birthmarks, The Ides of Ollie and Sansa The Victim (again :rolleyes: ). How anyone can watch stuff like the crap fest that was Dorne or Brienne's window gazing or ISIS Rising in Kings Landing and say it actually improved the books is beyond me.

I agree that most of what you list is crap. I think D&D are much better adapters than creators. As creators, they don't hold a candle to Martin. On the other hand, from a narrative perspective, those are all misdemeanors next to the storytelling felonies that are (just to take a couple of examples from an extraordinarily long list) the whole (f)Aegon arc or the hot mess of the the last Jon chapter.

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Hmmm, well I can't comment on Saul, but for the three others, the impressive things done for their subjects tended to be incidental. And they tended to be affected by the society and times they lived in.

So are you now saying that they're actually examples of bad guys, and bad guys do conquer and hold the world?

My point is that they're neither good guys like Robb or Aragorn, nor bad guys like Joffrey or Sauron. They are grey, like most real people (but they aren't like normal people, either). Anyone asking where the good guy is who's going to conquer Westeros and save the world is asking the wrong question.

Alexander, most prominently, spent almost all his time at war. Yes, he commissioned impressive public projects, but it's quite possible -- in fact, more than likely -- that these were about increasing his own image and fame than concern for the people of his Empire.

I brought up Timur because I think most of the great empire-builders thought like him, even if they weren't all as aware of it and/or open about it. There is no thought to enriching or glorifying themselves at the expense of the empire (or, conversely, of sacrificing themselves to enrich the empire); the way to enrich or glorify themselves is by enriching or glorifying the empire.

As for Caesar and Napoleon, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. Certainly things were more complex for them because of their backgrounds, which encouraged them to see themselves as servant rather than master of the empire. But I don't see why that stops them from over-identifying with the empire (after all, the same was true of Timur, who insisted he was no Khan, Caliph, or Sultan; he was just a general and a servant of god), or forces them to be either good or bad, or takes away any blame or credit.

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Stannis is different from the books, but he's not less compelling, just compelling in a different way. It's a different character than the one in the book, doesn't mean he's not as interesting. Actually I think he's the most complex and compelling in the entire show. He's a man of honor

I think that's exactly the wrong word for him. He told one character that honor is irrelevant to duty, and another that what is right is more important than what is honorable. This season, he went even farther, calling Jon honorable as an insult.

This isn't just a matter of semantics. Honor is about your own personal dignity, and that doesn't matter to Stannis at all. He would much rather be the most ridiculed King in history than not be King, because it is both his right and his duty to be King, and that's all that matters.

Of course the way he acts doesn't always match what he says. Especially when we first see him, both on TV and in the books. His anger at Renly goes beyond stubbornness in virtue of the truth. And it doesn't come across as righteous anger at an outrageous treason any more than as personal jealousy; rather, he sounds like a man whose honor has been slighted and who's demanding satisfaction. Of course that may just be because our PoV doesn't really understand Stannis yet, but it's an intriguing idea that Stannis is trying not to be honorable and failing.

The show definitely plays the religious angle differently from the books; instead of being a non-religious fanatic who gradually comes to pragmatically use religious fanaticism, he's a non-religious fanatic who gradually transitions to a true religious fanatic. But it's interesting that both journeys take him to the same place: it's the fanaticism that ultimately matters to his story, not what he's devoted to.

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The show definitely plays the religious angle differently from the books; instead of being a non-religious fanatic who gradually comes to pragmatically use religious fanaticism, he's a non-religious fanatic who gradually transitions to a true religious fanatic. But it's interesting that both journeys take him to the same place: it's the fanaticism that ultimately matters to his story, not what he's devoted to.

I don't think he becomes a true religious fanatic in the show. He's confronted with an ultimate decision, and he continues to make the pragmatic choice -- it's just the enormity and finality of the stakes that are different. Lose your army, lose your war, and fail to fulfill your perceived destiny and divine right, or sacrifice your daughter. As always, he does what he has to do, no more and no less. The tragedy, of course, is that he's deluded.

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There's no doubt the show is still entertaining in its own right - as goofy, wild escapism that you don't have to think too hard about. A lot of people are fine with that, and will continue to ooh and ahh at the shocking deaths and the dragons and "White Walkers" and Tyrion's wisecracks. Good for them, I suppose.

But an adaptation of ASOIAF this is not - not any more. I'm not upset because the show is different from the books - I'm upset because it's so vastly inferior to the books. With the incredibly deep and rich source material they were handed, and with their production values and the talented actors that were cast, HBO had all the materials to create a masterpiece of television; I know they have limitations in time and budget, and that not every minor character is going to be represented or every minor event depicted (so don't give me the "books and TV are different, durr" stuff), but that hardly explains crap like the abomination that was Dorne this season, or the incredible dumbing-down of the entire Northern subplot. The amazing book dialogue is discarded more often than not, replaced with the show writers' own dialogue (spoiler alert: it's not as good). They cut the likes of Wyman Manderly and so many others but spend a bunch of screen time on unnecessary and uninteresting show inventions like Ollie, Myranda, whoever the guy is that Loras was sleeping with, etc. The characters are so one-dimensional and dull, nearly every plot line robbed of its excitement and intrigue. Just...such a waste of so much potential.

I agree that TWOW not being out yet is on Martin, and the show shouldn't be expected to wait for him. I don't think anyone expects that. But watching how D&D handled the material that was already published doesn't give me any hope for how they will manage the story once they're completely off on their own.

I think I'm done with anything ASOIAF-related until we at least have a release date for TWOW. Then I'll start a reread of books 1-5. Hopefully TWOW is out before Season 6 is all I can say.

:bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:

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